The European Union sanctions against Zimbabwe must remain in place for the time being despite moves to form a government of national unity, says Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxine Verhagen.
President Robert Mugabe’s administration is in talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai on forming a unity government.
Verhagen wants the EU to wait until the new Zimbabwean government has proved that it is taking action on human rights and tackling the country’s economic crisis before considering removing sanctions, ANP news agency reports on Thursday.
‘Right up to today, the defenders of human rights and opposition members are being kidnapped, arrested and detained without being legally charged,’Verhagen is quoted as saying by ANP.
The minister also wants a clear time frame for new national elections.
The EU extended sanctions against Zimbabwe at the beginning of this year.
Tsvangirai spent several days taking refugee in the Dutch embassy in Harare last year because of violence during the election campaign.
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