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U.S Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Zimbabwe sanctions
Blessing Zulu, VOA News

September 11, 2013

View this article on the VOA News website

The United States House Foreign Affairs Committee is Thursday expected to discuss U.S and Zimbabwe relations following the disputed July 31 general election.

According to a statement from the Congress Sub-committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, the committee is set to hear testimony on how U.S policy has failed to “provoke reforms that would have ensured respect for human rights by the regime of Robert Mugabe.”

The hearing will examine U.S policy, especially the effect of current sanctions imposed on Harare following the 2002 presidential elections, in the aftermath of yet another “problematic election and in light of pressure from the region to remove sanctions against the Mugabe government”.

The panelists are Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs in the State Department Shannon Smith, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Bureau for Africa USAID, Todd Amani and Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum International Advocacy Coordinator Arthur Gwagwa.

The United States imposed targeted sanctions on President Mugabe, members of his inner circle and selected companies alleging human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

The U.S had promised to remove the sanctions if Zimbabwe held what it would consider free and fair elections. Washington condemned the July elections saying they did not represent the will of the Zimbabwean people.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Regional Coordinator Joy Mabenge said Washington has to be tough on Harare.

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