Africa: Lift Zim, Sudan Sanctions - AU

Zimbabwe flag.
23 April 2020

Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and Sudan should be lifted immediately to give the two countries enough time to fight Covid-19.

This came out of a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau chaired by the AU chairman and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday, which lasted for close to two hours.

On several occasions, the AU, Sadc and the progressive world have called for the unconditional lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Last month, the United Nations added its voice to the call for suspension of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe and other countries in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

President Mnangagwa also attended the meeting where Zimbabwe pledged $2 million for the Africa Centre for Diseases Fund and the African Union Covid-19 Fund.

Addressing journalists after the meeting at State House yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said: "There was developed commitment both to the fund (African Union Covid-19 Fund and Africa Centre for Diseases) and to the private sector of different countries and one thing which came out was a clear position that sanctions on Zimbabwe and Sudan must be rolled back particularly to give them time to the fight against Covid-19."

Dr Moyo said there were a number of other issues that came up for discussion to do with the organisation of businesspeople in Africa who are going to organise the supply chain that include Strive Masiyiwa who is going to chair that supply structure.

Yesterday's meeting was a follow up to the one held two weeks ago and it co-opted the businessmen of Africa.

"The success story out of it has been the donations, which came out for the CDC fund and the African Covid-19 Fund and all that came up with a number ideas and contributions and that we should look at the aspect of life and also on the side of the economy," said Dr Moyo.

"On the side of the economy, the issue was to ensure that we now focus on the African Free Trade Agreement so that it becomes a precursor, as Covid-19 moves out because that will be the best solution as the markets in Europe will be subdued because of all this and the support of the SMEs and all the various players who are in the business sector."

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