Southern Africa: Khama U-Turn On Harare Sanctions

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Loyiso Langeni
6 October 2010

Johannesburg — PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma yesterday won over an important regional ally in calling for sanctions on Zimbabwe to be lifted.

Botswana President Ian Khama, a strident critic of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF), for the first time publicly called for western sanctions on elements of Zimbabwe’s unity government to be lifted.

“We strongly feel that the sanctions are a hindrance … as the political and economic situation is improving,” Lt-Gen Khama said.

He was speaking in Pretoria after talks with Mr Zuma at the start of a two-day state visit.

Botswana has been the lone Southern African Development Community voice insisting sanctions remain. It was also a vocal critic of human rights abuses and the persecution of political opponents . This contrasted with SA’s refusal to rebuke Mr Mugabe.

“I was proven right to some point that the sanctions that were put in place (against Zimbabwe) were correct in my view,” Lt-Gen Khama said.

He said the government of Botswana made a decision to [continue reading]

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