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EU maintains sanctions on Zim diamond mining company
Time:2013-3-27 13:53:53 Source:diamond china   Share Us:

The European Union (EU) has maintained sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Company (ZMDC), which operates five diamond mines in Marange, some of them with foreign companies.

The EU suspended travel bans and asset freezes on 81 out of 91 individuals last Monday while most Zimbabwean companies were delisted except ZMDC and Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

“Eight of the ten companies have also been de-listed, which is a major move that demonstrates the recognition of the importance of peaceful electoral events in Zimbabwe and also support the efforts of the region – SADC and South Africa as facilitator,”  EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Ariccia was quoted by SW Radio Africa as saying.

The EU indicated last month that sanctions on ZMDC would be maintained until the country conducts free and fair general elections later in the year.

"We have shown by removing some individuals from the sanctions and travel ban that we will reward progress but also that we will keep certain measures in place including the listing of ZMDC for the duration of the coming election campaign,” UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said then.

Belgium, home to the world's largest diamond trading hub, Antwerp, had argued that the situation in Marange had changed and sanctions on the (ZMDC) were no longer justified.

It also stated that the Kimberley Process had certified Marange gems as compliant.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba said Harare was still studying the position of the EU.

“[However] speaking as someone who is familiar with the issue, I do not think that anyone can attach any significance to this act of tokenism,” he was quoted as saying by The Herald newspaper.

“Does it matter that tens of officials have been suspended from an illegal measure when in fact President Mugabe himself, the face of the country, remains a victim of those illegal measures? What it means is that the country is still under those illegal sanctions.”

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