EU Could Lift Restrictions On Zimbabwe After Referendum

The European Union says it could lift the majority of restrictive measures placed on parts of  Zimbabwe’s government after the referendum set for late March.

EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Aldo Dell’ Ariccia is quoted in various news sources as saying ‘a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would justify a suspension of the majority of all restrictive measures’.

Zimbabwe, particularly the ZANU-pf side of it has blamed the ‘illegal sanctions’ for first hurting and then inhibiting  the regeneration of the economy. The measures have since been condemned by SADC, African Union and a UN Rights Commissioner.

Beyond Dell’ Ariccia says that his bloc is willing to work with any government it termed ‘reflected the freely expressed wishes of the people of Zimbabwe.’

The EU annually reviews restrictions on Zimbabwe in February. While there have been people and entities who have been removed from the list, the majority of restrictions which have been in place for a decade remain in place.

While the comments by Dell’ Ariccia are obviously encouraging, the idea that a country can have its future determined by an outside influence when it is not in a state of war is worrying. It shows that it is easy to put restrictions, but harder to take them off.

Much the same as it is easy to upset someone but much harder to get them back on your side.