EU lifts Mugabe sanctions

President Robert Mugabe

BRUSSELS — The European Union (EU) is easing its travel ban on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe while he serves as chairman of the African Union (AU) for the next year.

EU spokeswoman Catherine Ray said on Tuesday the ban would be lifted when he is travelling “under his African Union chairmanship capacity”.

The EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 over abuses linked to national elections, banning travel in Europe and freezing the assets of dozens of officials and business representatives.

The measures have been gradually lifted in recent years to encourage reform, but the 90-year-old leader and his wife Grace remain on the EU blacklist.

The role of rotating AU chairman is largely ceremonial.

— Guardian