The Sunday Mail
Southern African Development Community (SADC) chair and Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi on Wednesday called on the United Nations “to do everything possible to achieve the immediate lifting of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe and its people”.
In his speech during the General Debate at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US, on Wednesday, President Tshisekedi also questioned why the global body seemed “so silent” and “so indifferent” to was he described as an injustice that is almost a crime against innocent people.
“In the name of international solidarity and justice, we do have questions over the maintenance of sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“These are sanctions which, what’s more, date back to the era of the late President Robert Mugabe. Why is our organisation so silent and so indifferent to this injustice almost a crime against innocent people? As the current chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), I firmly call upon the United Nations to do everything possible to achieve the immediate lifting of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe and its people.”
Earlier in the day, African Union (AU) chairperson and Senegalese President Macky Sall reiterated the call for Western countries to remove unilateral and illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying the “harsh measures” are aggravating the suffering of Zimbabweans, particularly at a time of global upheaval caused by armed conflict, pandemics and climate change.
Addressing delegates at the ongoing 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the AU chair noted that sanctions were an injustice against the people of Zimbabwe.
“Furthermore, the African Union once again calls for the lifting of foreign sanctions against Zimbabwe,” he said.
“These harsh measures continue to fuel a sense of injustice against an entire people, and to aggravate their suffering in these times of deep crisis.”
The continental body has been actively lobbying for the removal of the two-decade-old sanctions, which are also affecting the region, and were imposed after the land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.
The United Nations recently endorsed findings and recommendations contained in the final report of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Professor Alena Douhan, calling for the unconditional removal of the measures as they were infringing on human rights.
SADC has since earmarked October 25 of every year as the Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day, where several activities would be lined up in the region.
During a working visit to the US on Friday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa engaged US President Joe Biden on the issue of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.