South African president Cyril Ramaphosa repeated his call to the United States and its allies to lift sanctions imposed against neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The United States and the European Union (EU) have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean officials, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and say certain human rights reforms are needed to lift them.
Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations and had its lines of credit at international financial institutions frozen.
“We also call for a lifting of sanctions that are crippling Zimbabwe and crippling its economy,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
Ramaphosa’s call comes just over a month after the Southern African Development Community (SADC) appealed to the international community to unconditionally scrap sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying the country had already opened a new page and was ready to move forward.
The African Union (AU) has also called for sanctions to be lifted, but the SADC has been the most vocal bloc in demanding their removal.
In 2019, the SADC declared October 25 as the ‘SADC Anti-sanctions Day’, on which member states would collectively call for the unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.
A number of countries outside Africa, such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran, have also rallied against the West in calling for the lifting of the sanctions.
(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)