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Updated Feb 19, 2020

Zimbabwe has been under Western sanctions for human rights abuses since 2002. Announcing it was extending the arms embargo for another year, the European Union said it was not convinced the country was doing enough to punish members of the security forces accused of inflicting violence on Zimbabwean citizens. 

In the aftermath of the 2018 elections, soldiers fired on opposition supporters protesting a delay in the announcement of the election results, killing six people. More than a year later no one has been charged for the killings. In January 2019, the army was accused of killing more than seventeen opposition supporters and raping women during protests following a steep increase in the fuel price.

A statement by the EU reads, “Taking into account the situation in Zimbabwe, including the yet to be investigated alleged role of the armed and security forces in human rights abuses, the [EU] Council agreed to renew its arms embargo and targeted assets freeze against one company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, for one year until 20 February 2021.”

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