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EU Eases Sanctions Against Zimbabwe After Referendum Date Set

The European Union suspended a travel ban on six members of the Zimbabwe government after President Robert Mugabe set a date for a referendum on a new constitution for the country.

It also agreed to delist 21 people and one entity subject to restrictive measures, according to a statement issued in Brussels today.

Mugabe, who has ruled the country for more than three decades, gave March 16 as the date for the referendum, paving the way for elections needed to end a four-year impasse.

His Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party, which has ruled the country in a coalition with the Movement for Democratic Change since 2009, said the move was “preposterous” and called for the lifting of all sanctions.

“We want the total lifting of these sanctions with immediate effect,” ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said by phone from Harare.

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