Gathering in front of the U.S. Mission to United Nations, Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Brooklyn-based international human rights organization The December 12th Movement charges that since 2001 the U.S. has placed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe. International Secretariat Attorney Roger Wareham said, “Following the request of its kith and kin, Great Britain, the U.S. has been punishing Zimbabwe for having the audacity to reclaim for its citizens the land which was stolen from them by British colonial settlers. The goal of the sanctions is to create such economic disaster that the people will rise up and overthrow the country’s ruling party, ZANU-PF, the organization which led the country to independence in1980 after a hard-fought military struggle.”
Wareham declared that the U.S., Great Britain and the European Union, who all back the sanctions, have not succeeded in forcing regime change. Despite the sanctions, Zimbabwe is making economic progress. But the obstacles imposed by these unjust sanctions are unnecessarily affecting the growth of Zimbabwe and the member states of SADC (Southern African Development Community.)
In 2019, SADC declared October 25 as the “International Day of Solidarity to Lift the Illegal Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.” In 2020, the African Union voiced its support. At the recently concluded opening of the General Assembly, they reiterated their positions of immediate lifting of sanctions. In 2021, U.N. Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan denounced these sanctions as violating “universal and regional human rights instruments.”
The D12 Movement say that the only (and unstated) reason that the West continues these sanctions is its fear of the example which Zimbabwe has set of reclaiming African lands for African hands. President Biden can and must lift the sanctions. He can do so with the stroke of a pen.