Switzerland imposes sanctions on Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president to serve another six-year term on March 17 Keystone Archive

The government on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in protest at Robert Mugabe's re-election in what observers say was a flawed vote.

This content was published on March 20, 2002 minutes

The foreign ministry said the decision had been taken after the election and as a response to the "constant violations of human rights in that country".

The announcement, on Tuesday, came on the same day that Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for one year.

The Swiss sanctions, which came into force on Wednesday, include an embargo on the exportation of arms to Zimbabwe and the freezing of assets belonging to Mugabe and his immediate entourage.

"The aim is to ensure that Switzerland's financial centre is not used to circumvent sanctions imposed by other states," the foreign ministry said in a communiqué released on Tuesday.

"Switzerland is concerned about and is following closely how things progress in this country and regularly assesses the need to provide humanitarian aid," the statement added.

Federal authorities have also announced a ban on travel to Switzerland by Mugabe and his associates.

"There's a list of 20 people who are no longer allowed into Switzerland," Daniela Stoffel, spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, told swissinfo. "There's no time frame on these sanctions - this will depend on developments in Zimbabwe."

Authorities said the sanctions were in line with those already imposed and implemented by other countries, including the United States and the European Union.

"We have always considered the results of the presidential elections as not correct," Stoffel said. "That's why we do not recognise the legitimacy of the Mugabe government."

swissinfo with agencies

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