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President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party Rallies Against U.S. Sanctions in Zimbabwe

Published on Thursday 25th February 2010 President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party Rallies Against U.S. Sanctions in Zimbabwe

Youths from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party today marched through the streets of Zimbabwe's capital demanding that Western sanctions against the country be lifted.

The placard waving youths staged peaceful demonstrations outside the United States Embassy and the headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Sanctions imposed by Western governments on President Mugabe's inner circle and some few state companies remain one of the biggest threats to the one year-old inclusive government that has been marred by endless squabbles.

Zanu PF says MDC campaigned for the sanctions and must therefore lobby for their removal.

Do not affect

The US maintains that the sanctions do not affect ordinary Zimbabweans and were meant to encourage democratic reforms.

"The protesters did not present any specific demands to the Embassy," the US embassy said in a statement.

"The US Embassy believes in the right of all Zimbabweans to freely gather and peacefully express their opinions." At the Zanu PF headquarters, the youths were addressed by various party leaders who took turns to denigrate the Prime Minister and his party.

The European Union last week extended by a year a travel ban and the asset freeze on Mr Mugabe and 196 other individuals accused of human rights violations. Mr Tsvangirai has said the inclusive government has not done enough to warrant the lifting of the sanctions. But he has encouraged the easing of sanctions against state companies to award the progress made by the unity government.

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