OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada has imposed targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe to protest against “intimidation and state-sponsored violence” against opposition supporters, Foreign Minister David Emerson said on Friday.
The government is banning arms exports, freezing the assets of top Zimbabwean officials and banning Zimbabwean aircraft from flying over or landing in Canada. Trade between the two nations totaled just C$11 million ($10.4 million) in 2006.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party said this week it had lost faith in power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe, who is under strong international pressure to step down.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in a March 29 election but fell short of enough votes to avoid a June run-off election, which was won by Mugabe after Tsvangirai pulled out, citing violence and intimidation against his supporters.
“Canada’s targeted sanctions send a clear message that we abhor the current Zimbabwe regime’s perversion of a legitimate democratic process and the continuing human rights violations,” Emerson said in a statement.
The election was condemned around the world and drew toughened sanctions from Western countries whose support is vital for reviving Zimbabwe’s ruined economy.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson