The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA146 - 13 October 2002

Australia Implements Bilateral Smart Sanctions Against Government of Zimbabwe

Australia cannot remain unmoved by the tragic situation unfolding in Zimbabwe. President Mugabe has continually failed to respond to the international community's profound concern about human rights abuses and subversion of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Accordingly, as the Prime Minister and I have foreshadowed publicly - and as the Prime Minister has to his colleagues in the Commonwealth leaders' Troika on Zimbabwe, Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo - the Australian Government has decided to implement a package of bilateral measures targeted against the Mugabe Government.

These "smart sanctions" will comprise:

  • a ban on travel to Australia by Zimbabwean ministers and certain senior officials;
  • a freeze on the Australian assets of such ministers and officials;
  • suspension of Australian non-humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe;
  • prohibition of defence sales and suspension of all defence links;
  • down-grading of cultural links; and
  • suspension of bilateral ministerial contact.

It gives Australia no pleasure to announce these measures. Australia has consistently sought to promote and defend the Commonwealth's fundamental democratic values. We did so in supporting Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. We do so again today in support of ordinary Zimbabweans of every race. The measures I am announcing today are designed to influence the current government to return to good governance and the rule of law, while avoiding harm to the people of Zimbabwe. In the course of this year, the Australian Government has committed $26 million in humanitarian assistance to southern and eastern Africa, including Zimbabwe, to combat the effects of drought and governance failures on the rural poor.

Australia now joins a large group of countries who have imposed similar targeted sanctions against the Mugabe Government in the wake of the flawed Zimbabwe presidential elections in March this year. I call on those in authority in Zimbabwe to take careful note of our actions and to work with us to restore Zimbabwe to full compliance with Commonwealth principles.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02-6277 7500
Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02-6261 1555


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:28:44 EST


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