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Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 15:51 UK

Mugabe: West 'dividing Zimbabwe'

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President Robert Mugabe criticises ''illegal'' sanctions against Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe has accused the West of using "filthy clandestine divisive antics" to undermine Zimbabwe's power-sharing government.

He again called for sanctions to be lifted, saying they were "ruining the lives of our children".

The sanctions prevent him and his closest allies from travelling and accessing their assets abroad.

Donors are wary of releasing aid money to the government, fearing they could be misused by Mr Mugabe or his allies.

They also point to continued harassment of activists of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change, even after the MDC joined the government.

ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS
EU: 2002 to present
Assets freeze and travel ban on some Mugabe allies, arms-sale ban
US: 2003 to present
Trade ban against 250 Zimbabwean individuals and 17 companies
Other countries
Canada, Australia and UK among nations to have imposed their own targeted sanctions
Sources: EU, Reuters, US treasury, UK Foreign Office

Long-time rivals Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, and Mr Mugabe signed a power-sharing agreement a year ago, after a disputed election.

During his address to the UN General Assembly, Mr Mugabe said southern African nations had made huge sacrifices to help his country during the global economic crisis, but the West's sanctions had not been lifted.

"If they will not assist the inclusive government in rehabilitating our economy, could they please stop their filthy clandestine divisive antics?" he said.

The European Union recently sent its first high-level delegation to Harare for several years but afterwards refused to lift its travel ban on Mr Mugabe.

He is still allowed to attend UN meetings.

Mr Mugabe blames sanctions imposed after a disputed presidential election in 2002 for ruining the country's economy.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have recently restored some funding to Zimbabwe after several years.

Zimbabwe's economy was in meltdown before the MDC joined the government in February, with Mr Tsvangirai becoming prime minister.

The situation has since stabilised but Zimbabwe says it needs some $10bn to rebuild the shattered country.

Donors and the MDC say Mr Mugabe's economic policies, including the seizure of productive farmland, were responsible for Zimbabwe's economic collapse.



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