The United States' outgoing ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, said on Tuesday 24 July 2012 that Washington would only lift sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle if polls are held peacefully.
Ambassador Charles A. Ray (Photo: Dept of State)
"There are disturbing signs of potential violence," Charles Ray said in a
farewell address to journalists on completing his tour of duty in Harare.
"There have been disturbing reports recently that could be problematic in an
The ambassador's remarks came a day after the European Union agreed to lift
most sanctions imposed on Mugabe's inner circle if the country holds a
"credible" vote on a new constitution.
Ray said the United States would only lift its own sanctions on Mugabe and
his close associates after Washington is satisfied with the electoral
conditions in Zimbabwe.
"Sanctions were a response to a violent electoral process," he said. "A
credible electoral process free of violence and intimidation would make our
current policies irrelevant. The ball is entirely in this court.”