AU chairperson calls for lifting of Western sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe

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Macky Sall reiterated the African Union’s call for the lifting of Western sanctions that have targeted Zimbabwe for more than 20 years. He was delivering a speech in Malabo Friday, during the first AU humanitarian summit. The UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, found earlier this year that Western sanctions had exacerbated Zimbabwe’s economic and humanitarian crisis.

Two African Union extraordinary summits kicked off in Malabo, Friday. After Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang addressed the opening session, the Senegalese president serving as AU chairperson delivered a speech. He called for the lifting of western sanctions that have been affecting Zimbabwe for more than 20 years.

"Bearing in mind the repeated request of the African Union, I solemnly call for the lifting of the foreign sanctions that have been imposed for years on our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. In these times of deep crisis, these sanctions further worsen the living conditions of the Zimbabwean people."

The first day of the AU summit was dedicated to the humanitarian crisis. Due to a three-day national mourning decreed home Macky Sall cut short his stay but announced Senegal’s monetary contribution to an African relief initiative: "In anticipation, I would simply like to announce a modest contribution from Senegal of three million dollars for humanitarian action in Africa."

Following the opening ceremony, a pledge conference took place in order to address the challenge of financing humanitarian aid. It’s the AU's first "extraordinary humanitarian summit". International donors also took part in the meeting. A 2020 UN report said 282 million African faced malnutrition. A number that could still increase in 2022 due to effects of the war in Ukraine, conflict and climate shocks.

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