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Targeted or Restrictive: Impact of U.S. and EU Sanctions on Education and Healthcare of Zimbabweans

Chidiebere C. Ogbonna


Since the end of the Cold War, the use of sanctions as a soft approach in international diplomacy has gained pre-eminence among states that want to influence the perception and behaviour of other states. In 2001, the United States (U.S.) through the adoption of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) imposed targeted sanctions against selected Zimbabwean officials. Similarly, in 2002, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions that it officially referred to as restrictive measures against Robert Mugabe and some of his allies. These sanctions were meant to influence a change in the behaviour of the Mugabe regime, particularly in the area of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Unfortunately, after more than a decade and a half, sanctions have still been unable to achieve its set goals; instead, there are daunting records of their gloomy impact on the rights and well-being of ordinary and otherwise innocent civilians. This study focuses on the impact of U.S. targeted sanctions and EU restrictive measures on the right to education and healthcare of Zimbabweans. The study concluded that the use of sanctions is not a plausible way of resolving international disagreements and conflicts, and instead advocated for the adoption of non-violent approaches to conflict resolution.

Key Words: Sanctions, Civilian Population, Economic Impact, Democracy, Human Rights.

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eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057