The EU's decision to extend sanctions on Fiji was picked up as a story by several international newspapers and news agencies yesterday and today.
The South African newspaper, Business Day, was one of them and another was the global financial newswires, RTT News. The first story is from Business Day, the second from RTT News.
Sapa-AFP) EU nations have extended sanctions against post-coup Fiji for 6 more months, over its failure to respect human rights and the rule of law.
“This decision follows the delay in implementing commitments the Fiji authorities made to the EU,” notably on the constitution, human rights and the postponement of parliamentary elections, the 27 EU nations said in an agreed statement.
The measures, originally introduced in 2007 following a coup, largely involve stopping EU development funding for the Fijian government.
Aid to the country’s key sugar sector is also hit.
The December 5, 2006, bloodless coup in the southern Pacific island chain was greeted by outrage in the international community and a number of countries including Australia, New Zealand and the US have imposed sanctions.
Humanitarian aid and direct support to civil society can continue.
Last month Fiji’s military junta dismissed pressure for elections to be held before those scheduled for 2014 as futile, amid a barrage of western calls for a swift return to democracy.
The European Union statement said that “a credible and inclusive process which would result in progress in the interim government’s reform programme and early restoration of democracy would prepare the ground for new consultations,” on the sanctions.
The EU sanctions will now apply at least until October 1.
RTTNews) Fiji's continued failure to respect human rights and the rule of law has prompted European Union to extend trade and aid sanctions against the government of that South Pacific island nation for six more months.
The 27-nation bloc said in a statement that it decided to extend the punitive measure due to "the delay in implementing commitments the Fiji authorities made to the EU," notably on the constitution, human rights and the postponement of parliamentary elections.
The measure means the suspension of EU's development aid to Fiji worth about 30 million euros ($44 million) and the payment of subsidies to sugar farmers in that country amounting to 115 million euros ($169) will remain in force until the end of September this year. Last year, the Commonwealth suspended Fiji from its membership after the military government defied calls to hold elections. All Commonwealth aid were cut off and Fiji will not be allowed to participate in the Commonwealth Games due in 2010. Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the country's armed forces chief, seized power in a 2006 coup. He insists that elections can only be reinstated in 2014, as part of his "road-map."