Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The European Union has extended its sanctions against Fiji for another six months, until October. Radio New Zealand reported that the EU move is designed to continue pressure on the military coup regime to respect human rights and return the country to democracy.
The EU said that its decision to extend sanctions followed the delay in implementing commitments the Fiji authorities made to the EU, notably concerning the abrogation of the constitution, human rights violations, and the postponement of parliamentary elections. The EU froze its development aid to Fiji and cut off the payment of subsidies to Fiji sugar farmers in October 2007 after the military commander ousted the elected government. The EU says it considers the extension of the measures as an opportunity for new discussions with the government of Fiji. The EU also said that its 27 member nations will maintain humanitarian operations and direct support to civil society and democracy building. The Fiji regime says there will be no election before 2014.
The Fiji Times reported this week that the EU was donating FJ$2 million (US$1 million) to help 90 schools damaged in Cyclone Tomas. Half of the money spent will be sued to repair damaged buildings and the other half to replace damaged school equipment such as copiers, computers, and laboratory equipment.
Hat tips to Radio New Zealand and the East-West Center