30 Mar 2010

EU extends Fiji sanctions by six months in push for return to democracy

9:47 am on 30 March 2010

The European Union has decided to extend its sanctions against Fiji by six months until October.

The move is to put pressure on the military regime in Suva to return to democracy and respect human rights.

The EU says the decision follows 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.

It also says the 27-member bloc will maintain humanitarian operations and direct support to civil society and democracy building.

The Fiji regime says there will be no election before 2014.