In February 2002 the European Union imposed a number of sanctions on Zimbabwe in response to a Council assessment that the Government of Zimbabwe was engaged in serious violations of human rights, as well as violations of the freedom of opinion, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly.
The sanctions included an arms embargo as well as travel and financial sanctions. The arms embargo was part of Council Common Position of 18 February 2002 concerning restrictive measures on Zimbabwe, (2002/145/CFSP).
In February 2004, the arms embargo was renewed by Common Position 2004/161/CFSP. Council Regulation (EC) No 314/2004 of 19 February 2004 modified the existing embargo. Therefore, it is prohibited to "grant, sell, supply or transfer technical assistance related to military equipment".
The embargo has been regularly extended and is currently in force until 20 February 2020.