President Donald Trump’s government is “deeply concerned” over reported human rights abuses being carried out by Zimbabwe’s security forces against civilians, a top official said on Friday.
Tibor Nagy, the United States’ top diplomat for Africa, demanded that those responsible for killings, arbitrary detentions, assaults, and rape be held to account.
In the strongest statement yet by a United States government official since President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into power in November 2017, Nagy tweeted: “The U.S. is deeply concerned about continued reports of human rights violations in Zimbabwe. We call on the government to respect human rights, hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and immediately end all violence by government forces.”
Rights groups say over a dozen people have been killed, over 250 required hospital treatment and nearly a 1,000 others have been arrested following the protests. Of the injured, nearly a 100 people had suffered gunshot wounds.
Britain’s Minister for Africa Harriet Baldwin arrived in the region on Thursday, and held meetings with South African officials seeking to nudge President Cyril Ramaphosa to speak up on the developing crisis in Zimbabwe.
She travelled to Mozambique on Friday, and Zimbabwe again featured in discussions with government officials.
Before leaving the UK, Baldwin told Parliament that “the recent events in Zimbabwe are of significant concern.”
“We believe that the response by Zimbabwe’s security forces to protests against the petrol price rise has been disproportionate,” she said.
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