BLOW FOR MNANGAGWA GOVT AS UK WITHDRAWS SUPPORT OVER “Sickening” Human Rights Violations
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government suffered what may be a crippling blow today after its biggest supporter in the West, the United Kingdom said that it will no longer support Zimbabwe due to the brutal military crackdown on civilians which it described as “sickening” human rights violations.
The United Kingdom said that it will not support any plans to restructure Zimbabwe’s debt plan or readmission into the Commonwealth. In fact, the United Kingdom, Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Harriet Baldwin said that her government is considering adding more people to the list of targeted sanctions. A report from newswire quotes Baldwin as saying
There needs to progress in terms of the arrears that Zimbabwe has to international financial institutions, and the recent violence from state actors makes it very difficult for me personally to try and argue that this is the time for the UK to be stepping up to the plate working with international partners to do this.
The idea that we would step up to the plate and say ‘look guys, the government is doing this to its own citizens, shooting them with live ammunition, a range of other egregious violations, and you know what, the UK is really happy to argue that now is the time for them to be helped with their international arrears’; you may push back on this, but I find that a very difficult political case to make.
…it would have to be a unanimous decision by all 53 members, but as of today, the UK would not be able to support that application because we don’t believe that the kind of human rights violations that we are seeing from security forces in Zimbabwe is the kind of behavior that you would need to see from a Commonwealth member.
…We have been aware that the President has said heads will roll, but we haven’t seen any specific heads rolling (but these would be the people to be added on a new sanctions list)
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