Citizen reporter
2 minute read
22 Jan 2019
7:18 pm

Ramaphosa calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted

Citizen reporter

According to the country's Human Rights Commission, eight people have been killed in the unrest which has gripped the country.

A crackdown by Zimbabwean security forces has been fiercely criticised by the UN human rights office, with allegations of shootings, beatings and abductions of opposition figures, activists and residents. AFP/File/ZINYANGE AUNTONY

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted and has said his government is currently discussing a solution to the country’s ongoing economic crisis and resulting civil unrest, Reuters reports.

According to the president, Zimbabwe’s situation is a “challenge” for the whole of Africa.

He said he plans to meet with Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, later on.

The Zimbabwean Human Rights Commission, meanwhile, says it has documented eight deaths since the crackdown on protests over the country’s fuel price began, AP reports. It was reported earlier that a collective of human rights organisations had put the death toll at 12.

AFP reported earlier on Tuesday that Mnangagwa has landed back in Harare, according to state television, after cutting short a foreign tour over nationwide protests that were met with a brutal security crackdown.

Police and soldiers launched a large-scale operation against suspected protesters, activists, and organisers of the strike last week, which was triggered by the sharp rise in fuel prices.

READ MORE: Mnangagwa returns to Zimbabwe after protest crackdown

Apart from the death toll, 78 people have been treated for gunshot injuries, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, which recorded more than 240 incidents of assault and torture.

About 700 people have been arrested.

“I am happy that the country is quiet. Our people should concentrate on their work,” Mnangagwa said after landing late on Monday night. “There are channels of communication. We want Zimbabwe developed.”

The High Court in Harare ruled on Monday that government had no powers to order the shutdown of the internet which was imposed as protests swept across the country.

Handing down judgment in a case brought by human rights lawyers and journalists, Judge Owen Tagu said: “It has become very clear that the minister had no authority to make that directive.”

Internet and social media appeared to be partially returning to normal on Tuesday morning.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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