US admits backing Mugabe critics

The US government has acknowledged that it sponsors public events in Zimbabwe aimed at undermining the country's president, Robert Mugabe, in tactics it says are aimed at creating a more level political playing field.

US admits backing Mugabe critics

The US government has acknowledged that it sponsorspublic events in Zimbabweaimed at undermining the country's president, Robert Mugabe, in tactics it saysare aimed at creating a more level political playing field.

 

 

In itannual report on supporting democracy worldwide, the US State Department saidits strategy for Zimbabwealso included steps to "support persons who criticised thegovernment."

Althoughnominally a republic, the government under Mugabe is now authoritarian, thereport said.

 

 

It addedthat many humanitarian groups who no longer operate in Zimbabwe agree that "fundamental politicaland economic changes" are a prerequisite to reengagement in Zimbabwe.

Thereport said the USgovernment had made known to Zimbabwean officials the importance of liftingpolitical restrictions and curbing human rights abuses.

"Toencourage greater public debate on restoring good governance in the country,the United Statessponsored public events that presented economic and social analysesdiscrediting the government's excuses for its failed policies," the studysaid.

"Tofurther strengthen pro-democracy elements, the US government continued to supportthe efforts of the political opposition, the media, and civil society to createand defend democratic space and to support persons who criticized thegovernment."

Mugabehas frequently lashed out at the US and European countries, blamingthem for the country's economic problems and for stoking violence.

In apress briefing on the State Department's report, Assistant Secretary of StateBarry Lowenkren said the US goal in Zimbabwe was not necessarily regime changebut to "give them a level playing field".

"Whenyou have a country in which individuals are protesting peacefully and they'reclubbed, one almost to death, then I think it's the responsibility not only ofthe United States, but all countries, …to stand up and ask how much longer arewe going to sit passively by and allow this to continue?"

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
YORUM EKLE