Zimbabwe has accused the United States of fanning divisions after travel sanctions were imposed on its ambassador to Tanzania, a former army general who commanded troops accused of killing six civilians after a disputed election a year ago.
Anselem Sanyatwe is the first Zimbabwean official to be put on the US sanctions list since Robert Mugabe was forced to step down as president in November 2017. The diplomat and his wife are now barred from travelling to the US.
“It is our position that sanctions imposed on our country are illegal and any escalation of the same is counterproductive,” said Zimbabwe government spokesman Nick Mangwana in a statement.
The United States stated it had “credible information” that Mr Sanyatwe was involved in the violent crackdown on 1 August 2018 and that the government of Zimbabwe had “held no member of the security forces accountable for the acts of violence”.
A US State Department spokesperson tweeted that the decision had been taken on the first anniversary of the shootings:
On the anniversary of the August 1 violence in #Zimbabwe, the State Department has publicly designated Anselem Sanyatwe due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights. Those responsible for human rights violations must be held accountable. https://t.co/pMzGmBmTfp
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) August 1, 2019
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