13 December 2017

Zimbabwe: U.S. 'Cautiously Considering Re-Engaging Zimbabwe' After Mugabe Ouster

Photo: allafrica.com
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa and U.S. President Donald Trump (file photo).

The United States is "cautiously considering re-engaging Zimbabwe, following the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe" in November, a report has said.

Voice of America reported on Wednesday that the US, remained sceptical of how relations would improve, given that the southern African country's new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa was a close ally of Mugabe.

This came as several members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations met at a hearing titled "The Future of Zimbabwe", in Washington on Tuesday.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, described Zimbabwe as a "nightmare", as he questioned how much change could be expected under Mnangagwa.

Reports indicated that Mnangagwa's past allegedly included two of the most infamous episodes of state-sponsored violence during Mugabe's reign - both of which he was accused of overseeing.

Window of opportunity

After independence in 1980, Mnangagwa, then the state security minister, directed the "Gukurahundi" massacres of supposed dissidents in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

The government, which drew most of its support from the ethnic Shona majority, unleashed the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on the Ndebele people leaving an estimated 20 000 people dead and deep scars on the national psyche.

In the 2008 election, Mnangagwa was also seen as the architect of the wave of deadly violence and intimidation that forced the opposition to pull out of a run-off vote which Mugabe risked losing.

A New Zimbabwe.com report quoted the US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Stephanie Sullivan as saying that Mnangagwa's government had a "window of opportunity to demonstrate commitment to a democratic, just, healthy and prosperous Zimbabwe".

Sullivan said that the US engagement with Mnangagwa and his administration would be based on "demonstrated behaviour and not rhetorical intentions".

"Our policy of re-engagement will focus on constitutional democracy, free and fair elections, respect of human rights and the rule of law, and an improved trade and investment climate, among other issues."

News24

Zimbabwe

Presidential Race Tightens Ahead of Election

Zimbabwe's presidential race tightened between early May and early July as incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa's lead over… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.