Zimbabwe forcibly remove USAID officials on assessment mission: US

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The United States (US) says Zimbabwean officials last month “abruptly detained and deported” US Agency for International Development officials who had been in the country on an assessment mission.
The US State Department says Zimbabwe‘s actions undermined its claims of wanting to pursue international re-engagement following human rights concerns in the African country.
Representatives for Zimbabwe’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in recent years have alleged democratic backsliding, rights abuses including torture by state security forces and government corruption in Zimbabwe.
The US has also expressed concerns, with Washington imposing sanctions on the country’s president earlier this week.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa won a second term in August in a disputed vote that the opposition described as a “gigantic fraud” and election observers said failed to meet regional and international standards.
“Members of the assessment team were subject to aggressive handling, prolonged interrogation and intimidation, unsafe and forced nighttime transportation, overnight detention and confinement, and forced removal from the country,” the State Department said in yesterday’s statement.
“The Government of Zimbabwe has said it wants to pursue international re-engagement and democratic reforms. Its actions undermine those claims,” it added.