Human Rights and Diamond Smuggling: US Sanctions Zimbabwe President

Human Rights and Diamond Smuggling: US Sanctions Zimbabwe President

The US has sanctioned Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa for human rights abuses, corruption and smuggling gold and diamonds.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mnangagwa and 10 other individuals, including his wife, on 4 March.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about democratic backsliding, human rights abuses, and government corruption in Zimbabwe,” said deputy secretary of the treasury Wally Adeyemo, announcing the new sanctions.

In a press release the Treasury says: “Mnangagwa provides a protective shield to smugglers to operate in Zimbabwe and has directed Zimbabwean officials to facilitate the sale of gold and diamonds in illicit markets, taking bribes in exchange for his services.

“Mnangagwa also oversees Zimbabwe’s security services, which have violently repressed political opponents and civil society groups.”
Mnangagwa, 81, who has held office since 2017, insists the claims against him are “defamatory” and “malicious”.

His spokesman said: “We condemn these malicious statements as completely uncalled for, defamatory, provocative, and a continuation of wanton hostilities against Zimbabwe by the US government.”

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