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US embassy warns its citizens to stay off Zimbabwe streets

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2020 at 07:44hrs | Views
THE United States embassy in Harare on Wednesday urged its citizens to avoid the streets today so that they are not caught up in violent confrontations between the government, opposition and ruling Zanu-PF supporters.

Government has threatened to use brutal force to thwart today's planned protests which it dismissed as a regime change agenda. Zanu-PF has also urged its members to beat anti-government protesters.

In Harare and Bulawayo yesterday, the situation was tense as riot police patrolled the streets of the central business district (CBD) and residential areas warning against any attempts to engage in demonstrations.

At police roadblocks, many residents were being turned back before entering the CBD.

The US embassy urged its citizens to avoid the streets, adding that the planned demonstrations were likely to turn violent.

"There is a real possibility for clashes between the opposing groups of protesters and security forces. Past demonstrations have been met with aggressive tactics
by police to suppress protests," the US embassy said in a warning brief.

"Crackdowns by security forces in high-density areas leading up to and immediately following civil disturbances and internet/social media interruptions are possible. Avoid the CBD and other areas where protesters may congregate.

"Immediately, leave the area if you encounter demonstrations or disturbances as bystanders can unintentionally get caught in the middle of violence. Monitor local media for updates. Keep a low profile."

Source - newsday