Zimbabwean officials are among a number of people in Sudan and Uganda who had visa restrictions imposed against them by the US this week.
Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images
- The US extended targeted restrictions to people linked with election rigging and oppression of LGBTQI+ rights.
- In Sudan, restrictions have been imposed on three individuals: Two linked to the Al-Bashir regime and one with the Rapid Support Forces.
- Zimbabwean authorities linked to the rigging and political violence going into the August 2023 elections have also been restricted.
The US this week introduced visa restrictions for people in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Uganda for their links to enabling conflict, human rights abuses and election rigging.
US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Mohamed Atta Elmoula Abbas, Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein and Salah Abdallah Mohamed Salah (also known as Salah Gosh), three officials of the former Omar al-Bashir regime in Sudan, had been sanctioned.
According to the US, Mohammed and Gosh worked towards returning “former regime elements to power and undermined efforts to establish a civilian government”.
Taha is accused of facilitating “the delivery of military and other material support from external sources to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)”.
US, Saudi and African peace mediators to the conflict in Sudan on Monday indefinitely halted negotiations between Sudan’s military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) because both parties failed to fulfil set obligations.
Informed by this, the US said it would “continue to use the tools at our disposal to disrupt the ability of the RSF and Sudanese Armed Forces to further prolong this war and to hold accountable those responsible for deepening the conflict or obstructing a return to civilian government”.
In Uganda, the US said it was taking steps to impose visa restrictions for individuals undermining democracy. The restrictions are an addition to those put in place in 2021 after the country’s largely disputed general elections. At the time, the US urged Ugandan authorities to hold accountable those responsible for flawed electoral processes, violence and intimidation.
Today @SecBlinken announced the expansion of the Uganda visa restriction policy to cover those who undermine the democratic process and repress individuals in Uganda. We will always stand by the Ugandan people in their pursuit of democracy and freedom. https://t.co/0QlG3kAlZy
— Matthew Miller (@StateDeptSpox) December 4, 2023
That didn’t happen, and there’s an extension of the restrictions.
Miller’s statement read:
Today, I am announcing the expansion of the visa restriction policy to include current or former Ugandan officials or others who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda or for policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalised or vulnerable populations.
Early this year, Uganda was condemned by the international community for its anti-homosexuality law, which was largely viewed as one of the harshest in the world. Western countries threatened to cut aid to Uganda and the US struck the country from the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
The US is also restricting Zimbabweans linked to rigging or manipulating the electoral process; disenfranchising voters or stopping individuals from exercising their right to vote; barring members of the political opposition from participating in electoral procedures; limiting civil society organisations’ ability to function and engage in democracy, governance or human rights-related activities; and intimidation of voters, election observers or civil society organisations using threats or physical assault.
These restrictions come against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s August 2023 disputed election that ushered President Emmerson Mnangagwa into his second and last constitutional term.
The election was said to fall below regional and international standards by election observer missions from the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth and the EU.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/us-imposes-visa-restrictions-on-officials-in-zimbabwe-uganda-and-sudan-20231205
Publish date : 2023-12-05 15:47:09