US condemns Zimbabwe violence

HARARE, ZIMBABWE: The United States on Thursday condemned the new political violence in Zimbabwe and blamed it on followers of the ruling party.

"The United States is alarmed by, and condemns, the recent spate of political violence perpetrated by youths and opportunists affiliated with elements of ZANU-PF," the U.S. embassy in Harare said in a statement on its website.

"Such unlawful actions violate the Global Political Agreement and demonstrate that the undermining of the rule of law has not changed fundamentally," the statement added. 

The U.S. also called on all parties to refrain from violence.

On Monday, Zimbabwean police arrested eight people after backers of the Zanu-PF marched against the awarding of city parking lots management to a South African company. Demonstrators, who carried banners aimed against foreigners and wore Zanu t-shirts, began looting and beating up people who resisted to join them.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is planning to hold elections this year, but there are fears of state-driven violence. The Southern African Coalition for Survivors of Torture on Sunday reported cases of murder, mob violence, attacks on pro-democracy supporters including a shooting, and the repeated failure of police to take action.

This Friday, Zimbabwe's unity government led by Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will mark two years in power.

(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. )

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