US, Allies Weigh Sanctions Over Tanzania Election Abuses

The U.S. and its allies are considering actions such as visa restrictions to respond to alleged rights abuses and irregularities in Tanzania’s recent elections, an official said.

Principal Deputy spokesperson Cale Brown said this in a statement issued on Monday in Washington.

“The U.S., in coordination with our partners will consider actions including visa restrictions as appropriate to hold accountable those found to be responsible for human rights abuses and interference in the election process.

“We remain deeply concerned by credible reports of significant and widespread voting irregularities, internet interruption, arrests, and violence by security forces both in mainland Tanzania and on Zanzibar,’’ Brown said.

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Wednesday’s election saw incumbent President John Magufuli claim a victory with 84.4 per cent of the vote and ruling party candidates winning seats in most regions of the country.

“While the Tanzania Election Commission declared President Magufuli on Oct. 30 as the winner of the Presidential contest, we remain deeply troubled by the impact of these irregularities and violence on the results,” the senior U.S. diplomat said.

The U.S. called on all parties to show restraint and peacefully resolve any disputes over the vote, Brown said.

Washington also urged the Tanzanian government to probe allegations of irregularities and violence on the part of security forces as well as uphold fundamental human rights and freedoms.

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Brown also revealed that Washington was coordinating with its partners and would consider actions including visa restrictions to hold to account any perpetrators of human rights violations or interference in the election process.

The U.S. and UK have expressed concern over reports of interference in the election and “heavy-handed policing in the elections.’’

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights meanwhile expressed concern over reports of violence against candidates in the run-up to the election.


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