The United States’ Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, has said the US government will take action against African leaders who are choking efforts to enhance democracy on the continent.
Pompeo’s warning came via a statement on Friday. He noted that several African leaders had refused to uphold principles of democracy.
He said: “We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences, including visa restrictions for those responsible for election-related violence.
“As long-time partners to the nations of Africa, we care about the region’s democratic trajectory and are committed to working constructively with international and regional partners.
“The United States is committed to supporting free, fair, inclusive elections. The conduct of elections is important not only for Africans but also for defenders of democracy around the world.
“We believe all sides should participate peacefully in the democratic process. Repression and intimidation have no place in democracies.”
The statement comes days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe said that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is discussing the importance of foreign observers in local elections.
He made the remarks after Malawi “successfully” held elections without foreign observers due to the coronavirus pandemic which blocked travelling.