Group warns of humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe

Rights groups say at least 12 people have been killed in the government crackdown, while police insist they're only aware of three deaths.

A man is loaded into a car after allegedly being assaulted by soldiers on 16 January 2019 in Sizinda township, Bulawayo, as Zimbabwe is swept by violent protests triggered by a sharp, sudden rise in fuel prices. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is warning of a regional humanitarian crisis if the situation in the country is not urgently addressed.

The group has weighed in on the unrest gripping South Africa's neighbour in the wake of this month's 150% petrol price hike which sparked mass street protests.

Rights groups say at least 12 people have been killed in the government crackdown, while police insist they're only aware of three deaths.

On Tuesday, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa called on Zimbabweans to begin a national dialogue after he cut short his Europe tour to address the crisis in the country.

But the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition says citizens of Zimbabwe don’t believe Mnangagwa’s calls.

The coalition’s regional coordinator Blessing Vava says South Africa cannot ignore the fact that it's directly involved in Zimbabwe’s affairs.

The coalition has called on the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to step in and ensure Zimbabwe’s Constitution is upheld.

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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)