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UN’s Guterres urges govt in troubled Zimbabwe to uphold human rights

The UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has urged the government to allow people to express themselves and gather in line with Zimbabwe's human rights obligations.

FILE: Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres takes part in the Global Climate Action High-Level event at the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 at the 'IFEMA - Feria de Madrid' exhibition centre, in Madrid, on 11 December 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The United Nations (UN) has called on Zimbabwe's government to ensure human rights are protected.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said he is following the recent developments in the African country closely.

He has urged the government to allow people to express themselves and gather in line with Zimbabwe's human rights obligations.

The UN has reacted to the crisis unfolding north of Limpopo, at a time when South Africa has been deafening in its silence.

Zimbabweans have been calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in what they call "a brutal crackdown on their rights by ZANU-PF".

South Africa has been called to reflect on its values amid mounting criticism that the country has not done enough to condemn alleged human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

* Ramaphosa as AU Chair needs to speak out against what is happening in Zim

Scores of protesters in Harare have been met with violence while trying to draw attention to the country’s economic challenges.

In various footage shared widely on social media, Zimbabwean security forces could be seen giving a heavy-handed response with south africa coming under fire for its silence over the matter.

From prominent political figures to ordinary citizens, thousands of people across the world have strongly condemned the Zimbabwe government’s response to protesters.

Running battles between police and demonstrators in Harare have sometimes ended in bloodshed, with unarmed citizens brutally beaten.

Additional reporting by Ayanda Nyathi

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