AP NEWS

US sanctions Zimbabwean state security minister

October 26, 2019 GMT
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Police escort some hundreds of people marching on the streets of Harare, Friday, Oct, 25, 2019, in protest over US sanctions that the Zimbabwean government blames for the country's worsening economic problems. The Zimbabwe government blames U.S. sanctions for devastating economic conditions, galloping inflation and severe shortages of basic goods, but the U.S denies the allegation and blames corruption, financial mismanagement and human rights violations instead.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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Police escort some hundreds of people marching on the streets of Harare, Friday, Oct, 25, 2019, in protest over US sanctions that the Zimbabwean government blames for the country's worsening economic problems. The Zimbabwe government blames U.S. sanctions for devastating economic conditions, galloping inflation and severe shortages of basic goods, but the U.S denies the allegation and blames corruption, financial mismanagement and human rights violations instead.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The United States has sanctioned Zimbabwe’s state security minister over alleged human rights abuses, just hours after Zimbabwe’s government defiantly marked its first Anti-Sanctions public holiday.

State Security Minister Owen Ncube, a close ally of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is banned from entering the United States.

The U.S. and others have expressed shock and concern over sometimes deadly crackdowns against activists and others in the southern African nation as the economy collapses and frustration grows. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a separate statement on Twitter said that state-sanctioned violence in Zimbabwe “must end now.”

Zimbabwe’s government asserts that sanctions are to blame for its crisis, and it rallied hundreds of people in the capital Friday to mark the new anti-sanctions holiday. The U.S. says sanctions are against entities and individuals, including Mnangagwa, and not against the country as a whole.