US threatens to sanction African countries that engage in electoral violence

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The United States Government has warned that it will clamp down on African countries that engage in electoral violence.

A statement on the US official website signed by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo urged all political party leaders across the continent to hold on to integrity and ensure that peace prevails before, during and after the conduct of their respective elections.

The statement mentioned the imposition of travel restrictions as key among the restrictions the US Federal Government will place on African countries that will engage in violence.

The statement further urged African countries to uphold democratic credentials and avoid acts that undermine freedoms.

“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,” parts of the US government’s statement read.

Below is the full statement:

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 right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and association are at the heart of a functioning democracy. Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms. 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.

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