Loading
Mugabe backers detain diplomats from U.S. and Britain
Mugabe backers detain diplomats from U.S. and Britain

.- A group of British and American diplomats traveling to a meeting with the Zimbabwe opposition was stopped at a roadblock and attacked by both police and President Robert Mugabe’s “war veterans” in Zimbabwe on Thursday.  The diplomats were held at gunpoint for several hours after the incident, which has provoked international outcry.

Five American and four British diplomats left Harare on Thursday morning in a three-vehicle convoy to meet with activists from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the town of Bindura, The Times Online reports.

The house in which they were meeting was surrounded by police, who told the diplomats to report to a local police station.

The diplomats apparently refused and drove away.  Soon afterwards, their convoy was blocked by an unmarked truck manned by war veterans loyal to President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee told CNN about the confrontation.

"My people were stopped, detained," he said. "The police put up a roadblock, stopped the vehicles, slashed the tires, reached in and grabbed the telephones from my personnel. And the war veterans threatened to burn the vehicles with my people inside unless they got out of the vehicles and accompanied the police to a station nearby."

Sky News reported that two of the vehicles escaped, though one did not. A U.S. spokesman said that an American Embassy employee, thought to be a local staffer, was taken from the car and beaten. 

The detained diplomats were later released.

Addressing the incident, Ambassador McGee called Zimbabwe a “lawless society” and said there was a campaign of intimidation coming “directly from the top.”

“This is the co-ordinated campaign to try to intimidate us and people into not witnessing what’s happening in Zimbabwe,” he said.

The White House has denounced the incident as an "outrageous" and "completely unacceptable" attack. Downing Street said that the Zimbabwean ambassador to Britain has been summoned to the Foreign Office to explain the attack, the Times Online says.

According to Reuters, Zimbabwe's currency plunged to a new record low on Thursday, trading at an average 1 billion to the U.S. dollar on a recently introduced interbank market and triggering massive price increases. In February Zimbabwe’s inflation rate was officially reported to be the highest in the world at 165,000 percent. Analysts say the inflation rate reached as high as 1.8 million percent in May.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: