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?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Jul
25

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Gospel
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »

Saint
Date
07/25/14
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Homily
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: