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Individuals from these 9 African countries could face US sanctions over violence in upcoming elections

The United States (US) has warned that it will impose sanctions including visa restrictions on individuals that will be found responsible for violence during upcoming elections in nine African countries.

The US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo in a press statement issued on October 8 said the US will monitor “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”.

The statement said the US remains committed to supporting free, fair, inclusive elections and believes that all persons should participate peacefully in the democratic process devoid of repression and intimidation.

“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 statement said.

“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”.

Upcoming elections in Africa

Data compiled by the African Centre for Strategic Studies indicates that nine African countries will hold Parliamentary and Legislative elections between October 2020 and December 2020.

The countries include Seychelles (Presidential, October 22-24), Tanzania (Presidential and Legislative, October 28), Cote d’Ivoire (Presidential and Legislative, October 31), Guinea (Presidential, October 18) and Burkina Faso (Presidential and Legislative, November 22).

The rest are Ghana (Presidential and Legislative, December 7), Central African Republic (Presidential and Legislative, December 27), Niger (Presidential and Legislative, December 27) and Somalia (Parliamentary in December).

Read the entire statement below;

Upcoming Elections in Africa

PRESS STATEMENT

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE

OCTOBER 8, 2020

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.

Source: Graphic

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