US appears to back Zimbabwe coup as top official says it wants a "new era"
The United states appears to have thrown its weight behind the military coup which brought Robert Mugabe's 37 year reign to an end. In an interview with Reuters, acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto said: "It's a transition to a new era for Zimbabwe, that's really what we're hoping for."
93-year old Mugabe has not resigned or been formally deposed but Yamamoto appeared to dismiss the idea of Mugabe remaining in a transitional or ceremonial role. Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with African Union officials at the State Department in Washington, he described the situation in Zimbabwe as "very fluid."
The United States would discuss lifting multiple U.S. sanctions on Zimbabwe if it began enacting political and economic reforms, he said.
In a message for Zimbabwe's political leaders, he said: "Our position has always been that if they engage in the constitutional reforms, economic and political reforms, and move forward to protecting political space and the human rights, then we can start the dialogue on lifting sanctions."
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