Zimbabwe’s president skips 1st rally since deadly unrest

A spokesman says Zimbabwe's president has skipped his first political rally since last month's deadly military crackdown on protests so he could explain the unrest to fellow African leaders.

Mnangagwa scrapped plans to attend the Davos summit of world leaders this week. AFP/File/Jekesai NJIKIZANA

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been under pressure amid reports of at least 12 people killed, hundreds wounded and some women raped.

Spokesman George Charamba in a statement said the president spent his Saturday briefing regional leaders. Mnangagwa earlier in the week blamed Western countries for backing the unrest.

The military remains in the streets, and human rights groups, witnesses and opposition figures continue to report abuses in poor and working-class suburbs.

Zimbabwe army blames brutality on impostors

The army in Zimbabwe says “bogus elements” are responsible for beating and killing civilians – rather than the security forces. The country is in the midst of protests over massive fuel price rises.

International condemnation continues over the crackdown on the protests over steep fuel price increases.

The top US diplomat for Africa says the United States is “deeply concerned”.

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