U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions for Tanzanian officials it said were “responsible for or complicit in undermining” the East African country’s October general elections.
Incumbent President John Magufuli secured a second five-year term in the vote that saw him garner more than 88% of the ballots cast. Opponents said the result was fraudulent and Tundu Lissu, the main opposition leader, has vowed to push ahead with nationwide street protests.
“Election observers and civil society noted widespread irregularities as well as human rights abuses and violations before, during, and after the election,” Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department. “Civil society leaders remain under threat in the post-election period, and opposition leaders have fled the country out of fear for their safety.”
Other Western nations have also criticized the election, saying there were “credible allegations” of irregularities, including ballot stuffing and violence against civilians by security forces. Tanzanian election officials reject the allegations.
“The United States will continue to closely follow developments in Tanzania and will not hesitate to take additional actions against individuals complicit in undermining democracy and violating human rights,” Pompeo said.
“We urge the Government of Tanzania to reverse course and hold accountable those responsible for the flawed election, violence, and intimidation.”