Zambia: Attacks Against Foreign Nationals Add to Tensions
In response to a series of attacks in Lusaka targeting foreign nationals and their businesses, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Freedom House strongly condemns the acts of violence and intimidation in Zambia against foreign nationals, including the looting of businesses in the capital,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “With presidential elections campaign contributing to increased tension and nationalism, the government should ensure the safety of all residents within the country’s borders.”
A wave of riots has plagued the Zambian capital in recent days following unconfirmed reports of foreign nationals being arrested for their alleged involvement in ritual killings. The riots evolved into open looting of businesses, mostly owned by Rwandans and Zimbabweans. The government has responded to the riots with numerous arrests, although many foreigners have been forced to seek refuge for fear of continued and worsening attacks.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.