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US urges Southern Africa to help resolve Zimbabwe crisis

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America’s ambassador to Zimbabwe urged the Southern African Development Community to be more proactive in helping resolve the challenges faced by the country.

The regional bloc should assist in “promoting national dialogue,” Ambassador Brian Nichols said in an interview Friday with Johannesburg-based broadcaster eNCA.

“The country is facing yet another drought and food insecurity problems,” Nichols said. “SADC can play a vital role in supporting that effort.”

Tensions between the two countries have been on the rise since June, after the southern African nation was named as one of the “foreign adversaries” exploiting nationwide protests in the U.S. over the killing of George Floyd.

Zimbabwe authorities have accused the U.S. of meddling in its internal affairs and fueling instability. In July, Patrick Chinamasa, the acting spokesperson of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party, called Nichols “a thug.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry rebuked Nichols this week for engaging in “megaphone diplomacy” by making disparaging public comments and attacks on the government, which it said were in violation of the rules of diplomatic relations.

Regional powerhouse, South Africa, will send a delegation from its ruling African National Congress party, to meet with Zanu-PF officials and other political stakeholders in the country to discuss its problems.

“The meeting, which will be held soon, is part of the usual dialog that we have with ANC,” the state-run Chronicle newspaper cited Obert Mpofu, Zanu-PF’s secretary for administration, as saying.