US says it will watch Africa elections closely and has warned of travel bans for those interfering in democratic process and sponsoring electoral violence.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned that his country will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process.
Mr Pompeo said the US will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence.
In a statement, Mr Pompeo said the United States is committed to supporting free, fair, inclusive elections.
“The conduct of elections is important not only for Africans, but also for defenders of democracy around the world. We believe all sides should participate peacefully in the democratic process. Repression and intimidation have no place in democracies,” he stated.
He said the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and association are at the heart of a functioning democracy.
“Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms. We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence,” he said.
“As long-time partners to the nations of Africa, we care about the region’s democratic trajectory and are committed to working constructively with international and regional partners.”