EU calls for calm in Zimbabwe after election violence

Supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) of Nelson Chamisa react as they block a street in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union on Thursday called for calm in Zimbabwe, where three people where killed in clashes following Monday’s presidential election.

The deployment of soldiers and their beating of unarmed protesters set back President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to shed Zimbabwe’s pariah status after decades of repression under Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in November.

“Following the shootings and violence that have in the past day already claimed the lives of several people, we appeal for calm and restraint on all sides and for protests to be conducted according to the law,” the European Union’s foreign service (EEAS) said.

The EEAS said that, while the elections were competitive and political freedoms were respected during the campaign, EU observers had pointed out a lack of a truly level playing field.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Kevin Liffey