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14 jan. 2019 | 09h31 UTC

Zimbabwe: Protests in Harare and Bulawayo over rise in fuel prices Jan. 14 /update 1

Zimbabwe Alerte de sécurité

Violent protests in Harare and Bulawayo January 14 to denounce a planned increase in fuel prices ; further protests likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 14/1/2019, 12h00 until 17/1/2019, 11h59 (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, Harare

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Event

Violent protests are ongoing as of Monday, January 14, in the capital Harare as well as in Bulawayo, to denounce a planned increase in fuel prices. Protesters repotredly burnt tires and used rocks to barricade roads in both cities.

Furthermore, the youth wing of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party are planning to hold a series of anti-government protests the week of January 14.

A heightened security presence, along with associated traffic disruptions, are likley around any demonstration site. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

On January 13, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country's largest trade union confederation, called for a nationwide strike to be held starting on Sunday to protest a planned increase in fuel prices. On January 12, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on national television that gasoline and diesel fuel prices could increase by more than 100 percent in the coming weeks to tackle decreasing fuel supplies.

Nationwide fuel shortages have been ongoing over the past month due to importers' inability to secure foreign currency amid a long-running currency crisis. The country has been experiencing a deteriorating economic situation for more than a year, due in part to a lack of liquidity.

Advice

Individuals present in Zimbabwe are advised to fill up vehicle tanks whenever gasoline is available, ensure a sufficient level of fuel reserves before embarking on long journeys, and postpone nonessential travel until the situation stabilizes. It is also advisable to be vigilant at gas stations, where confrontations between drivers are possible. Furthermore, individuals are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation and avoid any associated protests due to the risk of violence. Those planning travel to the country are advised to bring a sufficient reserve of US dollars.

 

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