Zimbabwe on Sunday summoned the American ambassador after a top adviser of US President Donald Trump blamed the poverty-hit nation of orchestrating ongoing protests in the US against the alleged murder of a black man by a white police officer.
Protests erupted in many states of the US including outside the White House after the death of George Floyd, 46, in police custody. Video footage shows a police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly said he could not breathe.
“Zimbabwe does not consider itself America’s adversary. We prefer having friends and allies to having unhelpful adversity with any other nation including the USA,” said Nick Mangwana, a senior official of Zimbabwe’s Information Ministry, on Twitter.
Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday gave an interview to the country’s broadcaster ABC, claiming foreign adversaries were capitalizing on the ongoing protests in the US, pin-pointing Zimbabwe and China in particular.
He said he saw tweets from Chinese who were “taking pleasure and solace in the chaos in America”, adding that all foreign adversaries involved would not “get away with it”.
Floyd’s death has drawn criticism from the African Union Commission and the UN.
In a statement released on Thursday, UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet called the incident the latest in “a long line of killings of unarmed African-Americans by US police officers and members of the public”.