UN denounces Zimbabwe’s ‘excessive use of force’

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The U.N. human rights office is denouncing reported “excessive use of force” by Zimbabwe’s security forces against protesters opposed to dramatic fuel price increases and austerity measures.

Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters Friday in Geneva: “It’s very difficult to manage a situation like this, but the bottom line is that the use of live ammunition by security forces was used, excessive violence was used.”

She notes the burning of buildings and reports of looting. She says it is unclear whether “opportunists,” like hungry people searching for food, or “demonstrators” were behind it.

Shamdasani calls on all sides to refrain from violence.