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Zambian Prez deploys army to curb violence before polls

IANS | August 02, 2021 11:54 AM

LUSAKA: Zambian President Edgar Lungu has allowed the deployment of the army and other forces in an effort to help the police in containing violence that has marred the run-up to the general elections.

In a social media post on Sunday, Lungu said he has allowed the army, Zambian Air Force and Zambian National Service to help the police deal with the security situation witnessed in some parts of the country ahead of the August 12 polls, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Maintaining law and order is a daily chore of the police, but sometimes they need help from other security wings. I have taken this step in order to ensure that the electoral process -- the work of the Electoral Commission of Zambia -- is not interfered with, " the President added.

The security forces have already been deployed in Lusaka, the country's capital, which has witnessed violence in the last two days resulting in the deaths of two people, said the President, who added that more officers will be deployed in other parts of the country if the situation demands so.

The Zambian leader expressed sadness that people have been killed for exercising their democratic rights and urged political party supporters to exercise maximum restraint.

Two supporters of the governing Patriotic Front (PF) died in Kanyama township in Lusaka following clashes with supporters of the country's main opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), on July 31.

Supporters of the two parties have engaged in violence as they campaign for the general elections, forcing the electoral body, to suspend their campaigns at one time.

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