Ongoing Unrest

Feb 15, 2020

As of 14 February 2020, officials have stationed additional police officers throughout the capital Lusaka in an effort to quell any ongoing unrest following rioting and mob violence that broke out across the city on 13 February. Throughout the day, violence occurred in the Chawama, Chibolya, Kanyama and Matero townships, during which residents set fires, blocked roads and attacked individuals whom they accused of spraying harmful chemicals — including gasoline — on homes and businesses. Police officers are investigating several reports of “malicious administering of poison with intent to cause harm” in Lusaka and elsewhere in Zambia; rumors of the attacks prompted the rioting and vigilantism targeting suspects involved in the attacks in the city on 13 February. At least three people were killed during the violence and more than 14 others were injured, including three police officers and 11 university students. Since late January 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka has warned of periodic unrest and instances of mob violence that have occurred in the Copperbelt province; prior to 13 February the suspected chemical attacks and corresponding violence had not affected Lusaka. Additional information is available in the Government Warnings section below

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