Human rights groups and activists are demanding the release of CIA and State Department files showing how much the US government knew about what they say was a genocide in the 1980s under Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose funeral took place earlier this month in Harare.
For more than a decade before he was toppled in a 2017 coup, Mugabe was barred from travel to most Western nations, including the US, over claims of torture, electoral fraud and killings of political rivals.
But in the years after he took office in 1980 following the overthrow of white minority rule, Mugabe was a regular visitor to Washington at a time when thousands from the minority Matabele tribe around the southern city of Bulawayo were being killed by a special unit reporting directly to the president.
The targets of the campaign were on the losing end of a post-independence power struggle between Mr. Mugabe and rival guerrilla leader Joshua Nkomo of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).
The Mugabe government at the time said it was tracking down a small number of ZAPU “dissidents” who had not honored the peace deal and were robbing locals. The former guerrillas also had killed six tourists, including two Americans, near the town of Victoria Falls.- Washington Times