Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
January 19, 2021
Today, the United States is announcing visa restrictions on Tanzanian officials responsible for or complicit in undermining Tanzania’s October 28, 2020, general elections. The actions of these officials subverted the electoral process, continuing the downward trajectory of the country’s democracy. Election observers and civil society noted widespread irregularities as well as human rights abuses and violations before, during, and after the election. Opposition candidates were routinely disqualified, harassed, and arrested. Significant and widespread voting irregularities, internet disruptions, intimidation of journalists, and violence by security forces made this election neither free nor fair. Civil society leaders remain under threat in the post-election period, and opposition leaders have fled the country out of fear for their safety.
We urge the Government of Tanzania to reverse course and hold accountable those responsible for the flawed election, violence, and intimidation. The United States will continue to closely follow developments in Tanzania and will not hesitate to take additional actions against individuals complicit in undermining democracy and violating human rights. Finally, we emphasize that today’s actions are not directed at the Tanzanian people. We commend Tanzanians who participated in the election peacefully and in good faith, and we will work together with all those committed to advancing democracy, human rights, and mutual prosperity.