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Zambian President deploys military to curb violence ahead of upcoming election

Moscow: Zambian President Edgar Lungu has allowed the deployment of the military to prevent violence ahead of the election in the country that is scheduled for next week.

“In order to curb the political violence we have witnessed in the past two days, I have allowed the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and Zambia National Service to help the Zambia Police in dealing with the security situation. Maintaining law and order is a daily chore of the police, but sometimes they need help from other security wings,” Lungu said on Facebook on Sunday.

The president specified that some personnel have already been deployed in the capital, Lusaka.

“We should not allow what happened in Kanyama to be repeated anywhere else in our country. We cannot shed any more blood. I expect all political players to exercise maximum restraint, even under provocation and allow the law to take its course,” Lungu emphasized, lamenting the death of two of his party members during political violence in Kanyama.

Lungu, who has been serving as president of Zambia since 2015, is running for a second term in the August 12 election. His ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party has been accused of repressing its opponents and failing to ensure a stable economy.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia has banned rallies in the country ahead of the election, but multiple clashes between opposing political parties have already occurred.

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