Zambia ‘gravely concerned’ over Mnangagwa statements

In the video Mnangagwa implied that the United States wanted to isolate his country.

Zambia on Thursday said it would seek intervention from regional bodies to resolve a diplomatic tiff with neighbouring Zimbabwe after an "attack" on its sovereignty.

The disputed erupted this month after a video of Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressing discomfort over Zambia's relationship with the United States to Russian leader Vladimir Putin trended on social media.

The leaders held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum where Mnangagwa said the United States was "consolidating their power" in Zambia.

"The government is gravely concerned with its contents which we consider an unwarranted attack on Zambia's sovereignty" Zambia's foreign affairs minister Mulambo Haimbe told parliament referring to the video.

The minister said after checking the video, the government had decided approach regional bodies for "urgent and immediate" mediation.

Africa has become a diplomatic battleground, with the United States, Russia and China vying for influence amid heightened competition for minerals and international divisions fostered by the war in Ukraine.

In April, Washington announced it had established a partnership to "strengthen disaster response and security cooperation between the United States and Zambia".

In the video Mnangagwa implied that the United States wanted to isolate his country.

The United States was strengthening "security and financial support to Zambia to make sure that we feel lonely" the 81-year-old said.

The neighbours have traditionally had a warm relationship but some observers say it has weakened under the leadership of Mnangagwa and Zambia's Hakainde Hichilema.

Lusaka said it wished to continue enjoying cordial relations with its neighbours and Russia.

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