EU recalls envoy from Tanzania

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European Union (iStock)
European Union (iStock)

The European Union said on Saturday it has recalled its chief representative in Tanzania to Brussels for discussions, following reports he had been asked to leave by the government.

Roeland van de Geer "has been recalled by his headquarters to Brussels to meet next week with senior officials to discuss the situation in Tanzania," Susanne Mbise, press officer at the EU delegation, told AFP by phone.

The EU, like the United States, has been critical of the government's rights record and in February it condemned recent incidents it said had tarnished Tanzania's relatively good record.

February's statement noted in particular the death of a student killed by a stray bullet fired by police as they broke up an opposition demonstration, and the attempted assassination several months earlier of opposition MP Tundu Lissu.

Rights groups including Amnesty International have protested recent calls by local politicians for homosexuality to be outlawed.

Rights activists claim that President John Magufuli, who came to power in 2015, has cracked down on dissent and freedom of expression.

In February, the Catholic church in Tanzania called on the government to respect democratic rights.

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