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HARARE-- The Australian government has commended Zimbabwe for a largely peaceful and increasingly open July 30 general election.

In a statement Tuesday, the Australian government said it noted the strong desire of the people of Zimbabwe to move their country forward as seen by the peaceful participation in the elections.

We note the increased openness of the 2018 elections. We urge that this be built on through increased transparency and accountability in the interests of achieving justice for victims, resolving disputes peacefully and through legal channels- and repairing trust, it said.

The Australian government, however, condemned the violent post-election protests which claimed six lives on Aug 1. In this context it was all the more tragic to see violence and unruly behaviour, and excessive use of force by security forces, on 1 August. Reports of further violence and human rights violations are also deeply

concerning, it said.

Meanwhile Chinese President Xi Jinping has also congratulated President Emmerson Mnangagwa on his election.

In a statement, President XI wished the Zimbabwean government and people to make more achievements in national development under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.

China has close economic and diplomatic ties with Zimbabwe, which it has been keen to maintain after the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe last November.

In April, President Mnangagwa paid a five day state visit to China where he held talks with President Xi.