UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told Zimbabwe’s president to ensure that security forces “show maximum restraint” and urged its opposition leader to pursue electoral grievances through legal channels.

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Tuesday that the secretary-general phoned President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Monday and told them any legal decision on the election results “would need to be independent.”

Haq said Guterres expressed hope that Zimbabweans “will move forward in unity.” He reiterated U.N. calls on political leaders and the population “to exercise restraint and to reject any form of violence.”

Haq called the calls “constructive,” adding: “Certainly our hope is that the reassurances provided by the leaders will be borne out, also by their supporters.”