HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — South Africa's president says he supports Zimbabwe's government, ignoring reports of human right abuses to crush persistent dissent in the neighboring country.

On a visit to Zimbabwe Tuesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa, repeating calls for an end to Western sanctions and urging the international community to assist the once-prosperous country.

He described the sanctions against Mnangagwa and dozens of other top Zimbabwean officials as "unfair" and "unjust." He promised South Africa will assist Zimbabwe's economic recovery "within our means."

Ramaphosa's comments came as Human Rights Watch issued a report urging him and other southern African leaders to push Zimbabwe's president "to put an end to security force abuses."