Thursday 26 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania has threatened to revoke the registration of religious organizations that “mix religion and politics” after a cleric criticized President John Magufuli’s leadership in a Christmas sermon. Opposition leaders in Tanzania say tolerance for dissent has been rapidly disappearing since Magufuli took office in late 2015 with pledges to reform East Africa’s third-biggest economy and crack down on large-scale corruption. Tanzania’s constitution protects freedom of worship, but religious organizations must register at the country’s Home Affairs Ministry to get a license to operate legally. “Recently, some leaders of (religious) societies have been using their sermons to analyze political issues, which is contrary to the law,” the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Projest...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
Mozambique has announced a security crackdown that will target Tanzanians accused of "terrorism" after a spate of attacks in the country's north blamed by authorities on jihadists. In October armed men laid siege to three police stations in Mocimboa de Praia, close to the Tanzanian border, killing a civilian and two officers, according to investigators. As many as 14 attackers were also killed. Then at the end of November unidentified attackers killed two villagers, burned dozens of homes and destroyed a church in the same region. Police spokesman Inacio Dino announced on Tuesday the start of a "terrorist hunt" in the forests around Mutumbate in Cabo Delgado province. Roughly three dozen Tanzanian nationals sought by police will be targeted, Dino...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
The death toll from a boating accident in the Tanzanian waters of Lake Tanganyika rose to 19 on Sunday, after divers recovered six more bodies from the water, a local official told AFP. The accident took place on Friday morning when a boat carrying 135 passengers collided with another carrying 63 people, with an initial toll of 13 dead and nine missing. "Until now, rescue workers have retrieved 19 bodies from the water," regional maritime official Amaniel Sekulu told AFP, adding that three people were still missing. Lake Tanganyika is the world's second largest freshwater lake by volume, and borders four countries, Tanzania...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
The UN's chief peacekeeper was in eastern DR Congo on Friday to visit those wounded in last week's deadly ambush that killed 14, the worst attack on a peacekeeping mission in 24 years. A week after the bloodshed, Jean-Pierre Lacroix was in Goma where he visited around 30 of those injured in the December 7 attack in North Kivu province which targeted a base of the UN's MONUSCO force. The UN said the ambush, which sparked a prolonged gun battle in which 53 peacekeepers were wounded, was carried out by suspected ADF rebels, a shadowy group dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims that is one of several armed groups active in the North Kivu region. All the UN victims, both the...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Tanzania called on Thursday for an investigation into the killing of 14 soldiers serving as UN peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo by suspected Ugandan rebels. "The Tanzanian government is asking the United Nations to conduct a thorough, transparent and genuine investigation," Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam in honour of the soldiers, whose bodies were repatriated on Monday. Tanzanian army chief General Venance Mabeyo said one soldier was still missing and 44 wounded troops were being treated in hospital. "We hope that the United Nations will do this quickly," Majaliwa added, speaking alongside UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
(Xinhuanet 12/14/17)
Tanzania is set to revive the defunct northern railway that connects the seaport city of Tanga to the safari capital of Arusha, a senior official said Wednesday. Tanzania's minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Makame Mbarawa said the Tanga line will start operating early April next year. The 438-km rail line stopped offering services 14 years ago. "Most of our roads doesn't last long because we're using them to transport heavy cargo. That's why we want to improve railway transport across the country," the minister said soon after inspecting the repairs of the line, which have been completed by 83 km. Mbarawa said the revival works aimed at boosting cargo volume, reducing the freight's transport time and costs and supporting...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
The bodies of 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo by suspected Ugandan rebels were repatriated Monday, where the defence minister welcomed them as "heroes". The arrival of the plane carrying 14 white coffins covered with the UN's blue flag was marked by a military ceremony at the international airport in Dar es Salaam. "We are here to welcome our heroes," Tanzanian defence minister Hussein Mwinyi said of the soldiers, all members of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces. They were killed on Thursday in the conflict-torn east of the country after clashes with suspected Ugandan Muslim rebels of the so-called Allied Democratic Forces.
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
The UN force in Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday paid tribute to troops who were killed last week, in the peacekeepers' biggest single loss in nearly a quarter of a century. Tanzanian and Nepalese troops formed a guard for 14 coffins, draped with the Tanzanian flag, in a ceremony near Beni, in North Kivu province. The UN on Sunday revised down the death toll from 15 to 14. While the Tanzanian press has said two other soldiers are missing. "The death of our Tanzanian friends shall be written in the history of the Congolese nation, in tribute to their sacrifice," said Congolese General Leon Mushale. "They will remain in the hearts of the Congolese people." The soldiers were killed...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
The bodies of 15 UN peacekeepers from Tanzania killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be repatriated in the coming days, the Tanzanian army said Sunday. The soldiers were all members of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces participating in a UN peacekeeping operation in the conflict-torn eastern region of the country. Their base in North Kivu province came under attack by suspected Ugandan rebels on Thursday. "We are working with the United Nations on this. The bodies will be repatriated between Tuesday December 12 and Wednesday December 13," Lieutenant General James Mwakibolwa, deputy head of the Tanzanian army, told reporters. The UN has put the death toll from the attack at 15, with 53 wounded. But Tanzania's government continues...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Thirty-eight members of Tanzania's main opposition party, including two lawmakers, have been in custody for a week following local elections, their lawyer said Wednesday. MPs Susan Kiwanga and Peter Lijualikali, as well as 36 other members of the CHADEMA party, were arrested on November 29 in Morogoro, 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Dar es Salaam. They are charged with illegal assembly and damaging property, while the two MPs also face an extra charge of incitement to violence. All deny the charges. "This is a purely political case," their lawyer Peter Kibatala said. "They plead not guilty." The CHADEMA party said their members were arrested after they challenged election results won by the ruling party of President John Magufuli. They...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A Tanzanian journalist who reported on a string of murders of officials and police has been missing for the past two weeks, the two newspapers he works for have said. Azory Gwanda, a reporter for the Mwananchi and The Citizen newspapers, wrote several articles investigating attacks in Kibiti district in Pwani province, which surrounds Tanzania's main city of Dar es Salaam. Some 10 police officers and a similar number of local administrative officials have been killed by mystery motorbike attackers. Gwanda's wife said he vanished on November 21, after he left in a white Toyota Land Cruiser with unknown people on an "emergency trip", telling her he would return the following evening. "She became alarmed after he failed to return...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
At least nine people were missing Wednesday after a boat carrying construction materials capsized while heading toward the Zanzibar archipelago off Tanzania, maritime authorities said. The vessel, the Masha Allah, sank on the route between Tanga and Pemba, one of the two main islands of the archipelago, and none of the three crew members and at least six passengers have been found since the accident was reported on Tuesday morning. The boat was transporting "several tonnes of building materials, mainly cement in bags," said Sheikha Ahmed of the Zanzibar Maritime Authority. Ahmed said the boat may have been overloaded, or the waves particularly high in an area where sinkings are common but are rarely reported. Most boats working the Zanzibar...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Burundi’s main opposition grouping said it is boycotting peace talks that resumed on Tuesday in Tanzania, leaving little chance that the negotiations will end simmering political violence that has claimed hundreds of lives. Burundi has been gripped by unrest since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would stand for a third term, which the opposition said violated the constitution as well as a 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war. He won a vote largely boycotted by the opposition, but protests sparked a government crackdown that has killed more than 700 people...

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