Tuesday 24 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Twenty-four people died after a bus collided with a truck in eastern Tanzania on Saturday evening, according to a witness and press reports. "A public transport minibus collided with a truck in Mparanga, in the Mkuranga district," witness John Nyoni told AFP by telephone. "We were able to count with 24 dead and 10 wounded," he added. The Mwananchi daily was among local media to report the crash, quoting police commander Mohamed Likwata. He said the 10 wounded were taken to the Muhimbili National Hospital in the economic capital Dar es Salaam, according to Mwananchi. Road accidents in Tanzania are common, often due to speeding, overloading of vehicles, poor road and vehicle conditions, but also...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Tanzanian police said Wednesday they had arrested a driver and a farmer accused of urging fellow citizens to protest against the increasing authoritarianism of President John Magufuli on social media. A call for nationwide protests on April 26, first launched by an opposition activist, has spread across social media for several weeks, prompting a harsh response from government and even Magufuli himself. "These two people here were inciting others to protest on April 26, saying on social media that there is no freedom, that there is a dictatorship, which is totally false," said police chief...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
The United Nations on Friday conceded that an attack that killed 15 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo late last year exposed "gaps" in how UN troops are trained. The December 7 attack in the Beni territory of North Kivu province was one of the worst to target UN peacekeepers in recent history in the country. Fifteen Tanzanians were killed and 43 other peacekeepers wounded. It was the bloodiest attack against MONUSCO, the UN force deployed in DR Congo...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
A Tanzanian court on Monday handed five-month jail terms to two regime opponents, including a lawmaker, for defaming President John Magufuli, their defence counsel said. Joseph Mbilinyi, a lawmaker with main opposition party Chadema in the southern town of Mbeya, was sentenced with party regional secretary Emmanuel Masonga. They were charged with linking Magufuli in December to the attempted September assassination of senior opposition lawmaker Tundu Lissu and the abduction of other opposition supporters. Lissu, shot several times at his...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/18)
A recent spate of violent attacks in Tanzania threaten the country's democracy, the European Union has said. "We note with concern the recent developments which threaten democratic values and the rights of Tanzanians," the EU said in a statement Friday. The EU said it was "saddened by the tragic shooting" of a student, hit by a stray bullet during an opposition rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam earlier this month, and called for "thorough inquiries into all the...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
An opposition politician was hacked to death at his home in central Tanzania on Thursday night, police said Friday, as his party described the murder as a "political assassination." Godfrey Luena, of the Chadema party, was the elected head of the small Namawala municipality in the central Morogoro Region. He was the second party official to be killed in such circumstances in the past fortnight. Luena's murder was confirmed by regional police commander Ulrich Matei, who said the motive was unknown and the killers were being sought. At a press conference in the economic capital Dar es Salaam...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
More than a hundred Tanzanian civil society groups raised their voices on Wednesday against "unprecedented" violations of human and democratic rights under the government of President John Magufuli. In a rare act of public solidarity, 105 organisations signed a statement warning of "multiple cases (of rights violations), unprecedented in (Tanzania's) history" involving "attacks, torture and forced disappearances of rights activists, journalists, political leaders and even ordinary citizens". They warned of "tension within the country, involving violations of both the freedom of the press and of expression" and raised fears about the "suffocation of democracy" through "...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday ordered an inquiry after police admitted responsibility for the death of a 22-year-old student who was hit by a stray bullet as they sought to break up an opposition rally. The young woman's death on Friday night triggered an outpouring of national anger and demands for justice. "I am profoundly shocked by the death of 22-year-old student Akwilina Maftah," Magufuli said in a posting in Swahili on Twitter. "I have ordered the security forces...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on a bus the day before a fiercely contested parliamentary by-election in the city's Kinondoni constituency, an opposition spokesperson said.
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Separatist campaigners on the East African island of Zanzibar have appealed to a regional court to challenge the legality of its union with mainland Tanzania, they said Thursday. Rashid Salum Adiy, head of the Zanzibar Rights of Freedom and Autonomy (Zarfa) organisation, a group not recognised by the Tanzanian authorities, claims to have the backing of 40,000 supporters for his appeal. Adiy, who has organised protests in the past denouncing the union between Zanzibar and Tanzania, argues the independence-era union...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
A local leader of the main Tanzanian opposition party has been found beaten to death after men bundled him into a car, party chairman Freeman Mbowe said Wednesday. Daniel John was responsible for the Chadema party in the Hananasif district of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, where a heated local election campaign is under way. "Daniel John was kidnapped on Monday in the street by men in a car," Freeman Mbowe told AFP, the leader of the opposition in...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Tanzania's Catholic church on Sunday accused the government of President John Magufuli of violating democratic norms by limiting freedom of expression. "Party political activities, such as public meetings, demonstrations, rallies, debates inside premises, which are after all every citizen's right, have been suspended until the next elections," said a letter penned by the country's Catholic bishops. Denouncing "violations of the constitution and national laws," the bishops pointed to the temporary shutdown of some media outlets, saying it amounted to "restricting citizens' right to be informed" and hence freedom of expression.
(AFP (eng) 02/10/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has announced his country will pull out of the UN's "comprehensive refugee response framework", which provides lasting solutions for refugees, including integration into host communities. "Tanzania has decided to withdraw for reasons of security and lack of funds," a statement said. President Magufuli announced the decision on Friday at a meeting of top diplomats in Dar es Salaam, the country's biggest city. Tanzania informed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in January that it was suspending the granting of citizenship to some Burundian refugees and that it would discourage new asylum applications.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
The defence minister of Democratic Republic of Congo, Crispin Atama Thabe, confirmed Friday that former army colonel John Tshibangu will be extradited from Tanzania to face charges of rebellion. "He will be extradited," Atama Thaba told AFP in a text message. "This is the result of judicial cooperation between our countries." "Unless the Tanzanian government undertakes to try him and have him serve the requisite sentence," the minister added in an SMS exchange. The former colonel is accused of taking up arms against his country, the minister said.
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
A former DR Congo army colonel who threatened an uprising against President Joseph Kabila has been arrested in neighbouring Tanzania, which may be preparing to extradite him, a rights group said Thursday. John Tshibangu, who deserted to rebel against Kabila in 2012, said in a video posted on social media on January 18 that he would "remove" the president within 45 days unless he apologised for a "massacre" of demonstrators on December 31, 2017. Catholic and opposition groups had defied...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.

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