Category Archives: East Africa

Mogadishu explosion death toll rises

The triple explosion  and following gunfire attack next to the hotel in Mogadishu area claimed lives of 39 people and left 17 wounded, media has been reporting  since November 9 afternoon, when the suicide bomber used his device.

Security guards at the Sahafi hotel and an office next door opened fire after two suicide car bombs went off. A third blast from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” vehicle near the hotel also hit the busy street.

We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday’s blasts,” said a police officer in the Mogadishu.

“The death toll may rise because some people are still missing.” The owner of Sahafi Hotel has been also killed in he attack just three years after his father died in a similar assault.

Al-Shabab claimed it targeted government officials staying at the hotel.

Some reports say armed militants stormed the building guarded by security officers after the first of at least three bomb blasts.

Eyewitnesses spoke of heavy gunfire in the area.

 

 

Ethiopia mass grave investigated

A mass grave with  200 bodies is under Ethiopia police examination, investigating the burial discovered at the border between the Oromia (Oromiya) and Somali regions, state-media said.

The place of  massacre was found during an investigation of a former administrator of the Somali region Abdi Mohammed awaiting a trial over allegations of provoking ethnic clashes, and subsequently facing trial on charges of human rights abuses and stoking clashes, according to the reports of the Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported quoting police officials.

Police has not made public any further details.

Interpol searches for Tanzania abducted tycoon

Africa’s youngest billionaire, kidnapped a week ago (11/10/2018) off the street outside a luxury hotel in Tanzania, was transported in a car that had arrived from “a neighboring country”, police source said, leaving the public to guess which one it might be among Tanzania’s neighbors:  Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

They had identified the car’s owner and driver, police claimed,  although they declined to reveal which country the car had come from, hinting it might cause a diplomatic raw.

Mohammed Dewji, (43) the CEO of the METL Group family conglomerate, was abducted by his he arrival for a morning meeting in Dar es Salaam last week. Forbes estimates his net worth as $1.5 billion, making him Africa’s 17th richest man and its youngest billionaire.

His family have offered a reward of 1 billion Tanzania shillings ($440,000) for information leading to his release.

Tycoon conglomerate, the METL group operates in some 35 industries as diverse as trading, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum, financial services, mobile telephony, infrastructure and real estate, transport, logistics and distribution.

AMANDMENT:  

Mohammed Dewji said he had been released and had returned home safely, publishing a short statement in his Twitter micro blog.

I thank Allah that I have returned home safely. I thank all my fellow Tanzanians, and everyone around the world for their prayers. I thank the authorities of Tanzania, including the Police Force for working for my safe return,” he said in a tweeted messaged.

Wounded and killed Oromos in Ethiopia

Killed and wounded people by security forces in eastern Ethiopia at the weekend were reported by senior regional official.

“The victims were all ethnic Oromos. The perpetrators were members of a paramilitary force,” said Negeri Lencho, spokesman for the Oromiya state administration.

The area has been plagued by instability. At present 37 killed and 44 wounded are reported by Addis media, all of them from Oromia region.

Outbreak of violence in Jijiga

Ethiopian soldiers exchanged fire with members of local government security forces on in the country’s eastern Somali region after central authorities sought to arrest regional officials, via social media witnesses report scenes of violence.

Soldiers were deployed in the province’s capital Jijiga leading to a conflict with the region’s paramilitary forces.

Ethiopia’s Somali region has been plagued by violence for the last two decades. The government has fought the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) since 1984 after the group claimed secession of the region, also known under name of Ogaden.

 

Ten rhinos in Kenya died after transfer

Kenya’s wildlife minister apologized for being rude with  his critics, and  sending them to “hell” while he  comes under mounting pressure over the death of 10 rhinos during a botched transfer.

Tourism and Wildlife Minister Najib Balala had directed the comments to those calling for his resignation over the fiasco during a press conference:

“People need explanations about the rhinos… people are angry. I am also angry,” Balala told. “I have emotions and I reacted. I feel let down by my system that did not act quickly to stop the death of the rhinos.”

Kenyans have been outraged after 10 of 11 rhinos being transferred from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East died after the operation.

The 11th was attacked by lions, and is recovering.

Balala has blamed Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) officials involved in the transfer for “negligence”, suspending six senior officials.

An initial enquiry indicated that the rhinos may have become dehydrated and died after drinking saline water in their new habitat.

The scandal intensified when the former chairman of the KWS board, the world-renowned anthropologist Richard Leakey, released a statement revealing that the board had on three prior occasions blocked the transfer.

He said this was due to “a deep concern about the lack of vegetation in the sanctuary that could sustain rhino, and also, the real issue of available and safe water.”

He also indicated that no new KWS board had been set up in the three months since the one he chaired expired, leaving the decision to carry out the translocation entirely up to Balala’s ministry.

The indignant Kenyans demanded via social media to see the horns of the dead rhinos, KWS displayed the 20 horns to the media last week to allay suspicions.

In yet another blow to the country’s rhino population, the KWS said that a 12-year-old male had been killed by poachers for its horn in Nakuru National Park this week.

EU extended mandate to NAVFOR Somalia operation

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta: Council prolongs the Operation and decides on new headquarters and new Operation Commander.

The Council today extended the mandate of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta until 31 December 2020. The Council also decided to relocate the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Operational Headquarters from Northwood (UK) to Rota (Spain), and to Brest (France) for the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) as of 29 March 2019. It appointed Vice Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacavefrom the Spanish Navy as new Operation Commander to take command from Major General Charlie Stickland on the same date. The relocation and change in command are required due to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU.

Today’s decision also allocated a budget of €11.777 million for the common costs of the operation for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020.

EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta contributes to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach for a peaceful, stable and democratic Somalia.

The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping, monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and supports other EU missions and programmes in the region.

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