Category Archives: War

Africa: Christmas Day Attack in Somalia

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 26, 2014

The United States strongly condemns the December 25 attack targeting African Union forces in Mogadishu. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the military and civilian personnel who were killed in this cowardly terrorist act. These individuals sacrificed their lives in an effort to bring lasting peace and stability to Somalia. Our support for the people of Somalia, the African Union Mission in Somalia, and Somali government forces in their efforts to defeat al-Shabaab will not waver.

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Warring S.Sudan leaders accept ‘responsibility’ for civil war

From: Yona Maro

SOUTH Sudan President Salva Kiir and his arch-rival rebel chief Riek Machar said Monday they accepted mutual responsibility for a 10-month civil war in which thousands of people have been killed.

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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Brian from Kahawa Sukari, Nairobi writes: “Fr Omolo Beste thank you for your article you posted yesterday about Jihadist war in Iraq. I am particularly touched by the concern of the Holy Father Pope Francis. Yet, I am worried with your headline that it is almost impossible to stop this war. What is the reason for this war and why US is so interested in it? Do you think by firing Iraq Prime Minister is going to stop the war?”

Thank you for the question Brian. The Holy Father is concerned, considering that this war is targeting innocent people including children. According to National spokesman for Iraqi Christians and Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo, the “evil” being carried out by ISIS militants in Iraq now includes shocking beheadings of children. This warning graphic raw photo courtesy Catholic online is quite disturbing-WARNING GRAPHIC, RAW PHOTOS — ISIS on Christians.

ISIS Jihadists are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for a generation. This is crimes against humanity. The whole world should come together to condemn it. After killing the men ISIS militants are taking over their wives and their daughters and making them into their wives.

Christian homes have been the target. This makes the situation not very far from a Christian holocaust. They are absolutely killing every Christian they see. This is because the terrorists that have taken over parts of Iraq have been especially brutal to religious minorities—rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community.

Yes Brian, the reason why I said this is a war which is almost impossible to stop is against the background that the violence in Iraq is being carried out by Jihadists who are not only having global network, but also growing in number rapidly.

Furthermore, the fact that the violence go back to the divisive policies of Saddam Hussein’s regime which had laid the seeds for political tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni minority just give more hints why it is not an easy war.

The situation was made worse by the catastrophic management of Iraq by the US-led coalition forces after the 2003 invasion, a free-for-all struggle for power between Iraqi political groups, and the emergence of Al Qaeda-linked Sunni extremists.

The US thought that by destroying the old order, and by enabling Shiite Islamist parties to claim through free elections Iraq would be peaceful. This has turned the opposite. Islamist extremists among the dozens of Sunni insurgent groups began deliberately to target Shiite civilians. A bomb attack on a Shiite shrine in the town of Samarra in February 2006 triggered revenge attacks by Shiite militias, leading to open conflict in religiously mixed areas.

Some Sunni leaders want equal participation in central government. Others want majority-Sunni areas to become a federal, autonomous entity within Iraq. A minority of extremists wants a total war against Shiites.

This answers your second question as whether Iraq would be peaceful after firing beleaguered Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki. The Iraq President thinks that he is the cause of this war due to what he believes is his wrong policies, especially his alienation of the Sunnis and dictatorial style of governance.

The most significant factor behind Iraq’s problems is not the Prime Minister. It is in fact the inability of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and its Sunni neighbors to come to terms with a government in which the Shias, by virtue of their considerable majority in Iraq’s population, hold the leading role.

This inability was displayed early on, when Iraq’s Sunnis refused to take part in Iraq’s first parliamentary elections, and resorted to insurgency almost immediately after the U.S. invasion and fall of Saddam Hussein.

Your third question why U.S. is interested in Iraq has several reasons. It goes back to days U.S believed Iraq had developed and may have possessed weapons of mass destruction. Another reason for the U.S. declaring war on Iraq is its repeated violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The government justifies the war by saying that since Iraq has violated Resolutions 660, 661, 678, 686, 687 and 688, and is currently violating Resolution 1441, which was passed fairly recently by the U.N. Security council, the U.S. would simply be ‘enforcing international laws by going to war to remove its regime.’ There is another school of thought that U.S. is interested in Iraq’s Oil.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: Juma Mzuri

The SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (MCO) meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia, noted with grave concern the blatant and disproportionate attacks against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, by the State of Israel which has resulted in the deaths and suffering of defenseless Palestinian civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly.

The SADC MCO supports the resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 23 July 2014, which, inter alia, called for an independent investigation into the unwarranted atrocities committed by the Israeli forces against the civilian population of Gaza which may be in violation of humanitarian law and international law principles. The SADC MCO condemns the indiscriminate Israeli bombardment from land, air and sea and the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians.

The SADC MCO further condemns the deliberate and systematic targeting and willful destruction of hospitals, schools, mosques, houses and other critical civilian infrastructures.

The SADC MCO therefore calls for an immediate ceasefire and for the Government of Israel and the Hamas to engage in a monitored dialogue. The Government of Israel and the Hamas are further urged to cooperate with the United Nations Secretary General and others, in their efforts to facilitate a ceasefire and to allow for unfettered humanitarian assistance to reach the wounded and all those in need.

The SADC MCO reaffirms the SADC peoples’ unflinching solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest to realize their right to self-determination and an independent state of their own, living in peace, side-by-side, with the state of Israel.

Did The Pope Just Challenge The Church’s Position On War?

From: Abdalah Hamis

Pope Francis has a habit of saying things that are not necessarily in line with the established teaching of the Catholic Church, but his most recent appeal for peace in the Middle East may put him at odds with a centuries-old Catholic theology concerning the proper use of military force.

Speaking during his weekly Angelus address in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, the first Argentinean pope marked the 100th anniversary of World War I by breaking from his scripted remarks to make an impassioned plea for peace.

“Please stop!” he said, referring to war as his voice cracked with emotion. “I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!”

His remarks appeared to be primarily directed at the escalating conflict in Israel and Palestine, with the pope speaking of how war injures, mutilates, and orphans children. He then made another bold proclamation: ”Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! Everything is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace. Never more war.”

The pope’s emotional remarks were no doubt moving for many Christians — especially those fighting to survive in the Holy Land — but few likely saw them as surprising. Appeals to pacifism and nonviolence are nothing new in Christianity, which is rooted in the biblical commandment “thou shalt not kill” and Jesus Christ’s instruction to “turn the other cheek” when confronted with violence. In fact, pacifism is cited as a foundational theological idea for entire Christian denominations, such as the Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish, groups whose devotees are regularly granted “conscientious objector” status during wartime because of their religious beliefs. For his part, Pope Francis has repeatedly prayed for peace in various war-torn regions, as has virtually every pope before him — including Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor.

But Francis’ bold assertion of “never war” is a bit out-of-character for a sitting pope, because, technically speaking, the Catholic Church doesn’t actually think that people should “never” go to war. On the contrary, the Catholic Church has been an active participant in several violent conflicts, and pope Francis’ words appear to directly dispute an established — albeit controversial — Catholic theology known as “Just War Doctrine.”

At its core, Just War Doctrine — a distinctly Catholic subset of the larger conversation around Just War Theory — is essentially the belief that war can, in certain circumstances, be “just.” These circumstances are very specific, and the exact definition of what constitutes a “just war” has been disputed by various Catholic theologians over the centuries. The term itself originated with Saint Augustine of Hippo, a highly influential 4th and 5th century Christian leader who outlined a form of justifiable violence in his seminal work, “City of God.” In it, Augustine lamented the idea that violence should exist at all, but nonetheless argued that, “They who have waged war in obedience to the divine command…by no means violated the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’” This idea was expanded several centuries later by Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican priest and theologian who lived in the 13th century. He penned a treatise entitled “The Just War” outlining tests for gauging the morality of a conflict, a list that was nuanced and enhanced a few centuries later by various Spanish and Portuguese monks as part of the philosophical “School of Salamanca.”

All of this culminated with the formal codification of a “Just War Doctrine” withinCatechism of the Catholic Church in 1993, where paragraph 2309 outlines four “strict conditions” that must be met for lethal force to be categorized as “just” by the church. They are:From: Abdalah Hamis
Date: Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 4:36 AM

The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
There must be serious prospects of success;
The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

This theology has been claimed by the church on multiple occasions to justify war. The crusades are an obvious example of the church invoking several early forms of the Just War Doctrine, with Catholic leaders justifying the series of bloody engagements by arguing that Palestine needed to be freed from Muslim rule. Pope Francis called World War I a “useless massacre” this weekend, but during that conflict, prominent Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore issued a letter to U.S. Catholics that invoked Just War principles and implored all Catholics to support U.S. involvement in the war. The act lead to the creation of the U.S. Bishops’ “National Catholic War Council,” which was reportedly tasked with recruiting as many Catholics as possible for “war work.” The Catholic Church itself has been more hesitant to formally endorse a single war as “just” in recent decades, but that hasn’t stopped scores of Catholic theologians from sparring over whether or not intervention in conflicts such as the crisis in Syria constitute a justifiable use of military force.

And while the term was originally a religious idea, it has since been appropriated by various American political leaders. This is partially due to the influence of 20th century Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who embraced just war and established the notion of “Christian realism” that multiple American politicians on both sides of the aisle still hold dear. Some have argued, for instance, that the War in Iraq was a just war, and the vast majority of Americans say the same about World War II. President Obama, who cites Niebuhr as his favorite theologian, discussed his own complex attitudes toward the idea when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. But as the sheer number of these so-called “just wars” have grown, more than a few have questioned whether the concept — even with its narrow definitions — is simply the rallying cry for anyone who engages in war, since virtually all warriors claim their cause is just.

Francis’ words on Sunday appear to echo these criticisms. By asserting “never war, never war” while lifting up the plight of dead or orphaned children, he hints the violence, however well-intentioned or sensibly executed, only leads to death and destruction, and thus cannot be moral. His remarks channel the frustration of millions caught up in conflicts in places like Syria, Ukraine, and Israel-Palestine, where thousands are killed or displaced simply for standing in the way of opposing forces.

Francis’ new anti-war stance may be catching on. Although his remarks are barely 24 hours old, writers already are using his words to make bold calls for radical peace.


from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Joni from Nairobi writes: “Fr Omolo Beste Jubilee government claims that Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) are responsible for killing people at Mpeketoni, which according to Internal Security Secretary Ole Lenku and President Uhuru Kenyatta was planned and orchestrated by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

In 2010 then Lamu West MP Fahim Twaha claimed that a son of President Jomo Kenyatta, Mr Peter Muigai Kenyatta, Mzee Kenyatta’s eldest son was illegally allocated 50,000 acres of prime land at the Mpeketoni scheme in Lamu District. Could this be the reason why Uhuru is trying to bring in MRC and ruling out Al-Shabaab militias?

Mr Twaha told a public rally held at Mkunguni in Lamu town that the land was given to Mr Muigai Kenyatta because of weaknesses in the land processing system. He told a rally attended by then Lands Minister Joseph Nyagah and assistant ministers Zebedeo Opore and Francis Tarar that flaws in the land acquisition process had denied a lot of people their rightful share.

This claim is similar to the story by the Standard digital description how Mpeketoni came to be. It was created as a settlement in the late 1960s and early 1970s by President Jomo Kenyatta to settle landless Kenyans, mainly from Murang’a and other parts of the former Central Kenya, who were expelled from Tanzania after the collapse of first East Africa Community. And that explains why the majority of the occupants of Mpeketoni are Kikuyus.

According to the story, the settlement was centred on a fresh water lake named after the first President of Kenya. The original inhabitants were Bajuni and Watta who were soon outnumbered by the newcomers.

Mpeketoni township, owes its name to an admixture of Kiswahili “Mpe” meaning “give” and carton (English) — “Mpe katoni”. Locals say that as the landless settlers got off the lorries that transported them to the settlement with cartons bearing their essentials, the officer-in-charge barked, “Mpe katoni” (give him/her the carton). “Mpe katoni” later evolved to Mpeketoni, the popular name of the settlement.

By June 1977, the Mpeketoni scheme was fully occupied with 3,480 settlement plots covering an area of 14,224 hectares, with one settler’s allocation averaging 10 acres. Their numbers have grown by leaps and bounds and according to the 2009 census report, the population is nearing 50,000 with the age of the second generation averaging 37 years old.

Another question Father is, how comes that despite what President Uhuru claims that intelligence informed the security about Mpeketoni attack but did not act. Why was there a poor response from both police and the military, eliciting public outrage? How could the killing take 6 good hours without the knowledge of the police and government? This is outrageous.

Recently, it has been in the limelight with indigenous communities complaining that the 2007/8 Internally Displaced Persons were being ferried to the area. Why could the government do this without involving the locals? And why bring only one particular ethnic community?

This is very elaborate analysis Joni. The Standard digital description you have quoted about Mpeketoni to my opinion is why President Uhuru Kenyatta is alleging that Cord leader Raila Odinga used Mombasa Republican Council to fuel ethnic cleansing in Mpeketoni, aiming at Kikuyu community who are practically the occupants of the region.

Remember Joni, Uhuru and his deputy Ruto have cases at The Hague related to ethnic cleansing and to convince the world that Raila is the architect of ethnic violence could probably reduce the ICC case. Recently the ICC Chief Prosecutor added the 1992 classes when Ruto and his team used Kanu for youth 1992 to force Moi’s comeback.

During this periods Kikuyus were the targets in the Rift Valley. Mwai Kibaki’s DP party had become a threat in the province and in order to win they had to be moved out. This resulted to hundreds of deaths, loss of properties, trauma and landlessness.

Again Joni, you remember Ole Lenku saying in public that Raila is to blame for the attack at Mpeketoni because he has history of ethnic violence, referring also to the 2007/2008 post-election violence and the 1982 coup to remove Moi from power.

This according to my opinion is to come in to demonstrate to the world and ICC that Raila is to blame for 2007/2008 post-election violence to ease The Hague case. The idea in short is that all political or any type of violence in Kenya is orchestrated by Raila.

Uhuru and ole Lenku were to bring in the MRC, ruling out Al-Shabaab militias to convince Kenyans and the world that this was Raila’s plan. What is very clear is that Kenyatta family have been accused of grabbing big chunks of land, leaving many Coastal residence landless.
MRC was formed in 1999 was to address perceived political and economic discrimination, and land grabbing. The group traces its secession claims to the 1895 and 1963 agreements transferring the ten-mile strip of land along the coast to the Government of Kenya from Zanzibar.

MRC want this agreement which some critics characterize these as a form of bribery designed to facilitate colonization of the interior revoked. Their efforts to plead with Uhuru government to do so has never been successful.

The group contests these agreements as invalid, because they were enacted without the consent of coastal stakeholders, and says the state of Kenya has failed to honor the provisions designed to protect the coastal population.

The MRC was dormant until 2008, when it first raised claims that Mombasa should secede from Kenya to become an independent state. They argued that secession would liberate the people of the coast province from marginalization by the successive governments in Kenya. It would also enabled them claim back their grabbed land.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste


from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014

Sura mbili writes via Facebook: “How can 50 armed terrorists on foot, hijack two matatu vehicles and take hostage a busy town centre for more than four hours, leaving about 50 people dead, trailing a huge destruction of property worth billions of shillings without any information being leaked in by our intelligence organs?.

For how long are we going to allow this to happen? I have said in this page that the government must overhaul our intelligence network. The government must start its intelligence from the village level and cut any bureaucracy in between. The president should be able to get all the information on intelligence from the village level through our intelligence network and which is not happening.

The president must have his private intelligence which apart from national intelligence, is trusted with state security intelligence. This organ will be trusted with all other security intelligence for clarity. Currently we are being fed with unconfirmed intelligence information, which sometimes is not reliable.

Let us wake up to reality that terrorism is here with us and find ways of improving our intelligence networks to conform with the current trends of terrorists. Politicians should stop this nonsense of blaming one another”.

Although this is a good advice to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government Sura mbili, there are numerous reasons why Uhuru will not allow this to happen. One of the reasons is what I answered in September 27, 2013-click here WHY PRESIDENT UHURU WON’T SACK NIS to read more.

This was an response to NARC Kenya chairperson, Martha Karua who had said that it would be impossible for President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack NIS boss Michael Gichangi, not only because he was appointed on basis of tribal, but because Gichangi is his confidante.

Karua sensationally said President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Intelligence Service (NIS) boss, Brigadier Michael Gichangi, are incompetent on how they have handled country’s security matters especially Saturday’s Westgate terror attack.

On her twitter account, Karua put blame on the NIS head over the deteriorating security in the country, saying that if the NIS was active and competent, Westgate’s terrorists attack could have been prevented from happening.

Like Karua, members of the National Assembly had also accused the National Intelligence Service of laxity, saying the agency’s director General Michael Gichangi has failed to lead from the front.

Political analyst, Mutahi Ngunyi looked at it differently. He wanted Kenyatta, not only to fire Gichangi, but also Chief of General Staff, General Julius Karangi and Interior Ministry Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Ole Lenku for their incompetence over Westgate Mall’s terrorist attack.

Sura mbili, it might be easy for Jubilee government to deny, but the fact is and remains that Kenya’s security agencies are covertly politicized and as a result overtly ethnicized. That is why all security agencies do not pass the minimum test of Article 232 of the Constitution on Values and Principles of Public Service.

If you Uhuru was genuinely against terrorism, then he must of essence return the National Police Service (Amendment) Bill, 2014 to the National Assembly for further re-alignment in line with Article 2(1)(3) of the Constitution. That is also why the “Nyumba Kumi” concept is not effective.

It is also why, even though on November 7, 2013 Uhuru told corrupt senior officers in his office to either resign or be sacked, that has not happen because of politics. Uhuru knew and worked with them during his time at the Treasury when he was the minister of Finance.

That is why no senior officer has resigned or been sacked from his office. It is also why he won’t focus onto overall police productivity in terms of crime detection, response and management, despite the fact that there is need for urgent changes to police workforce policies and practices to assist police officers to respond more effectively to the challenges the government faces currently.

If it were not because of politics Uhru would have attained a police service that embraces successful initiatives and addresses gaps in the modernization agenda to be developed. Otherwise he would have spent whatever it takes, hire and fire high level security leaders without favour or fear.

Had it not because of politics, Uhuru would have created a new security agency, whose job would be to patrol and secure the national borders and its officers deployed in counties that are close to borders.

The President would also stick to his promise that he would expand the National Police Service by hiring 15,000 police officers every year over the next five years. These officers would be given modern equipment to combat crime.

It is not enough to allocate sufficient security budgets if this was not accompanied with transparency, eliminate wastage and guarantee quality and value for public funds. If this money is not looted it would create a command that would ensure all security agencies work together and to “establish functional linkages through training and command structure of various disciplines of the armed forces.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Rights Group Condemns the Killing of Innocent Civilians in UNMISS Compound

From: South Sudan Press
April 17, 2014
Press Release

Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) Condemns the Targeted killing of Innocent Nuer Civilians house at the UNMISS Compound in Bor Town and Urge UNMISS to immediately relocate all IDPS to Safe Areas

Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) condemns in the strongest term possible the deliberate and targeted killing of innocent Nuer Civilians housed in the UNMISS Compound in Bor Town and urge UNMISS to immediately relocate all Nuer ethnic IDPS from Government controlled areas since the UNMISS protection force cannot adequately protect them. ASSD urge the International Community to do more in speeding up the relocation process of those IDPs before it is too late.

ASSD specifically urge elements of the Dinka Bor youths not to drag this war to their own community since the genesis of this conflict was a political one. ASSD strongly condemns and urge Dinka Bor politicians in the Kiir led government not to localize national issues where innocent youths of Bor Dinka ethnic background are being deliberately misled to attack their long time neighbors, the Nuer. The consequences of targeted killing of innocent Nuer civilians or any ethnically related killings does not and will not serve anyone’s interest but widen this conflict where all will be fair game.

ASSD leadership would like to request the UN, United States of America, African Union, Canada, United Kingdom, and Norway to immediately intervene and ensure that the signed cessation of hostility agreement is implemented by the South Sudanese warring parties.

ASSD urge Ugandan President Yoweri Musseveni and foreign forces in South Sudan to with draw immediately and stop meddling in South Sudan’s internal affairs.

For more information, please call us at +1(202) 709- 7322 or via email .
Department of Information and Public Affairs
Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD)
Washington, DC, USA
+1(202) 709-7322


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Chris from Nairobi writes: “Father Beste you are the one who can make me understand this operation better. Kenyan interior minister Joseph ole Lenku has banned all Somalia refugees residing in Kenyan towns to go back to their refugees’ camps. In your opinion do you think this can end al Shabaab operations in the country?”

Thank you for this important question Chris. This verdict came days after worshippers in church in the coastal town of Kenya Mombasa were attacked leaving at least six dead and many others injured. In my own opinion I don’t think this can end al Shabaab operations in the country.

Somali refugees have been living in Kenyan main towns over two decades since the fall of the central Somali government in early 1990. You will agree with me that since then the Somalis refugees have been living peacefully.

For ole Lenku to end al Shabaab operations in the country he is first of all to know the reason why they target Kenya. The attack began in October 2011-June 2012 when Kenya and Ethiopia helped the Somali government fight and reduce al-Shabaab’s control over Somalia via Operation Linda Nchi.

This attack will only end when Kenyan troops stop withdraw from Somalia. Since al-Shabaab saw itself as fighting for the spread of Islam — the Islamist jihadi version — Kenya was guilty of assaulting God and the Prophet Mohammed. Islamist jihadi law asserts the punishment for such an offense is death.

Understood this way, even if you send all the refugees back to Somalia al Shabaab operations in Kenya will continue. They need a soft, high-profile target that would result in numerous dead civilians in the most horrific manner. It explains why Westgate attack was perfect for this.

It explains further why in July 2010, al-Shabaab suicide bombers attacked two sports clubs in Kampala, Uganda, packed with civilians watching the FIFA World Cup final. The explosions killed 74 and wounded 70 — revenge and Islamist jihadi “defense” for Uganda’s participation in the United Nation’s African Union Mission in Somalia.

The reason why al Shabaab will continue its operations in Kenya and its neighboring countries even if all Somalis refugees are sent back is that al Shabaab has strengthened its movements in Kenya. They have even trained Kenyans in their camps.

It also means that Islamist jihadism has expanded in Africa. That is why aside from Somalia and Kenya, al-Qaida-related groups are increasingly active in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Nigeria and Tanzania. That is why al-Shabaab has not only become a more serious threat to Kenya but also Africa and the international community.

The top tier of al-Shabab’s leadership is composed of committed international jihadis, many of whom have fought in Afghanistan and other battlefields of the war on terrorism, which derive a good deal of their political and financial backing from the Somali diaspora, and especially from the thriving Nairobi community of Eastleigh (which is often called “Little Mogadishu”).

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Death Squads in Kenya’s Shadow War on Shabaab Sympathizers

From: Sam Muigai

– – – – – – – – – – –

Death Squads in Kenya’s Shadow War on Shabaab Sympathizers
The United States supports Nairobi’s fight against terrorists, but it’s getting very ugly.

MOMBASA, Kenya—“The state wants to kill me,” the 53-year-old jihadist Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, better known as “Makaburi,” told me in late February. He said he was sure that one day he’d be gunned down by “unknown assailants” on a street in Mombasa. That’s how so many controversial Islamic leaders have died in Kenya in recent months, he said. And then, earlier this week, the prophecy came true.

On Tuesday, “unknown assailants” gunned down Makaburi as he was leaving a courthouse outside Mombasa. Makaburi was waiting by the side of the road along with four other preachers when a vehicle pulled up and sprayed them with bullets. Witnesses reportedly saw Makaburi’s body, swaddled in a white kanzu, or robe, lying partly in a ditch. His colleague Sheikh Bohero also was killed.

[ . . . ]

read more;

S. Sudan: Ugandan Air Force Bombs Civilians in Jonglei, Cluster Bombs Used

From: South Sudan Press

South Sudan’s rebels have on Tuesday accused Ugandan air force of carrying out aerial bombardments in Jonglei State.

In a press statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency, the head of the SPLM/A Delegation-in opposition to the Peace Talks in Ethiopia, General Taban Deng Gai, said that Juba and Kampala began air campaigns against civilians on the 26th of February 2014 using dangerous weapons.

“On February 26, they [UPDF & SPLA] bombed Pamai cattle camp and on the 2nd and 3rd of March, they bombed Wech-Kol Payam all in Uror County-Jonglei State killing women, children, elderly, and livestock using cluster bombs”, Gai said in the statement.

“The exact number of casualties is yet to be established and more information will follow”, He continues.

Gai declares that the latest air campaign against civilians in Jonglei State violates the Ceasefire signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and warns that the peace talks could not go as planned. Gai also calls on the International Community to take action against Uganda, and asks the United Nations to investigate the use of banned weapons.

“SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] calls on IGAD, the AU, the Troika countries, EU and UN to exert more pressure on Uganda to immediately cease all forms of indiscriminate aerial bombardments and to withdraw its forces from all territories of South Sudan. We call upon the United Nations to investigate the use of prohibited weapons such as cluster bombs by the Government of South Sudan and the Uganda Air Force”, Gai said.

“This continuous violation of the CoH may jeopardise the Peace Process that is already underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia”, he added.

Last month, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) found remnants of cluster bombs in Jonglei, prompting the United Nations to launch an investigation.

Regional observers have on many occasions cautioned that the continuous involvement of Uganda’s military in the conflict could cause a regional war. But Uganda claims it has interests in the young nation’s internal affairs and that its fight alongside South Sudan government’s troops against rebels is justified.

Kenyan Lawmakers Want Uganda out of South Sudan, Accuse Museveni of “Hidden Interests”

From: Sam Muigai

Senators of the Kenyan political block, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) have expressed their concerns over Uganda’s military involvement in South Sudan and urged the Kenyan government to stop Uganda’s one-sided policy in the world’s newest nation.

The two senators, Hassan Omar and James Orengo charged Uganda’s president of pursuing “hidden interests” and want him to publicly declare the interests he is pursuing.

The Lawmakers also asked the Ugandan President to immediately withdraw his troops from South Sudan and urged him to give peace a chance.

“We are telling the Kenyan government to ask Museveni to quit fighting in South Sudan with immediate effect. He is the one who is fueling the conflict by supporting one side”, Senator Hassan Omar argues.

Senator James Orengo went further saying the Ugandan president should leave “the Island of Migingo” alone before meddling in the young nation’s affairs.

“Museveni is an aggressor and if the truth be told he can only morally intervene in the South Sudan if he can leave alone the Island of Migingo because it belongs to the people of Kenya”, Orengo said.

The lawmakers further accused Museveni of “sabotaging the peace process” currently taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is widely hated in South Sudan because of his military intervention.

Most South Sudanese believe that the alleged coup claimed by President Kiir was actually a plan given to him (Kiir) by Museveni to get rid of all his political rivals


News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

It is worth appreciation the way and manner in which the former Israel Prime Minister, the late Aerial Sharon, was given the highest honour of military sending off before his burial

Given Sharon deserved the heroic burial taking into account his both political and military history in the Jewish state since its formation in 1948.

But the most recent was his military role in the Yom Koppur war of October 1973.

The Egyptians 3rd army had launched a surprise attack against the the Israeli security network in the Sinai dessert and crossed through the them seemingly impregnable Barlev Line, the Israeli defensive line in the Mt Sinai desert. The Egyptians took advantage of the Yom Koppur holidays when most Israeli soldiers guarding their country’s defensive line were less attentive.

Gen. Sharon, while commanding the Israeli tank brigade, launched an elaborate counter attack offensive and encircled the Arabs armies, besieged them and managed to cross the Suez Canal

Thousands in the Egyptians army which had broken the Barlev line were surprised and besieged when they were cornered in the dessert and forced to retreat in disarray leaving behind tanks and other important military armaments. The Egyptian soldiers had even taken off their military boots and abandoned them in the desert together with guns .This was after two days of tank-to-tank battle in the desert. The Egyptian abandoned ultra modern Russian made tanks, some of them intact, while others were disabled.

At the time when the ceasefire which was brokered by the UN Security Council the US and the international community come into effect. Gen. Sharon and his tank brigade had already crossed the Suez Canal water way and were only 45 kilometer from Cairo. the Egyptian soldiers abandoned their army uniform and boots as well as guns in the dessert while fleeing from Gen. Sharon and his men.

Records show that Gen. Sharon took active part in the 1948 war which resulted in the creation of the State of Israel. This was a hit and run guerrillas like war. In the six day middle East war of 1967 against the huge Arab armies comprising combined forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria had received a thorough beating by him. Gen. Sharon was in the tank brigade that smashed Syria defensive line in the Golan Heights. He therefore deserved all sorts of public and military honour for his heroic background.

In the battle of Sinai desert, Gen Sharon was wounded in the forehead, and newspaper reports flushed his heavily bandaged fore head to the world.

In the 1948 war of independence. He was among the disciples of the one eyed Gen. Moshe Dayan.

thousands of Israeli citizens had staged a noisy demonstrations in Jel Aviv streets ,while shouting their support for Gen. Moshe Dayan. Kaczet (parliament) had forced the then prime minister Ben gurion to appoint Dayan to a term as the Defence Minister.

Gen. Sharon was later to serve both as foreign minister and PM respectively

As young Kenyan journalists under going social studies sponsored by the Kenya Federation of Labor under the late Tom Mboya IN 1962, We studied at the Kibutzi managed by the Stardust & The Israel Federation of Workers. I had the good luck of shaking haunts with Gen. Sharon at the five star King David Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1963 and also on two occasions shared a handshake which another former PM and foreign Minister Mr. Golda Meir and Abba Eban, the linguists Foreign Minister of Israel and other old politicians of those days..

However, I was so disappointed to read the comment by one of the Palestine politician who depicted Gen. Sharon a criminal man who died without having faced punishment for his crimes against human beings for his role in the massacre of Palestinian refugee in Lebanon

By all standard, Gen Sharon died as a hero who had served his country diligently, selflessly with zeal and dedication

I must take this opportunity to sincerely thank the government of Israel for having accorded Gen.Sharon the most colorful and fitting heroic burial


What about deterrence in an era of cyberwar?

From: Yona Maro

Deterrence really is about the ability to alter an adversary’s actions by changing its cost-benefit calculations. It reflects subjective, psychological assessments, a “state of mind,” as the US Department of Defense says, “brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction.” In addition to massive retaliation, the adversary’s decisions can also be affected by defenses, in what has been called “deterrence by denial.” If you can’t get what you want by attacking, then you won’t attack in the first place.

The effect of this on real-world politics is driven by the fact that the question of “who” in cyberspace is far more difficult than ever could have been imagined by the original thinkers on deterrence theory back in the 1950s. Tanks and missile launches are hard to disguise, while networks of compromised machines or tools like Tor make anonymity easy. The threat of counterstrike requires knowing who launched the initial attack, a difficult thing to prove in cyberspace, especially in a fast-moving crisis. Computer code does not have a return address, and sophisticated attackers have grown adept at hiding their tracks. So painstaking forensic research is required, and, as we saw, it’s rarely definitive.

Moreover, for the purposes of deterrence, it’s not enough to trace an attack back to a computer or find out who was operating a specific computer. Strategically, we must know what political actor was responsible, in order to change their calculations.

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By a special Correspondent

Reports emerging from the northern Kenya town of Moyale, which is close to the Kenya – Ethiopia border in Marsarbit county has its 48,000 people displaced following incessant fighting between rivals tribal militias groups have left the town in dissolute state.

Out of the 12 locations that make up Moyale sub-county of Marsabit County only a two people have remained in their homes which the track of the turn’s population estimated to about 82,000 have fled leaving only a few people behind following incessant fighting between the tribal militias groups, which has claimed dozen of lives in the recent past

The rural militias groups represented the various different communities which included Gabra and Burji on one hand and the Borans on the other.

It is only in three locations of Bori, Dabel Somare and Nana locations where people are still holding on to there properties. These areas are mainly occupied by members of minority Gorse and Sakuye communities who are not taking part in the ethnic war.

The regional parties’ boss in the area confirmed that the fighting had erupted in the area way back in July this year and has continued intermittently with properties worth millions of shillings destroyed.

At the same time the government has announced plans to disarm the armed police reservists operating in the war ravaged county. The deputy regional commissioner Kanunyaan Chedotum said the reservist who are commonly referred to as home guards, are reported to have been taking sides in the fighting on tribal line while using their licensed guns.

The home guards are supposed to supplement the work of the police but most of them have been tribal militias using the officially licensed guns which fighting alongside their tribal militias.

Moyale is the Commercial border town that connect Kenya with Ethiopia, is reported to the admires on its knees, especially from December 4, when the war erupted for the first time.

So far houses belonging to Boranas and Burji have been burned down.

The fighting recently intensified as the militias taught for close to five consecutive days using heavy artillery, and the train in those areas are said to be rugged making it impossible for security personnel to reach trouble spots. It is rushed into deep hills and valleys that are impassable. The region is rugged with deep hills and valleys that are impassable.

U.S. aircraft hit by gunfire while trying to evacuate Americans in South Sudan

From: Tracy John Kimambo

There is nothing the civilized world can do except block them from travelling outside their countries and let them fight it out and resolve it themselves. This means all countries. That will never happen but that is what is needed to be done.

– – – – – – – – – – –

On Sunday, December 22, 2013 10:55:55 AM UTC+3, Mayunga H J wrote:

This sound interest,

“Any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community.” Obama

Then if it happen in Syria or Libya it is Justified. ?

Hermengild Mayunga
Senior Consultant
Tanzania Parliamentary Against Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases (TAPAMA&NTD)

Tel +255 784 520680
Tel +255 752 520680

On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM, Abdalah Hamis hami…@ wrote:

JUBA (Reuters) – Three U.S. aircraft came under fire from unidentified forces on Saturday while trying to evacuate Americans from a spiraling conflict in South Sudan. The U.S. military said four of its members were wounded in the attacks.

Nearly a week of fighting in South Sudan threatens to drag the world’s newest country into a Dinka-Nuer ethnic civil war just two years after it won independence from Sudan with strong support from successive U.S. administrations.

The U.S. aircraft came under fire while approaching the evacuation site, the military’s Africa Command said in a statement. “The aircraft diverted to an airfield outside the country and aborted the mission,” it added.

The statement said all of the three Osprey CV-22 aircraft involved in the mission had been damaged.

Consequently, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that any move to take power by military means would lead to an end of U.S. and international community support for South Sudan.

Readout of President Obama’s Updates on South Sudan

by The White House

Last night, upon landing in Hawaii, President Obama was updated on Air Force One on the status of the four American service members who were wounded attempting to evacuate American citizens in Bor, South Sudan. He directed
his national security team to ensure the safety of our military personnel, and to continue to work with the United Nations to evacuate our citizens from Bor.

This morning, following a meeting of his national security principals that was led by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, President Obama participated in a secure call with Ambassador Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, and Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris to update him on the situation in South Sudan. The President was briefed on the status of our military personnel, and the safety of our citizens in Bor and U.S. personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Juba. The President was pleased that our service members are in stable condition, and reaffirmed the importance of continuing to work with the United Nations to secure our citizens in Bor. He underscored that South Sudan’s leaders have a responsibility to support our efforts to secure American personnel and citizens in Juba and Bor.

More broadly, the President underscored the urgency of helping to support efforts to resolve the differences within South Sudan through dialogue. South Sudan’s leaders must know that continued violence will endanger the people of South Sudan and the hard-earned progress of independence. This conflict can only be resolved peacefully through negotiations. Any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community.

President Obama expressed his deep appreciation for the work of our military and civilians who are operating in difficult circumstances in South Sudan and directed his team to continue to update him going forward.



May take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt profound condolence to the family and friends of the late Nyeri fierce politician Waruru KANJA.

I Knew the late Waruru Kanja way back in 1957 when he led a group of hard-core Mau Mau detainees on Mageta Island, Bondo district, now Siaya County, who were involved in jailbreak after killing the European prison commander who was in charge of the camp.

After killing the prison boss, the group escaped MAGETA Island using a makeshift raft and swam across the Nyanza Gulf {formerly Kavirondo Gulf and landed at Ulugi, near Lihanda beach on Rusinga Island in what was then known as South Nyanza distric after swimming for more that 14 hours.

The fugitives were given shelter by the LUO Elders who gave the them accomodation and food inside hideout houses, but only after separating them in four groups. The colonial police launched an elaborate search for the jail breakers both aerially using the police air-wing and motor-boats. The search also went on into the villagers on the mainland locations of Yimbo, Sakwa and Uyoma.

The colonial authorities used motor-boats and even sent their agents to the twin fishing islands of Rusinga, but all in vain, Warurur Kanja and his friends had been issued with new clothes and were living safely in the villages.

I met the late ex-Mau Mau detainee in the 1980s while he was serving in the cabinet as a Minister and Nyeri Town MP in Parliament Building over a cup of tea, and I found his memory to be very fresh. He could easily recognize me, though many years had lapsed because in 1957 I was a young man of 18 of age. Mzee Kanja was a true nationalist and freedom fighter apart from being detribalized person and humanist

May Almighty God give his soul eternal peace.

veteran journalist-cum-Author

Facts: Tanzania hand-in-hand with The ANC and turn to armed struggle

From: Abdalah Hamis


Tanzania, situated on the eastern part of the African continent, was colonised by Germany in 1884 and named Tanganyika. However, the territory of Zanzibar, which consists of the two islands Unguja (Zanzibar Island) and Pemba, became a single British Protectorate in 1890. After the First World War, the League of Nations mandated Britain to take over the territory of Tanganyika in 1918. Leading African labour activists formed the African Association (AA) in 1927, but the body remained largely ineffective.

In 1948 the AA reconstituted itself as the Tanganyika African Association (TAA), which began calling for constitutional reforms that reflected African interests. The TAA criticised racial discrimination, calling for the Africanisation of the civil service and increased expenditure for educational loans. In April 1953 Julius Nyerere was elected the president of the TAA, defeating his rival Abdulwahid Sykes. On 7 July 1954, the Tanzanian African National Union (TANU) was formed in Dar-es Salaan and succeeded the TAA.

TANU grew in popularity in various areas of Dar-es Salaam, growing its membership in urban and peri-urban areas. The British attempted to establish systems that would protect their interests and those of the settler population, in particular by
organising an electoral system in the period from 1957 to 1958. When

Legislative Council elections were held, TANU won all the seats reserved for Africans, paving the way for the establishment of a popularly elected government. Other parties such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the All Muslim National Union of Tanganyika (AMNUT) – an alternative to TANU – were less successful.

In December 1959 the British government agreed to allow self-government after general elections scheduled for August 1960, but the country remained a colony. Nyerere became the chief minister of the government, but he had limited powers, as foreign policy and control of the army remained under the direction of the Colonial Office in London. In May 1961, Tanganyika was granted autonomy and Nyerere became the Prime Minister with full powers under a new constitution. On 9 December 1961 Tanganyika was granted independence and Nyerere became the first president. On 19 December 1963, Zanzibar also became independent, leaving the way clear for the unification of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar on 26 April 1964 as the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar. In October 1964, the country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

The African National Congress in Tanzania

After taking power in Tanzania, Nyerere became one of the architects for the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and remained an ardent supporter of the continent’s liberation struggles. Tanzania provided facilities for liberation movements such as the African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), FRELIMO and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and allowed them to operate from its soil. In addition, the Tanzanian government allowed the organisations to use Radio Tanzania to broadcast messages to their respective countries.

In the aftermath of the Sharpeville Massacre, the government banned the ANC and the PAC in South Africa. The ANC then sent Frene Ginwala to Tanzania with instructions to establish an office in Dar-es Salaam, and await further communication. Once in the country, she worked as a journalist while carrying out work for the ANC, which included receiving comrades arriving in Dar-es Saalam. Meanwhile, in 1960 the party instructed Oliver Tambo to clandestinely leave the country and establish offices for the movement in exile. He was also authorised to seek international support for the struggle against apartheid. Tambo skipped the country through Bechuanaland, in a car driven by Ronald Segal. Once in Bechuanaland he contacted Frene Ginwala, who made arrangements for a plane to fly Tambo, Dr Yusuf Dadoo and Segal to Dar-es-Salaam. Upon arrival they were welcomed by Julius Nyerere, and from that time Tanzania became an important point of contact and transit for the ANC in exile.

In 1961 the ANC and SACP launched Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) as its armed wing, and It became imperative to seek military training facilities in friendly African and East European countries. As part of advancing this idea Nelson Mandela visited Tanzania in 1962 to seek financial and military assistance to enable MK to wage the armed struggle. The meeting ended in disappointment for Mandela as Nyerere urged the ANC to postpone the armed struggle until the release of PAC leader Robert Sobukwe. Despite this disappointing response, the Tanzanian government facilitated Mandela’s travel arrangements by issuing him with documents to travel to Ethiopia and by liaising with Emperor Haile Selassie. Mandela notes in his biography that the Tanzanian government also issued him with documents which enabled him to travel to other African countries and Britain.

Establishment of MK Camps in Tanzania in the 1960s and 1970s

Despite the initial hesitancy, Tanzania allowed MK to establish camps as transit centres for cadres training in the Soviet Union, China and Czechoslovakia. In 1962 the first military camps were established by Tlou Theophilus Cholo and Joe Modise. The names of the camps were: Kongwa, which held the majority of MK cadres in Tanzania; Morogoro, which functioned as the headquarters of the ANC and MK; and Mbeya and Bagamoyo. Funding and sustenance for the camps came various sources. The OAU Liberation Committee assisted MK by paying for rent and associated expenses for offices in Dar-es-Salaam and Morogoro. In addition the Swedish and Norwegian governments assisted with more funding and technical expertise through various organisations.

During the 1960s several members of the ANC were deployed in Tanzania. For instance, after JB Marks was elected as Chairman of the SACP at its Fifth Conference held underground in 1962, he was instructed by the National Executive Committee of the ANC to join the headquarters of the External Mission in Tanzania. In 1963 the ANC sent Jo Matlou to Tanzania, where he was followed by his wife Violet Matlou and their children. They became the only complete family living at the Luthuli Camp. Later, in 1965, Ben Turok arrived in Tanzania after serving three years in prison and briefed Tambo on the state of the ANC in South Africa. That same year the ANC relocated its headquarters to Morogoro, but its main military training camp remained Kongwa.

Kongwa Camp

Kongwa Camp was established between 1963 and 1964 about 400km west of Dar es Salaam, with Ambrose Makiwane the first camp commander. This the first MK camp to be established in Tanzania, Kongwa housed MK guerrillas who had returned from military training in the Soviet Union, China, Egypt and Algeria. MK recruits from South Africa who continued to make their way to Tanzania during this period by and large ended up at Kongwa. Over time the camp developed the capacity to train cadres on site without having to send them to other countries for training. The Tanzanian government supplied uniforms and one meal a day for each soldier.

By 1965 the ANC had a total of 800 guerrilla trainees in Tanzanian camps, many of them stationed at Kongwa; while others were undergoing military training in China, the Soviet Union or Czechoslovakia. As the number of trained cadres increased, some began to complain about the lack of willingness by the ANC leadership to send them back to South Africa to fight. This frustration exploded when Justice Gizenga Mpanza and other cadres from Natal stole a vehicle and drove to Morogoro, the ANC headquarters, to table their grievances. On the way they were arrested by Tanzania soldiers who suspected them of desertion. After the intervention of the ANC leadership, they were released and reprimanded, and the group was relocated to Lusaka in Zambia. Several members of this group formed part of the Luthuli and Pyramid Detachments, which were deployed during the Wankie and Sipolilo Campaigns in 1967.

Apart from the frustration of not being deployed to South Africa, there were other problems in the camps. Commanders had to deal with ill discipline, men involved in sexual relations with women from surrounding villages, and accusations of tribalism, and had to mete out corporal punishment.

By 1973 about half of the cadres in Tanzania had been trained at Kongwa. During that period Ambrose Makiwane was redeployed from Kongwa to Cairo and replaced by Joseph Jack. After the fall of Portuguese minority rule in Mozambique and Angola in 1975, Tambo organised to move MK guerrillas from the training camps in Tanzania and Zambia to Angola, near the South African border.

The Morogoro Conference

Growing discontent in the camps and criticisms of the leadership of the ANC precipitated the Morogoro Conference. ANC leaders were accused of a lack of progress in advancing the armed struggle. Numerous trained cadres remained in camps and were not deployed to South Africa, resulting in incidents such as the Mpanza debacle. Moreover, many felt that although countries such as Botswana and Swaziland had become independent, the leadership had failed to use these territories, which shared borders with South Africa, to infiltrate guerrillas into the country.

Around the mid-1960s, the OAU Liberation Committee, which provided both financial and political support for the armed struggle, put pressure on all liberation movements to intensify their military campaigns. The ANC initially responded by sending some trained guerrillas for retraining, but this was not enough to placate those who were discontented. In response, a group of commanders and commissars sent a memorandum to ANC leaders accusing them of being out of touch with events in South Africa, precipitating a rift between the political leadership and military rank-and-file within the movement. Those who wrote the memorandum were suspended, but others continued to identify with their grievances.

Consequently, a national consultative conference was convened from 25 April to 1 May 1969 at the ANC headquarters in Morogoro in what became known as the Morogoro Conference. The conference addressed the issue of communication between members of the ANC in exile and those inside the country. A Revolutionary Council (RC) was established to integrate political and military strategy. The Conference also considered whether non-Africans should be allowed to become members of the ANC leadership. For the first time, the ANC membership was opened to members of all races, but only Africans could be members of the National Executive Committee (NEC). Subsequent to this decision, Joe Slovo, Yusuf Dadoo and Reg September were elected to serve on the RC. At the end of the conference the ANC adopted the Strategy and Tactics Document, which became the first major policy document adopted by the ANC since the Freedom Charter.

The expulsion of the ANC from Tanzania

In October 1969 Oscar Kombona, a former minister who held the Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Defence portfolios in the post-independent Tanzanian government, and others were charged with treason. Kombona was accused of working with the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overthrow the government of Tanzania and assassinate Julius Nyerere.

The state’s witness was Potlako K Leballo, a founder member of the PAC, which also had camps in Tanzania. Leballo testified that Kombona had tried to enlist him and a co-conspirator. During the trail Leballo alleged that the ANC was also involved in plotting the coup. The Tanzanian government was enraged, and expelled the ANC from Tanzania. All ANC people were to be rounded up and sent to refugee camps, but ANC leaders such as Moses Kotane, JB Marks and Oliver Tambo resisted the move, contending that they were not refuges but freedom fighters. The ANC was forced to close its camps in Tanzania and evacuate its military personnel to the Soviet Union, with assistance from the latter.

The ANC moved its headquarters from Morogoro to Lusaka in Zambia. Although the party was readmitted into Tanzania between 1971 and 1972, the clampdown by the Tanzanian government damaged relations between the two. When Reddy Mampane was appointed as the ANC’s Chief Representative to the country in 1976, relations between the government and the ANC were still frosty. Despite this setback, South African refuges continued to arrive in Tanzania and their numbers swelled, particularly after 1976.

Tanzanian support for the ANC was not without qualification, and known communists such as Yusuf Dadoo, Joe Slovo Michael Harmel and Ruth First, who were also members of the ANC, were later banned from Tanzanian soil and forced to operate elsewhere, mainly Europe.

Education in Tanzanian camps: Mazimbu and SOMAFCO

Camp Mazimbu was initially established to accommodate and educate the children of South African exiles in Dar-es Salaam. Mampane notes that the Tanzanian government grew concerned about children ‘loitering’ in Dar-es Salaam. For the ANC’s Chief Representative, the task of finding a suitable place for the children became urgent. Initially the children were taken from Dar-es Salaam to a place near Morogoro, where the ANC owned some land. However, the site was close to a Tanzanian military base and the move presented a new set of problems.

Mampane and another comrade approached Tanzanian Regional Commissioner Anna Abdallah and requested a larger, more suitable location for the children. The central government granted the request by donating an old sisal estate with dilapidated buildings at Mazimbu. After submitting a report to ANC headquarters in Zambia, Mampane was instructed to build a school at the site. Oswald ‘Ossie’ Dennis, a civil engineer, and architect Spencer Hodgosn were engaged to make the place more habitable. In July 1977, work on the construction of the Mazimbu camp commenced. For the first group of students, life was difficult as there was no electricity or water supply. Water was sourced from Morogoro and delivered by a truck.

After the Soweto Uprising in 1976 and the subsequent crackdown on political activists and student organisations, scores of young people fled into exile. Many of them joined the ANC and went for military training under the MK, while others joined the PAC. Some students went to Tanzania, and were received by Reddy Mampane who then sorted them according to whether they wanted to join MK or further their studies. In 1977 the first group of young people fleeing the tense political situation in South Africa arrived at Mazimbu, and they helped clear the land for construction. Plans to expand the buildings to accommodate more people were set in motion. Although Mazimbu was designed to be a refugee camp, informal educational classes became the main activity, and after some debate, the ANC eventually agreed to establish a school. Formal teaching commenced in 1978 and Wintshi Njobe was appointed as the principal.

Nordic countries provided support for the construction of school buildings and on 8 January 1979 foundations were laid. Later that year students were able to move into the first completed dormitory. Because of the limited capacity, rooms were used as classrooms as well as places of accommodation. A crèche, nursery, and primary and secondary schools were established to cater for the growing number of children of various ages. In 1980 a primary school with Terry Bell as its first principal, and in 1984 the Charlotte Maxeke Children’s Centre was opened in Mazimbu, alleviating the problem of transporting children daily from Morogoro to Mazimbu.

Apart from construction work, Nordic countries extended their help to include skills training, construction, teaching and medical assistance. A hospital, named the ANC Holland Solidarity Hospital, was opened on 4 May 1984. Mazimbu was renamed the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO) after Solomon Mahlangu, who was executed by the apartheid government. In 1985 SOMAFCO was officially opened by Oliver Tambo.

SOMAFCO was also the site of other projects. In 1980 the Vuyisile Mini Furniture Factory was established to produce chairs, tables and doors for Mazimbu. A garment factory, a welding workshop and a farm where animal husbandry flourished were also set up. As the political situation in South Africa began to change in the 1990s, the process for a negotiated settlement gathered momentum, and the ANC and other liberation movements was unbanned and exiles were allowed to return to their country. On 9 September 1992, SOMAFCO was officially closed by the ANC and Oliver Tambo handed it over to the Tanzanian government.

Dakawa Development Centre

The increasing number of refugees and the decision by the ANC in Lusaka to keep Mazimbu strictly as a place of learning precipitated the establishment of another centre. Once more, the Tanzanian government was approached with a request for land. Anna Abdallah, with permission from the central government, donated 2800 hectares of land to the ANC. An underutilised farm in Dakawa, 60km from Mazimbu, the land was used to meet the housing, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the refugees. The first people to move to Dakawa lived in tents until proper accommodation was built. Mary Thuse was appointed as the first Director of Dakawa.

With the other camps lacking capacity, new arrivals were mostly being taken to Dakawa, where they stayed until they enrolled for classes at SOMAFCO. The Ruth First Education Orientation Centre and a Vocational Training Centre were established. In addition, small agricultural projects were initiated and between 1988 and 1989 the garment factory in Mazimbu was moved to Dakawa. The Dakawa Arts and Craft Project, set up to allow space for creative expression, proved to be popular among the exiles.

After the ANC was forced out of Angola, those imprisoned for the 1983 mutiny in ANC camps in Angola were transferred to Dakawa. Their conditions were relaxed somewhat as they began to play an important role in the life of the settlement. Dakawa also served as a Rehabilitation Centre for offenders from the Mazimbu camp. For instance, in 1983 when a student from Mazimbu was convicted of attempted rape, he was sent to the Dakawa Rehabilitation Centre. This was also the case for four students found guilty of impregnating female students in Mazimbu.

Dakawa was initially planned to accommodate 5000 people, but by 1990, when the transition to democracy was in progress, it had only 1200 people. With the demise of apartheid imminent, the Dakawa Arts and Craft Project was transferred to Grahamstown in October 1992.

South African government responses

Countries that shared borders with South Africa bore the brunt of attacks by the apartheid government for supporting the ANC or MK operatives. South Africa employed a variety of methods to deal with its enemies: ranging from assassination, abduction, destabilisation by sponsoring armed groups, and economic strangulation. Apartheid state terrorism also targeted countries that did not share borders with South Africa but which were strategically important to the ANC and MK, such as Angola and Zambia. This clearly shows that although Tanzania did not share borders with South Africa, it was not beyond the reach of South Africa.

Thus, South Africa still posed a threat to ANC camps in various parts of Tanzania. One of the ways in which the apartheid government was kept abreast of ANC activities in Tanzania was through its network of informers. Reddy Mampane states that there were many enemy agents in Mazimbu and he was involved in arresting those that had been identified. Mary Thuse, the Director of Dakawa, also stated that both camps were infiltrated by government agents. In 1983 a political commissar who had risen through the ranks at SOMAFCO was revealed to be an apartheid government informer.

Various suspicious incidents pointed to underhand attempts by the South African government to kill activists in Tanzania. In one incident, the water supply for SOMAFCO from the Ngerengre River was poisoned, leading to the death of many fish in the river. The incident aroused suspicions of water poisoning and Tanzanian authorities were informed. After testing the water, it was found to contain a poisonous substance, but the perpetrator was never caught. In another incident, Siphiwe Xaba, an apartheid government agent trained to produce poisonous substances, was caught. He revealed how he had been trained and confessed to poisoning comrades.

SOMAFCO had a prison of its own, nicknamed ‘Alcatraz’, where suspected spies were detained for interrogation by the ANC Security division. Other suspected spies were taken to Quatro in Angola for detention and ‘rehabilitation’.

Fortunately, none of the ANC military and refugee camps in Tanzania were ever raided by South African military forces.


Tanzania functioned first as a springboard and holding site for MK cadres who went for military training in countries such as the Soviet Union and GDR. Several MK recruits who left South Africa in the 1960s through Botswana via Southern Rhodesia into Zambia ended up in Tanzania. From here they were transported to the Soviet Union before being brought back to the camps to await further instructions. Tanzania itself later became a site for military training and refugees fleeing political persecution by the apartheid government.

Even after the ANC headquarters moved to Zambia, Tanzania continued to play an important role for the ANC and MK in exile – until the end of apartheid. In recognition of the role played by Julius Nyerere in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa, he was posthumously awarded the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in 2004.


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Copinger Easton, S.C, (1960), The twilight of European colonialism: a political analysis, (London), pp.229-232.

Mwakikagile, G, (2010), Nyerere and Africa: end of an era, (Dar es Salaam), p.111-114, 334, 362-368.

In Conversation with Dr Frene Ginwala, from the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, [online], Available at [Accessed 12 October 2011]

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Morrow S, Maaba B & Pulumani, L, (2004), Education in exile: SOMAFCO, the African National Congress school in Tanzania 1978 to 1992, (Cape Town), pp.115-118.

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Road to Democracy, Vol 1, pp. 482

O’ Malley, Camps In Exile (ANC), [online], Available at [Accessed 12 October 2011]

The Presidency, (2009), Tlou Theophilus Cholo (1926– ) from The Presidency, 27 March, [online], Available [Accessed 12 October 2011]

ANC, The ANC’s second submission to the T, RC, from the African National Congress, [online], Available at [Accessed 12 October 2011]The Presidency, (2005), Archibald Sibeko also known as Zola Zembe (1928– ) from The Presidency, 26 April, [online], Available [Accessed 12 October 2011]