Crackdown on Zanzibar radicals and militants continues


Information from a regular tourism source on the Spice Island of Zanzibar indicates that security forces, since the last outbreak of extremist militant violence which also spread to Dar es Salaam a few weeks ago, continue to hunt for known participants and sympathizers of the banned Uamsho group, which has been promoting sectarian violence against other religions while attempting to break up the union between the mainland and Zanzibar at any cost and at any price, bringing the word ‘Zanzibari Taliban’ to mind.

Tourism sources in Dar es Salaam and from Zanzibar were in full agreement that any form of violence could impact severely on the country’s sectoral performance and with targeted violence against tourists and business visitors in Dar es Salaam, as reported here repeatedly in the past, talks with government are ongoing to provide added patrols, introduce CCTV monitoring and crack down on criminal and militant gangs.

We need CCTV on Zanzibar too, there are known hotspots which require constant monitoring which will assist security forces and police to react immediately when trouble starts. They can also use the images to identify ring leaders and those who join in this senseless cycle of violence. And in Dar es Salaam more patrol near the main hotels and major roads will act as a deterrent hopefully. If really Virgin is coming to Dar es Salaam as you wrote yesterday, and here still no one seems to know about that, we could have a great chance to boost tourism and our visibility overseas but let it not be spoiled by radicals and criminals’ said a regular source from Dar es Salaam overnight in a mail exchange.

Over 100 people have been arrested so far in Zanzibar in the aftermath of riots and church burnings and more than 60 have been charged in the law courts already, as investigations continue alongside political talks.

Watch this space to stay informed on any changes in the situation on Zanzibar and in Dar es Salaam.