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Chemical weapons agency to meet to discuss alleged Syria attack

An emergency session of the global chemical weapons watchdog will be convened on Monday to discuss the attack in Syria’s Douma in which dozens of people are believed to have been killed with poison gas.

Members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will gather at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) on April 16 to discuss “alleged use of chemical weapons” in Syria, a statement said.

Molotov against the police station in Rome. Burned police van

Fear yesterday evening in the Prati district where an incendiary bottle was launched against a police truck, even touching an agent’s private car, right in front of the police station in Via Ruffini. At about 9.30 pm someone – probably a young man on a dark scooter – threw the Molotov cocktails at the vehicle that had been parked a few meters from the entrance of the police offices, in the places reserved for emergency vehicles.

DRC: Attacks against UN peacekeepers

At least 14 UN peacekeepers and five Congolese air force members have been killed, and at least 53 peacekeepers were also injured in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the “worst attack in recent history“, according to the UN. Deliberate attacks against UN peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime.

Ethiopia: German tourist shot dead

A German tourist has been killed and a guide wounded in an attack in north-eastern Ethiopia, near the border with Eritrea.

It is not clear who carried out the attack.

The Ethiopian government says it is investigating the killing.

Topic Mozambique

Mozambique witnessed a dramatic increase in political violence in October 2017.

The spike in violence stemmed from an apparent Islamist attack in the Cabo Delgado region, located in the far north of the country.

An attack by a group calling itself ‘Al Shabaab’ attacked three police stations in the coastal village Mocimboa da Praia resulting in 16 fatalities. The attackers appear to have no connection to the Somalian rebel group but instead appear to be locally embedded in Mocimboa da Praia (Morier-Genoud, 18 October 2017).

In a manner reminiscent of other Islamist groups on the continent, the attackers demanded the imposition of Sharia law in the area, the removal of children from secular education and refuse to pay state taxes (ibid.).

There are commonalities between this attack and other ongoing conflicts within Mozambique.

The Cabo Delgado region is rich in natural resources and the government has made large investments in developing the capital Pemba to expand the exploitation of offshore gas (Reuters, 21 August 2017). In spite of this investment, the region remains poor and has not benefitted from the economic boom of the 2000s (Morier-Genoud, 18 October 2017).

This is similar to the low-level conflict between the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), the former rebel movement of the Mozambican Civil War and the current political opposition, and the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) partly stems from the government’s policy of resource extraction. RENAMO has demanded a more equitable sharing of the proceeds of natural resources, especially as many of the resources come from RENAMO’s political stronghold in the country’s central belt.

As violence in Cabo Delgado has increased, the peace talks between RENAMO and FRELIMO have prevented large-scale clashes between the groups in the Sofala, Zamebia and Manica regions.

President Felipe Nyusi’s overwhelming re-election as FRELIMO president has allowed him to side-line hawkish factions in his party and pursue peace negotiations with RENAMO (News24, 2 October 2017).

Where the violence in Cabo Delgado differs from previous conflicts is in the region’s general support of the government. The province has consistently supported FRELIMO in elections and Nyusi hails from the region (Lodge et al., 2002; Africa Watch, 26 October 2017). While the province may be represented by the president, many Muslims in the region feel disenfranchised by the FRELIMO government. In the post-independence period, FRELIMO attacked Islam as regressive in accordance with the party’s Marxist doctrine and more recent attempts to court the Islamic vote have fractured the party (Morier-Genoud, 18 October 2017).

The government has fostered close relationships with national Islamic organisations but they are informed by a hard-line Wahhabi doctrine and are prone to factionalism (ibid.).

The Cabo Delgado violence may not be indicative of a long-term trend, but failure by FRELIMO to address economic resentment in the peripheries and to effectively represent the country’s Muslim population could result in future attacks.

 

Daniel Wigmore-Shepherd

Research Analyst at ACLED-Africa

Germany: Hannover Airport temporarily closed

Hannover Airport was temporarily closed following the discovery of explosives at a cargo centre, according to reports.

Employees at the UPS depot alerted authorities after finding the item.

Passengers on flights to Hannover’s Langenhagen Airport were diverted.

 

Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Man rams car into students in Toulouse

A man has deliberately driven his car into a group of people outside a school near Toulouse in southern France, injuring three Chinese students, police sources say. The driver of the vehicle, a 28-year-old man, was known to police for committing minor offences but was not on a terrorism watchlist, the sources said. He was arrested at the scene on Friday.

Colorado, gunman kills three people

Scared shoppers run away as a gunman kills three people in Walmart before escaping police.

 

Photo: KEAL VIGIL

Parsons Green Tube station stabbing, One dead, two hurt.

A man has died and two others have been injured in a stabbing outside Parsons Green Tube station in London.

 

Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Las Vegas Terrorist shooting attack

Las Vegas gunman killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 Others.

Photo: AFP