Three grenade attacks were recorded in the reporting period. Five individuals were killed and over 50 others injured in a grenade attack in Gatara locality, Kayanza, on 09th July. Two grenade attacks occurred in Bwiza, Bujumbura, in which four police officers were injured, and between 15 and 20 others injured in attacks on 11th and 16th July respectively. Police attributed the attacks to an unidentified “terrorists”. On 03rd July, police claimed to have arrested criminal groups known to have conducted criminal activity in Bujumbura since the start of the year. The criminals were reportedly involved in muggings and home invasions. At least 14 arson attacks were reported in Buganda locality over the reporting period. Police arrested four suspects in connection with the incidents. A resident of Rugombo locality, Cibitoke province, was shot dead by unknown gunmen on 12th July. The security situation in the DRC, particularly clashes involving Mai Mai rebels, has resulted in the arrival of refugees in Rumonge. Similarly, tensions remain high in Mabayi locality following the killing of a resident by suspected Rwandese security forces on 28th June. Security forces seized at least 150 vehicles operating in Bujumbura over the reporting period. Taxi drivers protested against the seizure, claiming that it did not follow due process.
The reporting period was marked by a majority of incidents occurring in Kinshasa, and along the eastern country border, in North and South Kivu, and Ituri Provinces. 75 incidents were recorded in total over the period, compared to 84 incidents recorded during the month of June.
Diplomatic tension between Djibouti and Eritrea have eased a month after accusations by the former that the latter advanced its armed forces across the national border and had taken positions in the disputed Dumeira Island and mountains regions. It appears neither of the two countries wishes an escalation of the matter. On 21st July, China offered to send peacekeeping troops to replace the departed 450 Qatari soldiers from the disputed border with Eritrea. China also offered to mediate the dispute between the two countries if it is requested to do so. China’s partnership with Djibouti over the Asian giant’s first overseas naval base makes a neutral peacekeeping role unlikely.
State-sponsored censorship of national and international media outlets continues to limit independent reporting on developments within the country.
On 16th July, Patriarch Abune Antonios, Head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, made his first public appearance in ten years during mass in an Orthodox cathedral in Asmara. The 90-year-old Patriarch has been kept under house arrest in an undisclosed location by the Eritrean authorities, following his public criticism of alleged interference in matters of the Orthodox Church by government officials. The Patriarch did not lead the ceremony and attendees were banned from approaching or taking pictures of him. The non-governmental organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide criticised the appearance, accusing the Eritrean government of attempting to avoid international pressure for continuing the Patriarch’s house arrest.
Reporting from Ethiopia remains limited due to continued government-imposed restrictions on media reporting. The state of emergency, in place since October 2016 , ran its tenth month but was scheduled to end this month. By the time of writing, the government authorities had not issued a statement on the uplifting of the state of emergency. During a meeting on 18th July to evaluate the nine months of the state of emergency, Ethiopia’s Defense Minister and Secretariat of the Command Post, Siraj Fegessa, stated that the goals set during the emergency have been reached. He claimed that the peace and security in the nation had greatly improved. He also indicated that the removal of the state of emergency would be decided by the relevant bodies at the due time.
A heightened level of politically-motivated violence was observed over the reporting period. Salama Fikira reported 39 incidents, resulting in at least 19 killed. Laikipia, Meru, Nairobi and Isiolo counties recorded the highest number of incidents. Seven armed incidents were reported, primarily in Meru and Laikipia counties. A total of 12 individuals were killed in four separate incidents in Meru County. The incidents were linked to the Meru-Isiolo border clashes. Christopher Chege Msando, a Data Centre and Infrastructure manager at the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was found dead on 30th July. He is suspected to have been murdered. An assailant armed with a machete attacked Deputy President (DP) William Ruto’s property in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu, on 29th July. The National Super Alliance (NASA) reiterated its claims that the government planned to rig the elections. On 28th July, NASA presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, released 10-pages of classified military documents during a press conference that allegedly confirmed the plan. Two politicians, Suna East MP and Laikipia North MP were arrested for incitement on 21st and 22nd July respectively. The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Joseph Ole Nkaissery, died on 08th July.
The complete report is available for download at the following link: Threat Environement Report East & Central Africa July 17
This report is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this report. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information within the report but Salama Fikira can take no responsibility for inaccuracies of fact or deduction. All images are subject to copyright.