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More than twenty Muslim worshippers killed in mosque attack in Amhara, Ethiopia



The Islamic Affairs Council of Amhara, a region in Ethiopia says more than twenty Muslim worshippers were killed in clashes with unidentified armed men.

The attack which happened in Gondar is described as a “massacre” by heavily armed “extremist Christians,” by the Islamist group.

Seid Muhammed, president of the Amhara Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, told a journalist on Wednesday that “the incident happened yesterday when Muslims were on their way to bury an individual.”

Seid said the armed men threw an explosive device at the Muslim crowd in the town of Gondar, killing three people and wounding five. The other victims died in the ensuing clashes.

“There were lootings of shops and there were attempts to set fire to three mosques. One mosque suffered minor damage where its mat was set on fire,” he said.

Forces under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — the Ethiopian military, ethnic militias, and troops from neighboring Eritrea are fighting to oust the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or T.P.L.F., from its stronghold in the northern region of Tigray.

The conflict in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, has left thousands dead, forced more than two million people from their homes and pushed parts of the country into famine.

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186 Nigerian security operatives killed in 2023– Report



A report put together by a security consultancy firm has revealed that from January to September of 2023, no fewer than 186 Nigerian security operatives were killed in the line of duty.

The report, which was published on Friday, said the security operatives include personnel from the different arms of the military, the Police Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.

While giving a breakdown, the report listed states where the most incidents occurred as Zamfara, Niger, Borno, Delta, Imo, Anambra, Benue, and Enugu States.

“On January 31, a Divisional Police Officer and two policemen were killed in fresh herders attacks on Benue State communities,” the report said.

“In Delta State, on February 9, gunmen ambushed and killed four military officers. Two days later, bandits killed a Divisional Police Officer, and four policemen in Niger State on February 11.

“Also, in Anambra State, gunmen set ablaze a Police Area Command and killed three policemen on February 18.

“Four soldiers were among 10 people killed by bandits in Niger communities on March 15.

“Also, terrorists killed 51 vigilante members in Zamfara on March 18. In Anambra, on May 5, three policemen were killed by gunmen.

“In September, gunmen killed eight soldiers, policemen, and others in Imo State.

“The gruesome murder of our security agents has not only become rampant but also the norm. Our security agencies should go after the perpetrators and show them the stuff they are made up of,” a security expert, Jackson Ojo, said while commenting on the report.

“This can’t happen in America; you can’t do this at the spate we have here without apprehending the culprits. Our security agents must start doing that to send a warning signal to non-state actors.

“This barbaric act without the arrest of the perpetrators is emboldening them. They must come out brutal against non-state actors. As it is, no strategy put in place by security agencies can scare them if action is not taken to curb things like this,” Ojo added.

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Strictly Personal

Haiti’s revolution was betrayed by greed, and graft, By Tee Ngugi



The United Nations Security Council has approved deploying a Kenya-led international mission to Haiti to curb gang violence. The gangs have taken over most of the capital and countryside.They control some government assets, disrupt the normal functioning of the state, and have transformed life in that country into a violent Hobbesian dystopia.

The social contract in which, according to English philosopher John Locke, individuals agree to a set of rules, and in return, the state guarantees them certain rights, among them security, has broken down.

What is left is Thomas Hobbes’ apocalyptic vision, where “everyone fears and mistrusts everyone else, and there can be no justice, no arts, no letters, no society, and worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

There are two ironies about the mission to Haiti. One: Kenya, a country with a high crime rate and some regions made lawless by bandits, sending police to curb gang violence in Haiti. Two: Haiti, which gained independence in 1804, requires the help of a country that got its independence in 1963, 159 years later.

Haiti declared its independence from France after a successful slave revolt. That insurrection against Napoleon’s France, then the most powerful military force in the world, remains one of the most heroic struggles in history. The revolution was led by a visionary, Toussaint Louverture. However, the French tricked him into trap, arrested and jailed him in France, where he died.

Those who succeeded him as leaders of the revolution and later the independent nation of Haiti did not have his insight and foresight and presided over the downward spiral.

In all the years it has been independent, Haiti has only known murderous despotism, economic collapse, violence and grinding poverty. The taking over of the country by violent gangs is the coup de grace. It signifies that the country is only such by name. To pretend otherwise is to participate in a convenient lie.

Haiti’s administrative institutions, its civic organisation, and its ability to respond to disasters or dispense justice and services to its people have broken down.

The international police force might succeed in defeating the gangs. But that victory, if at all realised, can only be temporary. Gangs taking over a country is symptomatic of more fundamental problems.

Therefore, the international community will have to address broken governance institutions, morally decrepit political leadership, economic stagnation, a deeply entrenched culture of corruption, desperate poverty, and the breakdown of law and order.

Hopefully, addressing these issues will restore confidence in Haitians about their own country, attract foreign investment, and grow tourism. It will encourage highly-trained Haitians in the diaspora to return and staff revived institutions. This revival would rekindle the spirit of Toussaint Louverture.

Haiti’s downward spiral has a lesson for Africa: Continue with morally corrupt leadership and theft of public resources, and Haiti’s fate will be your future.

Tee Ngugi is a Nairobi-based political commentator.

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