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Seven arrested in Tanzania for campaign-
ing for Union Day demonstrations

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian police on Tuesday announced the arrest of seven people for allegedly fuelling online campaign for countrywide demonstrations on the country’s Union Day.

Union Day marks the creation of Tanzania through the union of Tanganyika and the offshore island nation of Zanzibar on April 26, 1964.

Acting Arusha Regional Police Commander Yusuph Ilembo told the media that the accused, including college students, are in police custody for using various social media platforms to mobilize the public to take part in the unlawful demonstrations.

“The seven are due to appear in court anytime from now as we continue to look for other suspects with a similar plot,” he said.

Ilembo urged Arusha residents to stay away from the outlawed demonstrations, warning that whoever wishing to take part could be risking their lives.

A U.S.-based Tanzanian social media activist, Mange Kimambi, has called for nationwide anti-government demonstrations on April 26 to protest over what she terms as a diminution of political freedoms and human rights abuses.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has warned that those who demonstrate illegally will be taught a lesson that they will never forget.

Demonstrations are allowed under Tanzanian law, but Section 44 of Police Force and Auxiliary Services Act requires a person to notify the police of his intention to convene or assemble, which police may reject if they believe that the assembly may constitute a breach of peace. 



Tanzania police warn against planned political demonstrations

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian senior police officer on Wednesday warned against political demonstrations across the east African nation planned for the next day.

“The police are ready for deployment to ensure there is no breach of peace,” said Sweethbert Njwele, the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander.

Njwele warned people to stay away from the demonstrations planned for Union Day, marked on Thursday across the country to commemorate the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar that formed Tanzania in 1964.

On Tuesday, at least seven people were arrested in Arusha for interrogations in connection with their role in the possible political demonstrations across the country.

The Arusha Acting Regional Police Commander, Yusuph Ilembo, told a news conference that the arrests followed investigations conducted by the police.

“As government, we will not relent. These demonstrations are illegal. We will not be put to the test by some few people who are bent on denting Tanzania’s peaceful atmosphere,” said Ilembo.

The arrests came hours after the United Kingdom issued a travel alert for its citizens in Tanzania, saying the possibility of political demonstrations across the country on Thursday may result in fatalities.

A U.S.-based Tanzanian social media activist, Mange Kimambi, has called for nationwide anti-government demonstrations on April 26 to protest over what she terms as a diminution of political freedoms and human rights abuses.


Tanzania has no plans to leave International Criminal Court: minister

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzanian government said on Tuesday it has no plans to pull out of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), explaining that challenges and reforms in the ICC should be fought from within.

Palamagamba Kabudi, Tanzanian Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, told the visiting Israeli Minister for Justice, Ayelet Shaked, that Tanzania will remain a member of the ICC but it will press for reforms within the global court.

“We share concerns raised by fellow African countries that the ICC was operating in a manner that was biased against Africa,” said Kabudi.

The minister said most of the African countries felt that the ICC has been biased against Africa, saying the best way to challenge the system was to fight within the ICC.

Kabudi was responding to a question raised by the visiting Israeli Justice Minister on Tanzania’s position on speculations that most of the African countries were intending to pull out of the ICC.

Last year, Burundi became the first country in the world to withdraw from the ICC, while The Gambia and South Africa were also threatening to pull out.


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