Dutch arrest suspected Shabab extremist

A policeman stands guard in Tilburg, Netherlands, in this photo taken on April 27 2017. (AFP)
Updated 02 May 2017
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Dutch arrest suspected Shabab extremist

THE HAGUE: Dutch police have arrested a suspected member of the Shabab extremist group following a tip-off from anti-terror authorities, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
“Police arrested a 22-year-old man last Wednesday on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization,” the public prosecution service said in a statement.
“According to information received from the Dutch intelligence service (AIVD), the man has since last year been an active member of the Shabab terrorist organization in southern Somalia,” the statement said.
The man, whose name was not given, was seized after leaving the home of a friend in the southern Dutch town of Sint-Oedenrode near Eindhoven, prosecutors said.
Local newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad reported the suspect was a Dutch-Somali national called “Mohamed” who had also lived in Britain for many years.
He appeared before a Rotterdam court last Wednesday on terror-related charges and is still in police custody.
Police also arrested the suspect’s 21-year-old friend but he was later released.
Police in December arrested a suspected Dutch jihadist in Rotterdam and seized an AK-47 assault rifle, two loaded magazines and four boxes of illegal fireworks.
Dutch law enforcement agencies have been on high alert since the November 2015 bombings in Paris, and last year’s March suicide attacks on the Brussels metro and airport.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Shabab jihadist group was forced out of the Somali capital Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union troops but still controls parts of the country.


At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

Updated 17 June 2019
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At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

  • A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation
  • Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 161 people have been killed in a northeastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo in the past week, local officials said on Monday, in an apparent resurgence of ethnic clashes between farming and herding communities.
A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation, although the exact identity of the assailants remains murky.
Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease.
Tit-for-tat attacks between the two groups in late 2017 and early 2018 killed hundreds of people and forced tens of thousands more to flee their homes, but a tenuous calm had taken hold until this month.
Pascal Kakoraki Baguma, a national lawmaker from Ituri, said the latest violence was sparked by the killing last Monday of four Lendu businesspeople.
“Members of the Lendu community believed that these assassinations were the work of the Hema,” Kakoraki said. “This is why they launched several attacks on Hema villages.”
“Sources affirm that 161 bodies have been found so far. But the death toll goes beyond the bodies recovered, as there were other massacres of civilians and police officers,” he said.
Jean Bosco Lalo, president of civil society organizations in Ituri, said 200 bodies had been found since last week in predominantly Hema villages, including the 161 mentioned by Kakoraki. Lalo said the toll would rise once his teams gained access to other villages where killings had been reported.
Ituri Governor Jean Bamanisa said provincial authorities were still working to establish the exact death toll and declined to say who was responsible.
He said the assailants’ tactics were to “empty out the villages, burn them and pursue those who had fled to the surrounding areas with bladed weapons.”
Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, who took office in January, is trying to restore stability to the country’s eastern borderlands, a tinderbox of conflict among armed groups over ethnicity, natural resources and political power.
Several rebel leaders have surrendered or been captured during his first months in office, but armed violence has persisted, particularly in North Kivu province, south of Ituri, which is the epicenter of a 10-month Ebola outbreak.