Ramadan struggle in cyclone-hit Mozambique island

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A woman walks past destroyed houses on May 13, 2019, on her way to an aid distribution centre in the coastal village of Guludo on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, in the aftermath of a devastating cyclone. (AFP)
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Muslim men share food for Iftar (fast breaking meal) before sunset prayers on May 13, 2019, outside the central Mosque on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, during the holy month of Ramadan. (AFP)
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Women fetch water for ablution as they prepare for prayers on May 14, 2019, in Kumwamba village on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, during the holy month of Ramadan. (AFP)
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Muzasufa Abakari, 45, the head of the Muslim coastal village of Guludo on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, poses for a photograph on May 13, 2019, during the holy month of Ramadan. (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2019
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Ramadan struggle in cyclone-hit Mozambique island

  • Residents of the island, where the majority of the population is Muslim, were left without shelter and with few places to worship with estimates that 90 percent of buildings were damaged

IBO, Mozambique: Muslims in the cyclone-ravaged Mozambican island of Ibo are struggling to observe the holy month of Ramadan as most mosques were destroyed and food is in short supply.
The island on the Quirimbas archipelago off Mozambique’s northeastern coast was one of the regions worst hit when Cyclone Kenneth struck last month packing winds of over 200 kilometers (125 miles) per hour.
Residents of the island, where the majority of the population is Muslim, were left without shelter and with few places to worship with estimates that 90 percent of buildings were damaged.
At one of the few mosques still standing, half of the roof was blown away by wind and prayer rugs were damaged by flooding.
Worshippers gather in one surviving section to say prayers. Female worshippers endure the harsh sun praying outdoors.
“Very few people are attending prayers because mosques were destroyed,” said Muzasufar Abakari, head of the village of Guludo.
Residents search for food to break the fast and survive mainly on high-energy biscuits handed out by aid agencies.
“As Muslims we observe Ramadan but there is no food to eat. On Friday (holy day) there was no-one because there is no wall at the mosque,” said Abakari.
The cyclone killed at least 41 people across northern Mozambique and displaced thousands.
Some people on Ibo have been sleeping in damaged mosques.
“People have been sleeping here because their houses were destroyed. With nothing — from clothes to food — God willing our prayers are answered and we will receive help,” said imam Saidi Cassabo, from Kumwamba village.
Before the storm, Ibo island, a popular tourist destination, was a haven of golden beaches, unspoiled coral reefs and lush greenery.


Sweden asks for detention of WikiLeaks’ Assange

Updated 20 May 2019
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Sweden asks for detention of WikiLeaks’ Assange

  • Assange was evicted last month from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been holed up since 2012
  • The Australian secret-spiller also faces a US extradition warrant for allegedly conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer

COPENHAGEN: A Swedish prosecutor says she has requested a detention order against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is jailed in Britain.
Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson says if the Swedish court decided to detain Assange “on probable cause suspected for rape ... I will issue a European Arrest Warrant.”
Assange, who was evicted last month from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been holed up since 2012, was arrested by British police on April 11 and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.
The Australian secret-spiller also faces a US extradition warrant for allegedly conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer.
Persson said Monday that British authorities will decide any conflict between a European arrest warrant and US extradition request for Assange.