39 hacked to death in Kenya tribal violence

Updated 22 December 2012

39 hacked to death in Kenya tribal violence

NAIROBI: At least 39 people including women and children were hacked to death and their homes set ablaze in an attack Friday on a remote village in Kenya’s southeastern coastal region, where deadly tribal violence also erupted earlier this year.
Police attributed the killings to a disarmament operation that stoked long-simmering tensions between rival communities in the Tana river delta area, but they could also be linked to the March election, the first since Kenya was gripped by deadly violence after the December 2007 vote.
The raid on Kipao village in the Tana delta in the early hours “unleashed terror” on the inhabitants, who were hacked as their huts were set on fire, police said.
39 people were killed in all — 30 villagers and nine assailants.
Pictures posted on the Twitter feed of the Red Cross, which said earlier that 30 people had been killed, showed the charred walls of mud huts still standing, their thatched roofs reduced to nothing.
“I can confirm 39 people have been killed early this morning, during tribal clashes,” Coast province police chief Aggrey Adoli told AFP. “Thirteen are children, six women and 11 men all from the Orma community. The other nine are militiamen from the Pokomo community.”
He said police are still hunting for the killers of the villagers, who are from the Orma tribe and are mainly herders.
The Red Cross said its rescue teams were tending to the wounded, some 30 of whom were in a critical condition. It gave no total figure for the number of people injured.
A reporter who visited some of the hospitals which took in the injured said he saw people mostly suffering machete wounds.
In August and September more than 100 people were killed in violence between rival communities living along the Tana river, whose muddy red waters are flanked by dense vegetation.
Police were unable to stop the violence between the Orma and the Pokomo — who are mainly farmers — and some 10 officers were killed. Around 1,000 men from the special police forces had to be deployed to restore order.
Relations have long been fraught between the two communities, with conflicts flaring intermittently over access to land and water points. Observers who saw the violence in August and September however said the raids were very well organized and some of them involved militia from other areas.
Tensions resurfaced in the past few days during a disarmament operation.
“There has been tension in the last two days over an order to have communities surrender arms, some were feeling the government was lenient on one side,” a police source said.
But the violence could also be linked to the March 4 election, as Kenyans normally vote along ethnic lines and if a significant number of people were forced out of the region it could have an impact on results there.
Kenyans are set to choose a successor to President Mwai Kibaki, who is not running again, as well as new lawmakers, governors and local officials.
The last elections in December 2007 were followed by the worst outbreak of violence Kenya has seen since independence, shattering the country’s image as a beacon of regional stability. The unrest killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000.
Traditionally however, violence linked to elections has tended to take place before the actual polls.
Two presidential running mates, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, 51, and his deputy, ex-minister William Ruto, 45, must stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their alleged role in the 2007-08 unrest.

Indonesian university wages war on Daesh — with animations

Updated 20 April 2018

Indonesian university wages war on Daesh — with animations

  • Films tapped to counter radical propaganda after earlier efforts to publish two short comics largely failed because of the poor reading habits of Indonesian teenagers
  • 20-year-old Syrian war veteran says she regrets falling victim to Daesh online propaganda

JAKARTA: Ahmad met his friends Udin and Ari at a mosque, and Ari asked him why he had not been around for some time. 

When Ahmad said he had just returned from Syria, Ari replied in awe that he, too, wanted to go there to wage "jihad".

When a teacher approached them and asked Ahmad the same question, Ari replied, saying: “He (Ahmad) just returned from Syria to wage jihad. Isn’t that cool?” But Ahmad told both men the caliphate propaganda was false and many innocent people had been killed in the name of the caliphate.

“They were Muslims just like us,” he said. The teacher closed the conversation by saying that Ari had learned his lesson and should understand he did not have to go far to wage jihad. The teacher then asked Ari to join him assisting elderly people.

“This is also jihad,” he said.

Ahmad, Udin and Ari are characters in an animated film entitled “Kembali dari Syria,” or “Returning from Syria,” produced by the Center for the Study of Islam and Social Transformation (Cisform) at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta. The short film — one of 20 animated clips produced to counter extremism among teenagers — was launched in Jakarta on Wednesday, following the February release of the other productions in Yogyakarta.

Mohammed Wildan, Cisform’s director, told Arab News the films had been made to counter radical propaganda after earlier efforts to publish two short comics largely failed because of the poor reading habits of Indonesian teenagers.

“We decided to develop these animated short clips to expand our reach. They will be more accessible through social media,” Wildan said.

Most of the clips are between 90 seconds and three minutes long, depending on the content.

Wildan said the real challenge was to condense the message with the correct reference to Qur’an and package it in a maximum three-minute clip.

“We are careful when choosing our arguments that cite the Qur’an and the Hadith,” Wildan said.

Lecturers from the university had offered their expertise on specific subjects, he said.

Also present at the film launch was 20-year-old Nur Shadrina Khairadhania, who went to Syria as a teenager with her extended family. She shared her own account of emigrating to the so-called caliphate and explained why going to Syria to wage jihad was wrong.

Speaking to an audience of high school students, Khairadhania said that after her interest in Islam began to grow, she fell victim to Daesh online propaganda introduced to her by an uncle.

“I watched their videos, which showed that life would be really good in the caliphate. I was enticed to join,” Khairadhania said.

She convinced her father, Dwi Djoko Wiwoho, a high-ranking civil servant in Batam, Riau province, as well as her mother and two siblings, to migrate to Syria.

A group of 26 extended members of her family, including two uncles and a grandmother, left for Syria in 2015. After 19 managed to cross the border with Turkey, they quickly discovered that life in the caliphate was very different to the propaganda.

“Everything is contrary to Islamic teaching. A male family member was forced to fight and was put in detention for months when he refused,” she said. 

The family tried for a year to leave and finally returned to Indonesia in August 2017. 

Family members completed a rehabilitation program run by the national counterterrorism agency, but now her father and uncle are facing terrorism charges. 

Rebuilding her life had been difficult because of the stigma of her past, she said.

“But God gave me a second chance to live. This is probably my jihad, to tell the truth to people so no one will be deceived like us,” she said.