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  • Jack 12:29 pm on November 21, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: christopher torchia, ctv, , farai mutsaka, resignation, ,   

    Mugabe Resigns 

    HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigned as president with immediate effect Tuesday after 37 years in power, shortly after parliament began impeachment proceedings against him.

    “My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power,” said Mugabe in his letter which was read out in parliament, sparking cheers and dancing.

    Ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke told The Associated Press that recently fired Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa would take over as the country’s leader within 48 hours. Matuke said Mnangagwa, who fled the country after his firing, “is not far from here.”

    Matuke said they look forward to Mugabe doing the handover of power “so that Mnangagwa moves with speed to work for the country.”

    Cars began honking horns and people cheered in the streets as the news spread like wildfire across the capital, Harare.

    Mugabe, who had been the world’s oldest head of state at 93, said that proper procedures should be followed to install new leadership.

    Mugabe’s resignation brought an end to the impeachment proceedings brought by the ruling ZANU-PF party after its Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader and select Mnangagwa as his replacement. Currently in exile, Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, more feared than popular.

    Before the resignation, crowds rallied outside Parliament, dancing and singing. Some people placed photos of Mugabe in the street so that cars would run over them. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party said the culture of the ruling party “must end” and everyone must put their heads together and work toward free and fair elections.

    Earlier Tuesday, Mnangagwa said in a statement that Mugabe should acknowledge the nation’s “insatiable desire” for a leadership change and resign immediately.

    Mnangagwa added to immense pressure on Mugabe to quit after nearly four decades in power, during which he evolved from a champion of the fight against white minority rule into a figure blamed for a collapsing economy, government dysfunction and human rights violations.

    “The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call and resign forthwith so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” Mnangagwa said in his statement, after more than a week of silence.

    Mnangagwa, who fled the country and has not appeared in public during the past week’s political turmoil, said Mugabe had invited him to return to Zimbabwe “for a discussion” on recent events. However, he said he will not return for now, alleging that there had been plans to kill him at the time of his firing.

    “I will be returning as soon as the right conditions for security and stability prevail,” said Mnangagwa, who has a loyal support base in the military. “Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office at whatever cost to the nation.”

    Zimbabwe’s polarizing first lady, Grace Mugabe, had been positioning herself to succeed her husband, leading a party faction that engineered Mnangagwa’s ouster. The prospect of a dynastic succession alarmed the military, which confined Mugabe to his home last week and targeted what it called “criminals” around him who allegedly were looting state resources — a reference to associates of the first lady.

    Mnangagwa was targeted by U.S. sanctions in the early 2000s for undermining democratic development in Zimbabwe, according to the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-based policy institute. However, J. Peter Pham, an Africa expert at the council, noted that some Zimbabwean opposition figures have appeared willing to have dialogue with Mnangagwa in order to move the country forward and that the international community should consider doing the same.

    “We’re not saying whitewash the past, but it is in the interests of everyone that Zimbabwe is engaged at this critical time,” Pham said in a statement.

    Regional leaders continued efforts to find a solution to the political turmoil, with South Africa’s state-run broadcaster reporting that the presidents of South Africa and Angola would travel to Zimbabwe on Wednesday to meet with “stakeholders” in the political crisis, including Mugabe and the military.

    Impeachment proceedings began days after huge crowds surged through the capital, Harare, to demand that Mugabe quit. The ruling party had instructed government ministers to boycott a Cabinet meeting that Mugabe called for Tuesday morning at State House, the president’s official residence, and instead attend a meeting at party headquarters to work on the impeachment.

    It was not clear how long the impeachment process could take. The ruling party has said Mugabe could be voted out as early as Wednesday but some analysts believe the impeachment process could take weeks and would, if conducted properly, allow Mugabe to make a case in his defence.

    Mnangagwa called for unity and appeared to embrace the prospect of taking over power.

    “I will not stand in the way of the people and my party,” he said.


  • Jack 3:25 am on November 21, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , will kirby, ,   


    ROBERT Mugabe has reportedly agreed to resign as the president of Zimbabwe after striking a deal with generals that will give him and wife Grace full immunity.

    The 93-year-old leader will also be allowed to keep his private properties in return for a peaceful transition of power and his resignation letter has already been drafted, a senior source told CNN.

    Mr Mugabe has already been stripped of the leadership of ruling party Zanu-PF, which had demanded he steps down by 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) today or face impeachment.

    The deadline has now passed and Zanu-PF officials have branded Mugabe a “source of instability” in a draft impeachment motion.

    The party, who sacked Mugabe as leader yesterday, has accused him of showing disrespect for the rule of law and blamed him for an “unprecedented economic tailspin” over the past 15 years.

    Zanu-PF spokesman Simon Moyo said Mr Magabe had been notified of his removal as party president and a motion calling for his impeachment will be tabled on Tuesday.

    Although many expected Mr Mugabe to announce his resignation last night, it has now been reported that Zanu-PF decided he would not step down in front of the military generals and instead his speech was designed to show the military intervention was not a coup.

    Following the army’s intervention last week in response to Mugabe’s sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, it has become clear that Mugabe’s 37-year tenure as the Zimbabwean president will shortly come to an end amid widespread demands for his resignation.

    It had been feared that Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife Grace would succeed her husband as leader but this is an unpopular prospect for millions of Zimbabweans.

    Mrs Mugabe is currently being held by the military leaders who took control of Zimbabwe from her husband, officials claim.

    A military official said: “She was a bad influence on Mugabe while he was in power, and was a bad influence on him when we tried to negotiate a deal with him to stand down.”

    It had been reported that she had fled to Namibia or was still living with the President but now it appears that she was seized by the military in the early stages of the coup.

    Mr Mnangagwa is now expected to take over as leader in the coming days.

    Mugabe had been expected to announce his resignation in a televised speech last night, but instead told viewers he would continue to preside over his party at a congress next month.

    In a rambling 30-minute address, Mugabe insisted he was going nowhere in an announcement that stunned people across the world.

    Meanwhile, the leader of Zimbabwe’s war veterans, Chris Mutsvangwa, said he would initiate court action to legalise the military action against Mugabe after the army seized power on Wednesday.


  • Jack 5:20 am on November 19, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , ,   

    Hunger Strike 

    Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is refusing to eat in protest against his confinement, one of his close family members has told MailOnline.

    The frail 93-year-old has not accepted any food since Saturday, the source revealed, as he continues to be held under house arrest at his Blue Roof mansion.

    Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao said on Saturday that Mr Mugabe was ‘willing to die for what is correct’.

    Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party will remove Mugabe as its leader at a special meeting of its central committee on Sunday and kick him out, the head of the powerful liberation war veterans said.

    Chris Mutsvangwa, who has led the campaign to oust Zimbabwe’s ruler of the last 37 years, said the meeting would also reinstate ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa and remove Mugabe’s wife, Grace, as head of the ZANU-PF Women’s League.

    ‘We are going all the way,’ Mutsvangwa said as he headed into the meeting, adding that Mugabe should just resign and leave the country. ‘He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit but he should just smell the coffee and gap it.’

    Mugabe is set to discuss his expected exit with army commander Constantino Chiwenga, who put him under the house arrest that he is protesting with a hunger strike.

    The army threatened to let a mob lynch the dictator if he didn’t stand down, MailOnline revealed on Saturday. Now Mugabe has responded by rejecting all food.

    ‘If he dies under military custody, even by natural causes, then the army will be held responsible by the international community,’ the family member, who asked not to be named, said. ‘That is how the president is trying to put pressure on the army.’

    The family member also said that Grace Mugabe was by her husband’s side at the Blue Roof mansion yesterday, and is thought to still be there today.

    It comes as the Zanu-PF central committee met at the party HQ in central Harare to begin the formal process for expelling Mr Mugabe from his own party.

    The meeting follows rumours that the dictator had fled the country after hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest against his rule.

    Video footage from protests obtained exclusively by MailOnline showed angry crowds tearing down a huge billboard of Mugabe outside the headquarters of the ruling Zanu-PF party in central Harare.

    The footage shows dramatic scenes that would have been unthinkable just a few days ago.

    While Mugabe could be removed as party leader, his title as president of Zimbabwe would still remain. He can only be removed from his presidency through resignation or impeachment, launched through a constitutional process.

    ‘What is left is just the technical detail of how he’s going to leave,’ former Zimbabwean finance minister Tendai Biti said. ‘Even if Zanu-PF does remove him – if they do have the power, which i doubt – that doesn’t amount to removing him as president of the country.

    ‘There has to be formal processes – either his own resignation or an impeachment.’

    The talks with army commander Constantino Chiwenga are the second round of negotiations on an exit with a veneer of dignity as the military tries to avoid accusations of a coup.

    Senior figures in Zanu-PF gathered at their headquarters in the capital, Harare, on Sunday ahead of an emergency meeting to discuss calls to expel longtime President Robert Mugabe as party leader.

    Soldiers checked vehicles at the gate and a military vehicle parked inside the grounds as leaders converged in the area. The military has Mugabe under house arrest after moving in last week, angered by Mugabe’s firing of his longtime deputy.

    Zimbabwe’s parliament will ‘definitely’ put in motion a process to impeach Mugabe, the main opposition’s parliamentary chief whip said on Sunday, adding that they have been in discussions with the Zanu-PF party to act jointly.

    Zanu-PF is expected to continue with the process of formally expelling Mr Mugabe from the party after all ten of Zimbabwe’s provinces passed no-confidence motions against him on Friday.

    Innocent Gonese with the MDC-T party told the Associated Press: ‘If Mugabe is not gone by Tuesday, then as sure as the sun rises from the east, impeachment process will kick in.’

    The MDC-T has unsuccessfully tried to impeach Mugabe in the past, but now the ruling party has turned against him.

    The army has also brought intense pressure to bear upon the 93-year-old, threatening to stand aside and allow him to be lynched if he does not stand down soon, a senior politician told MailOnline.

    In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Mutsvangwa previously revealed: ‘The army gave the dictator a message earlier [Saturday]. Either he steps down or they will let the people in to his mansion to take him.

    ‘The army is threatening to unleash the people and let Mugabe be lynched. The generals said they will not shoot the people for him. Instead, they will abandon their posts and leave him to his fate.’

    Mr Mutsvangwa added: ‘At first, the army was holding him prisoner. Now they are protecting him from the people.’

    Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Harare on Saturday in a historic show of unity to demand an end to the 37-year reign of dictator Robert Mugabe.

    Military helicopters flew low overhead as huge crowds marched into the centre of the capital city, waving Zimbabwean flags and chanting ‘remove the dictator’ and ‘Mugabe, our country is not your property’.

    It was an unprecedented show of defiance and unity in this notoriously divided country, as ordinary Zimbabweans from across the political spectrum came together as one to oppose the dictator.

    Some protesters shouted ‘Ngwena, Ngwena’, or ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’, in support of sacked vice-president Emmanuel ‘Crocodile’ Mnangagwa, the favourite to become the next leader.

    Fiery speeches were delivered at the Harare football stadium to a crowd of hundreds of thousands after a day of chaotic anti-Mugabe parades through the city.

    Several speakers shouted ‘Viva Zimbabwe’, to prolonged cheers and singing from the crowds, mixed with blasts of music over the loudspeakers.

    ‘Mugabe and his typist-cum-wife must go home,’ said Victor Matemadanda, the Secretary-General of the Powerful War Veterans’ Association.

    ‘Let’s go and take back the country from the State House.’

    He added: ‘If he’s not at the State House, let’s go to the Blue Roof,’ referring to Mr Mugabe’s £7.5million mansion where he is under house arrest.

    Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, the country’s environment minister who was Mr Mugabe’s girlfriend in the Eighties and Nineties and has had physical fights with his wife Grace, said:

    ‘I thank you all for being resolute. Now let’s remain focussed and finish what we started. Let’s take Mugabe with a strong grip and remove him.’

    The mass show of defiance comes as Mugabe has been dramatically thrown out of his own party after all ten provinces of Zimbabwe passed a no-confidence motion in the dictator.

    It makes it almost impossible for him to continue to cling to power. The decision will be ratified on Sunday and put into effect next week.

    Frank Mutsindikwa, 34, said: ‘These are tears of joy. I’ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.’

    Emmerson ‘the Crocodile’ Mnangagwa, the sacked Vice President who returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, will be installed as the Zanu-PF party leader after Mugabe is removed, it was confirmed on Saturday.

    Mnangagwa, the former state security chief, is thought to be in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

    During protests Saturday, ecstatic crowds marched through central Harare, cheering and hugging soldiers, honking horns, dancing, and singing: ‘Bob, you have sold out the country, remember we are the ones who put you there and we are now removing you.’

    Ordinary Zimbabweans said they felt like they were dreaming after the 37-year-old dictatorship crumbled before their eyes.

    ‘It’s like Christmas,’ said one marcher, Fred Mubay, who said Zimbabweans have been suffering for a long time.

    Saturday’s protest represented a turning point for the southern African state, where for four decades the public criticism of Mr Mugabe has been met with brutal punishment and even death.

    It came as Mr Mugabe was given an ultimatum of 24 hours to resign by the powerful National Liberation War Veterans Association. In a press conference, a spokesman for the group mocked the elderly dictator, saying: ‘Mugabe has no war background. He only came to the Front once. The closest Mugabe ever was to the fighting was 400km away.’

    During the dictator’s rule, forced rallies were often staged to support him. By comparison, everybody attended Saturday’s march of their own free will and there was not a single counter-protestor coming out in support of Mr Mugabe.

    There were fears that Saturday’s event may degenerate into violence, as happened in 2013 when crowds went on the rampage in Harare after an opposition rally.

    The march began in a spirit of harmony, however, and the sense of liberation from the shackles of the dictator’s secret police was tangible.

    Crowds gathered at football pitches close to the city centre and marched towards Freedom Square, formerly known as the Robert Mugabe Square, where a number of political leaders from all parties were to address demonstrators.

    The historic rally was all the more remarkable for having been organised by Mr Mugabe’s own party, the Zanu-PF, which until Tuesday had treated the despot like a god.

    All that changed Saturday as formerly loyal party members openly called Mr Mugabe a ‘dictator’ and united their efforts in trying to force him to stand down.

    Activists armed with megaphones toured towns and villages all over the country in Zanu-PF branded vehicles, calling for as many people to attend the demonstration as possible.

    Opposition parties followed the Zanu-PF’s lead, mobilising their grassroots network to ensure a major turnout amongst their own supporters.

    It is thought that some of the money for mobilising demonstrators was provided by the army, which spearheaded the dramatic attempt to remove Mr Mugabe.

    Buses were laid on by the Zanu-PF to ferry thousands of people to the capital to take part in the protest, thought to be the biggest demonstration of its kind in Zimbabwean history.

    Mr Mugabe, meanwhile, remained defiant in his Blue Roof mansion, refusing to step down despite the massive pressure heaped upon him by his political rivals, foreign leaders and now his own people.


  • Jack 3:44 am on November 18, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: morgan tsvangirai, , , , ,   

    What Now? 

    ZIMBABWE’S former opposition prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has returned to the country following the house arrest of Robert Mugabe.

    The leader of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was once Prime Minister of Zimbabwe alongside Robert Mugabe, having agreed to form a coalition government with his opposition.

    But he was ousted in 2013 after Mugabe, in a bid for further power, abolished the role of prime minister in the country.

    Now, Mr Tsvangirai has returned to his home country – and could enter into negotiations to help form a new government.

    Speaking at a press conference from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare today, he insisted the president should resign in the interest of the country after the military seized power.

    Reading from a statement, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change said: “In the interest of the people, Mr Robert Mugabe must resign and step down immediately.”

    One source, a senior member of Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party, said an arrangement with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa was “a done deal”, but there was no indication on Thursday that Mugabe plans to go quietly.

    And former finance minister Tendai Biti revealed today he would be happy to cooperate with any government that emerges from this week’s military takeover, but only if opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was also on board.

    “If Morgan says he’s in, I’m in,” Mr Biti told Reuters. “The country needs a solid pair of hands so one might not have a choice.”

    A report on Thursday said that “a deal has been proposed that former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa should lead a transitional government that will be constituted of stakeholders from other political parties” in Zimbabwe.

    The Zimbabwe’s Financial Gazette reported Robert Mugabe is expected to hand power to his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa imminently

    Senior sources said Mnangagwa, who is also known as ‘The Crocodile, is expected to form a transitional government that would rule for five years.

    Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa last week in favour of his wife Grace – a decision that may have triggered Wednesday’s coup.

    According to SABC, President Robert Mugabe had been given an opportunity to negotiate an exit that included state protection together with his family.

    “One of the priorities of the transitional government will be to restore the economy that has experienced decline in recent times,”

    Morgan Tsvangirai was a key figure in the opposition of Robert Mugabe but was arrested and beaten regularly for speaking out against his regime.

    He was arrested in 2000 and charged with treason, and was acquitted of the charge and an alleged plot to assassinate Robert Mugabe in the run up to the 2002 presidential elections, after being defending by the same human rights lawyer who represented Nelson Mandela.

    He was arrested in 2003 for making a statement holding Mugabe to account, which the ruling government said “incited violence”.

    He was allegedly tortured in 2007 when he was arrested again on his way to a prayer rally. He was one of a number of opposition politicians and activists kidnapped and beaten by government-sanctioned gangs in 2007, which saw Mugabe attract worldwide condemnation.

    The former prime minister contested the first round of the 2008 presidential election as the opposition candidate, taking 47.8 per cent of the vote according to official results.

    The result placed him ahead of Mugabe, who received 43.2 per cent but he then withdrew and did not compete in the second round of voting claiming the election would not be free or fair.

    He was PM of the country from 2009 to 2013 after agreeing to form a coalition government with Mugabe – a move advised by fellow African nations.

    Tsvangirai and war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa have now flown in from South Africa on Wednesday.

    The pair are reportedly “ready to enter negotiations to form a transitional government with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa”.

    He was not the only one returning as the plane was also carrying two other government ministers, who were returning to their country from Russia.

    He had already been outspoken in recent days, commenting on the removal of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa – thought to be behind the coup – last week.

    He said: “This is a dramatic experience for the country.

    “It’s one thing to dismiss the vice president but it’s another when it affects the stability of the country. This is a security risk. …Robert Mugabe is determined to keep power by whatever means.”

    The president of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said he was concerned that First Lady Grace Mugabe was positioning herself to take control of the country.

    Mr Tsvangirai said: “This is a dynasty arrangement. Mugabe has walked roughshod over everyone…If the nation has to take the route for an unconstitutional change, we may as well kiss the democratic project goodbye.

    “I hope those who want unconstitutional change will be dissuaded from that.”

    Former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the favourite to take control, according to the ruling ZANU PF Party.

    But Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source told Reuters today (November 16).

    Catholic priest Fidelis Mukonori is mediating talks between Mugabe and military officials, as the army seeks a “bloodless transition” to a new government.

    Mugabe, 93, has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years and is still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero.

    The party has denied staging a military coup, instead choosing to call the takeover a “bloodless transaction”.

    Gunshots and explosions were heard near Mugabe’s house in Harare as the military claimed it was not a coup branding it a “bloodless transition”.

    Mr Mnangagwa, 75, was sacked from his post as vice-president of Zimbabwe for what the government called “traits of disloyalty” paving the way for Mugabe’s wife Grace to take power.

    The Army claimed that they took power to remove corrupt individuals who surrounded Mugabe – with the following key players being targeted by the Zimbabwe military:

    GRACE MUGABE – Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife rose from political obscurity to the top ranks of the ruling ZANU-PF party and, after the purge a week ago of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, became the front-runner to succeed her husband.

    JONATHAN MOYO – A slick propagandist and former information minister, Moyo was G40’s brains and mouthpiece who never shied away from an acerbic comment or Tweet about his rivals. His Twitter feed has been uncharacteristically silent since the coup.

    SAVIOR KASUKUWERE – A bruising former ZANU-PF Youth minister nicknamed “Tyson”, Kasukuwere ran Mugabe’s attempts to “indigenise” the economy, essentially forcing foreign investors to surrender large stakes in their businesses to locals.

    IGNATIUS CHOMBO – A former university lecturer and Mugabe’s homeboy, Chombo was promoted in an October cabinet reshuffle from the interior ministry to the finance portfolio, just as a severe domestic currency shortage tipped over into full-blown financial collapse.

    AUGUSTINE CHIHURI – As Commissioner General of the police, Chihuri was accused by rights groups of presiding over vicious crackdowns on dissent and popular protest in the last 18 months.

    KUDZAI CHIPANGA – The 35-year-old youth leader ingratiated himself to Mugabe and Grace and organised nationwide youth rallies that Grace Mugabe used to attack Mnangagwa and his allies

    The military took control of the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation in the early hours and promised that Mugabe and his family were “safe”.

    Major General Moyo addressed the country on state television.

    He said: “To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government.

    “As soon as we accomplish our mission we expect (the) situation to return to normalcy.”

    Earlier, African Union leader Alpha Conde, said: “The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe.

    “The constitutional order can be restored immediately and all stakeholders should show responsibility and restraint.”

    Boris Johnson waded into the dispute by accusing Robert Mugabe of allowing a corrupt elite to “pillage” the country’s natural resources leaving its residents poorer.

    The Foreign Secretary said: “There is an educated population, plentiful wildlife and what were some of the best roads and railways in Africa. Throw all this together and you get a nation that is almost over endowed for success.

    “Today, in one of Africa’s most fertile countries, many are close to starvation.”

    Zimbabwe’s woes came to global prominence following a campaign of controversial land seizures which saw the country’s profitable farms divided up in 2000.

    Commercial agriculture had been a major part of the nation’s economy driving exports.

    Mugabe’s reforms were followed by the massive levels of unemployment and uncontrollable inflation.


  • Jack 11:57 am on October 18, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: african terror, bridget johnson, , moving day, ,   

    ISIS Moving 

    A video circulating on pro-ISIS message boards purports to show the expansion of ISIS into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, though the Islamic State has not yet pushed on their official media channels the call to join fighters in the African country.

    The DRC is only about 10 percent Muslim, with about 80 percent of residents following some form of Christianity.

    The two-minute video shows several men dressed in camouflage and wielding weapons in a nondescript rainforest area, as a few young boys mingle around. The video quality is rough compared to highly produced films from ISIS’ official and affiliated media arms, but also resembles some rough-cut video statements delivered by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

    With a logo including ISIS’ insignia and a rifle, the group calls itself “The City of Monotheism and Monotheists,” or MTM.

    The jihadist delivering the statement is the only one in the group who does not look Congolese; he speaks Arabic and declares that those in the lands of “kuffar,” or disbelievers, should migrate to the DRC for jihad. “I swear to God that this is Dar al Islam of the Islamic State in Central Africa,” he said, swearing again that the group is “in the jihad.”

    None of the fighters who appear to be Congolese speak in the video; the official language in the DRC is French, with other local dialects spoken as well.

    The declaration of an ISIS chapter is a first for this part of Africa; the closest affiliations are Boko Haram to the northwest and, to the west, some Al-Shabaab members in Somalia who pledged allegiance to ISIS over al-Qaeda (the latter still being the terror group’s official patron). ISIS doesn’t always recognize groups of adherents as provinces, though caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has urged followers to expand their reach as ever-increasing amounts of ISIS’ original turf have been reclaimed by local forces in Iraq and Syria.

    In an audio message last November, al-Baghdadi addressed ISIS adherents in far-flung regions, including Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Indonesia, Philippines, Sinai, Bangladesh, West Africa and North Africa, as the “base of the caliphate,” and warned that “kuffar will try to split you.”

    Four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush while on a routine counterterrorism patrol with local forces in Niger at the beginning of the month. Both al-Qaeda and ISIS operate in the region.

    In a Pentagon briefing last week, Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. noted it’s “easier to actually stop resources than it is people” going from Syria, where ISIS’ caliphate is crumbling, to Africa, and “I think we’re having significant success doing that; probably not perfect, because perfection is probably not an attainable goal.”

    “But we strive very hard to prevent that,” he said. “Now, what you can’t prevent is local franchisement. You know, self-enabled radicalization. That’s a harder task to prevent and we’re going to continue to work at that … I’m sure some personnel have moved. We’re stopping I think the vast majority of that. I’m not going to tell you that we’re going to be able to stop everyone.”


    See Also:

    (1) Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ dissolves, but ideology, operations spread around world

    (2) Head of MI5 says Britain is facing the biggest terror threat of his 34-year career as he warns extremists are plotting and mounting attacks in a matter of days

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