Did Mozambique beheadings signal emergence of jihad in southern Africa?

Mozambique experienced its first confirmed Islamist attack on October 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Recent attacks attributed to Islamist militants in Mozambique have raised alarms over the emergence of a jihadist movement in the southern half of Africa – a section of the continent previously relatively untroubled by violent Islamist extremism. Little, if anything, was known about the group behind the attacks, in October . . . Read More

‘State-sponsored repression’ behind Eritrea’s refugee epidemic

Eritrea remains “one of the worst examples of state-sponsored repression of freedom of religion or belief in the world”, says USCIRF Commissioner. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
“State-sponsored repression” is the reason Eritrea is one of the world’s main sources of refugees, a US human rights commission has heard. The East African country is not at war, nor does it suffer from terrorism, but some estimate that as many as 10 per cent of Eritreans have fled . . . Read More

Kenya: engaged couple killed, together with fellow primary school teacher, by suspected Al-Shabaab attackers

Kenya: engaged couple killed, together with fellow primary school teacher, by suspected Al-Shabaab attackers
After the coldblooded murder of three Christian teachers – including a couple soon to be married – in north-eastern Kenya by suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen, fear is growing that the Islamist militant group is targeting education, and its proponents, in the predominantly Muslim region. Seth Oluoch Odada and Kevin Shari were . . . Read More

Ceasefire holds but food shortage threatens Sudan’s Nuba people

A young girl grinds some grain in the shade of her home in the Nuba Mountains. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The war planes may have gone and the bombings stopped, thanks to a ceasefire, but the people of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains are now battling another enemy: hunger. Six years of civil war between Sudan’s government troops and the SPLM-N rebels, fighting for self-determination, has destroyed communities and infrastructure in the . . . Read More

Coastal and north-east Kenyans have more to fear than most, as Al-Shabaab threatens elections

On June 15, 2014 twin attacks by suspected al-Shabaab militants on Mpeketoni and a nearby village of Poroko left 52 people dead. The attackers singled out all who could not recite Muslim prayers and killed them in plain site before destroying their homes.
Attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the Kenyan coastal region of Lamu are raising concerns that the Islamist group is attempting to disrupt the election tomorrow (8 August), as international observers warn of chaos if the result is perceived as rigged. The election, between current President Uhuru Kenyatta and his . . . Read More

Somaliland closes only Catholic church due to public pressure – it re-opened a week ago after 30 years

Somaliland closes only Catholic church due to public pressure – it re-opened a week ago after 30 years
The only Catholic church in Somaliland, East Africa, officially re-opened after three decades on 29 July, has been closed again within a week, due to public pressure. “The issue has created a lot of division … which is not in our national interest… The government has decided to respect the . . . Read More