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‘Common-Sense Gun Control’

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Burundi’s President Tells His Citizens to Give Up Their Guns – Or Else.

Kayla Ruble reports: After weeks of assassinations, murders, and clashes with police in Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza has issued an ultimatum to the country’s citizens: Give up your guns by Saturday, or else you will “be dealt with as enemies of the nation.”

“This call could be a recipe for disaster. The concern is that he’s going to use this call to try and disarm the opposition to maintain the monopoly of use of force in the country.”

Nkurunziza made the announcement in a national speech on Monday, the same day that authorities said police killed eight people during a shootout with an alleged group of criminals near the capital Bujumbura. People who turn over their weapons by the November 7 deadline will also be “trained on patriotic education.”

“Those who will not do so… will be taken as criminals and be prosecuted according to the anti-terrorism law and be dealt with as enemies of the nation. This is the last call we make.”

— President Pierre Nkurunziza

At the same time, the leader ordered Burundi’s police force to restore security in the country by December. “You are allowed to use all the necessary means and authorized rules and regulations in security matters,” he told the country’s cops.

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“The successful re-election campaign sparked clashes in the streets of Bujumbura between Nkurunziza’s opponents and supporters, with violent crackdowns against demonstrators carried out by a police force that was largely loyal to the president.”

Assassins have targeted supporters of Burundi’s government, military officials, journalists, opposition members, and human rights workers since Nkurunziza won a controversial third term in office in July. Reports of dead bodies in the streets of the capital have regularly surfaced on social media, and security raids on alleged rebel groups have also occurred.

[Read the full story here, at VICE News]

According to the United Nations, more than 200 Burundians have been killed in unrest since Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, announced in April that he would seek a third term in office.

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Critics argued the move was illegal due to the two-term limit outlined in the country’s constitution, which was established in 2005 after a decade-long civil war. The nation’s high court ultimately cleared Nkruniziza to run again, determining that it was legal because he had been appointed to his first term rather than democratically elected. Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING: Gunmen Storm Kenya’s Garissa University College

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Heavy gunfire and explosions have been heard at Garissa University College near the border with Somalia.

Local media say that two policemen and a student have been injured and rushed to hospital, and Kenyan defence forces are said to have arrived at the scene.

It is not clear who is responsible for the attack, but Somali al-Shabaab militants have frequently targeted Kenya in the past few years….developing….

BBC News


BREAKING: Lead Prosecutor in al-Shabaab Bombing Case Shot Dead in Uganda

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Police say Joan Kagezi, who was prosecuting the case of 13 men on trial for killing 76 people, was followed on a motorbike as she drove home

Uganda’s lead prosecutor in the ongoing trial of 13 men accused of participating in 2010 al-Shabaab bombings that killed 76 people was shot dead Monday, police said.

Joan Kagezi, acting assistant director of public prosecution, was murdered by men on a motorbike as she drove home in a suburb of the capital, Kampala police spokesman Patrick Onyango said. “They were trailing her on a motorcycle … They shot her dead.”

Her current cases included the trial of men allegedly linked to July 2010 suicide bombings targeting football fans watching the World Cup final at a restaurant and a rugby club in Kampala. Somalia’s al-Qaida-affiliated Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s first outside Somalia.

The trial of the accused – seven Kenyans, five Ugandans and one Tanzanian – began earlier this month at Uganda’s high court on a range of charges including terrorism, murder and membership of a terrorist organisation.

All but one have also been charged with belonging to the Shabaab. The case was due to resume on Tuesday.

Jane Kajuga, spokeswoman for the office of the director of public prosecution, confirmed the death of Kagezi, lead prosector in the bombing trial, and who also led the prosecution’s anti-terrorism and war crimes section.

“She has been shot dead … but details are so far scanty,” Kajuga told the NTV Uganda station. Read the rest of this entry »


Al-Shabaab Names New Leader, Vows Revenge for U.S. Strike That Killed Its Commander

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Armed al-Shabaab fighters are seen on pickup trucks.  Associated Press

 MOGADISHU—Abdalle Ahmed Mumin reports: Somalia‘s al-Shabaab said Saturday the militant group had named a new leader, after its commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

“This is definitely a game changer for al-Shabaab and probably a turning point for the organization.”

The group said it had named Ahmed Omar Abu Ubeyd to succeed Ahmed Abdi Godane, who died of wounds sustained in the drone strike Monday in Somalia’s remote Lower Shabelle region, said the group’s spokesman, Abdiasis abu Mus’ab.

“This leader, Ahmed Godane, built the organization around himself for the past three years.”

— Abdi Aynte, head of The Heritage Institute, a Mogadishu-based think tank

“We will not sit alone,” he said, vowing revenge for a strike that appears to have killed not only Mr. Godane but several of his top aides.

[Also see – BOOTS + GROUND: U.S. Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia – punditfromanotherplanet.com]

[More – REPORT: Al-Shabaab Claims Three Americans Among Gunmen in Kenya Mall – punditfromanotherplanet.com]

Analysts said it was too soon to tell if al-Shabaab was indeed still unified or attempting to forestall its fragmentation after the death of a charismatic leader, who had sidelined or eliminated other powerful figures in the group since taking over in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Large explosion, Gunfire at Somalia’s Intelligence Headquarters, Islamic Militants Attack a High Security Prison

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda gather as they prepare to launch an offensive against Al-Shabab strongholds in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. (AP/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)  Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Aug-31/269091-large-explosion-gunfire-at-somalias-intelligence-hq.ashx#ixzz3BxiXwCS1  (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda gather as they prepare to launch an offensive against Al-Shabab strongholds in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. (AP/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)

MOGADISHU: Suspected Al-Shabab militants attacked Somalia’s intelligence headquarters in central Mogadishu Sunday, setting off a bomb and opening fire on the complex, police and witnesses said.

UPDATE (AP) — A Somali police officer says heavily armed suspected Islamic militants have attacked a high security prison in the Somali capital.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said that armed men on Sunday morning invaded the Godka Jilacow prison, which also serves as a key interrogation center for Somalia’s intelligence agency.

Mohamed Hassan, a resident who lives near the prison in the neighborhood of the presidential palace, said he heard gunfire and explosions as soldiers and militants fought for the control of the notorious jail. Read the rest of this entry »