27 May 2013

Tanzania: Manhunt Launched for Instigators of Mtwara Riots

Police are searching for people who distributed threatening leaflets and text messages shortly before riots in Mtwara last week, Tanzania's Daily News reported Monday (May 27th).

Leaflets and text messages threatening anyone who did not comply with a general strike against the gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam may have directly contributed to the riots, police said.

"No activities should be conducted on May 15th and anyone who goes against this order will be attacked," the messages said in part.

Mtwara Regional Commissioner Joseph Simbakalia, head of the region's defence and security committee, said police are tracking one person suspected of printing the leaflets outside Mtwara. "The government will do all what it takes to crack down these elements," he said.

A police taskforce has also been despatched from Dar es Salaam to investigate allegations that police officers used excessive force against rioters.

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