Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dar vows to battle acid attacks

Tanzanian President Dr Jakaya Kikwete has expressed his government’s commitment to ensure that the increasing acid attacks on people on the Mainland and in Zanzibar are brought to an end. For a start, he said, the Police Force conducted a special manhunt in Zanzibar for acid attack suspects. So far, ten people have been apprehended for allegedly being involved in throwing acid onto people’s faces. A statement issued in Dar es Salaam by the Directorate of Presidential Communications said that President Kikwete told the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon that the acid attack incidents have many fronts. However, he assured the UN Secretary General that the government will solve the problem once and for all within a short period. Mr Kikwete was responding to an enquiry by Mr Moon who wanted to have a clearer picture on the increasing number of acid attacks. President Kikwete said that there are more such attacks in Zanzibar than the Mainland. “It is true that we are experiencing acid attack problems especially in Zanzibar where there are more such atrocities compared to those in the Mainland. The Police Force conducted thorough investigations into he problem in a quest to apprehend culprits. “Ten suspects have been apprehended so far and will be prosecuted in courts of law soon,” he said. “At the beginning it was the Zanzibar Chief Sheikh’s secretary, Sheikh Fadhil Suleiman Soraga, who was attacked. “We thought the attack had been carried out by his opponents. But attacks on other people continued,” said Mr Kikwete. Meanwhile, Mr Ban Ki-Moon commended the contribution made by Tanzanian soldiers in peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the UN contingent. He said that Tanzanian soldiers in DRC are doing a commendable job. The UN Secretary General also expressed his condolence to President Kikwete over the deaths of seven Tanzanian soldiers in Darfur under the UNAMID and two under MONUSCO. “I thank you for allowing your soldiers to take part in Eleven plus Four in DRC. The Tanzanian soldiers have proved to be a different outfit in the mission with a high degree of discipline and standard,” he said. Tanzania has become proactive in contributing troops to the UN peacekeeping operations with over 2,500 peacekeepers in Lebanon, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Globally it is the 12th contributor of peacekeepers. President Kikwete thanked Mr Moon for his condolences over the fallen Tanzanian peacekeepers in Sudan and DRC, insisting that the country will continue with the noble endeavour as members of the UN with the duty of advancing and upholding the ideals of the esteemed organisation. On the souring relationship with Rwanda, President Kikwete was optimistic that after a meeting in Kampala, Uganda, with President Paul Kagame the situation would return to normal.

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