Category Archives: International

Egyptian Raid Kills 11 Suspected Terrorists

By Chuma Kisu

Ismailiya, Egypt

Ismailiya, Egypt

According to international reports Egyptian security forces killed 11 suspected “terrorist elements” during a raid on a hideout Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

Those killed were suspected of being militants providing support for jihadists in the northern Sinai, the interior ministry said.

A ministry statement said police were still identifying the suspected militants killed in the raid in Ismailiya province after they opened fire on security forces approaching the hideout. Ismaili is in northeastern Egypt.

According to reports militants carried out a bomb and gun assault on a mosque in Rawda village in North Sinai province on Friday, killing 305 people – the deadliest in Egypt’s recent history – in an attack thought to have been carried out by the Islamic State group.

It is widely believed in Egypt that the massacre took place at the mosque because Sufi Muslims worshipped there.

The raid on the hideout was part of a security campaign in the province of Ismailiya around the Suez Canal separating the Sinai Peninsula from the rest of the country, and in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.

Police were pursuing leaders of “terrorist groups in North Sinai that aimed to carry out a series of hostile operations targeting important and vital buildings and Christian churches,” the statement said.

Security forces were able to identify “a group of these elements and the hideouts they were using to hide, train, and store means of logistic support ahead of smuggling them to terrorist groups in North Sinai”.

The statement said police also arrested six suspected militants and three people thought to have smuggled communications equipment to them. It said weapons, ammunition and communication devices were recovered.

AU Outraged by Footage of Modern Slave Trade

By Chuma Kisu

African Migrant Workers in Libya awaiting slave auction.

African Migrant Workers in Libya awaiting slave auction.

According to international reports the African Union (AU) expressed outrage after footage emerged appearing to show sub-Saharan migrants being sold at slave markets in Libya.

The video reportedly shows young African men being auctioned off as farm workers.

The AU chairman, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, demanded prosecutions over a “despicable” trade “from another era”.

Migrants trying to reach Europe have spoken of being held by smugglers and forced to work for little or no money.

The footage reportedly shows youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers for about $400 at undisclosed locations in Libya.

“These modern slavery practices must end and the African Union will use all the tools at its disposal,” Mr Conde said.

According to reports Libya has opened an investigation into the practice.

In April 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it had gathered evidence of slavery in Libya. The IOM’s chief of mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, told the reporters at the time that migrants were priced according to their abilities.

“Apparently they don’t have money and their families cannot pay the ransom, so they are being sold to get at least a minimum benefit from that,” he said.

“The price is definitely different depending on your qualifications, for example if you can do painting or tiles or some specialized work then the price gets higher.”

US Conducts Air Strikes in Somalia

By Chuma Kisu160204150328-somaliamap-super-169

According to international reports the United States army issued a report stating it has conducted two separate air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in northeastern Somalia. They report that several members of the group were killed.

Friday’s, November 10, 2017 attacks were in coordination with Somali government forces, the statement said. Somalia is located in Northeastern Africa bordering Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya to the south.

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the first strike occurred at approximately midnight local Somalia time. The second strike occurring at approximately 11am local Somalia time.

“We are currently assessing the results of the strike,” the statement said.

Reports from Somalia suggest ISIL has been recruiting members there since it became active in the country, although the scale of its activities is far smaller than that of al-Shabab.

The AFRICOM statement said that US forces will continue to cooperate with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) to target “terrorists”, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia.

From the Horn of Africa in the east to the Sahel, encompassing Central and West Africa, security forces backed by Western troops have been stepping up efforts to counter armed groups such as ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and al-Qaeda.

The presidents of the Sahel countries, including Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad, are working on final modalities to set up a G 5 Sahel force to help fight the numerous groups that are active in the region.

Maasai in Space

Work from Jacque Njeri.

Work from Jacque Njeri.

By Chumu Kisu

African visual artist Jacque Njeri is cited in the international press as extending new views of East African people in her digital art depicting the Maasai elders navigating a spaceship. The Massai are a cattle herding group found in Kenya and Tanzania.

In her striking images, Njeri depicts women as cyborgs with colorful beads around their necks and elders clutching their traditional sticks on board a spaceship.

Traditionally, members of the community in East Africa are cattle herders — often crossing borders between Kenya and Tanzania. Njeri was inspired to take them farther by sending the herders up to space.

In a quote she states:

“I imagine a lot. I observe things around me or on a picture and off-piste the scenario. I sketch, then come back to the idea later and augment it. Sometimes an idea is triggered by a word. The word MaaSci was my main inspiration for this project,” says the 26-year-old Kenyan. I greatly admire their aesthetics (the Maasai),” said the artist.

Njeri’s depictions are in the style of Afrofuturism which is portrayal of African cultural aesthetic through tech, science and fantasy themes. Often time Afrofuturism depicts what African cultural development would have been if not for the cultural interruption of White colonialism. While Njeri doesn’t call herself an Afrofuturist, she says she has been drawn to the aesthetic for quite some time.

In MaaSci, Njeri says she used the people to “provide that rich cultural aesthetic to the different science fiction themes represented in the compositions.

“They [Maasai] represent our culture, our country, but what if we still progressed intellectually without losing bits of what makes us truly Africans.”

The artist is currently working on a follow-up project called “The Mau Mau Dreams,” an imaginary portrait of what Kenya would look like if it had not been colonized, with the leaders of the Mau Mau rebellion and other Kenyan heroes as the main subjects.”