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Tanzania: President Hassan continues in Magufuli’s footsteps

By The Africa Report
Posted on Wednesday, 15 September 2021 14:47

Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan attends the funeral service of former President John Magufuli in his home town of Chato, Tanzania Friday, March 26, 2021. (AP Photo)

Although it is the neighbouring country most affected by the Islamist insurgency in Mozambique's northern province of Cabo Delgado, Tanzania's response to the conflict is the most misunderstood.

Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan, is now being accused of not only continuing in her predecessor John Magufuli’s security tactics, but also of using repressive policies to maintain a one-party state.

In regional matters, Tanzania has deployed the second most military personnel, 270 to date, to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).

“For President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the challenge is to protect Tanzania’s security, calm Mozambique’s concerns, manage Rwanda’s attempt to expand its sphere of influence into southern Africa, and ensure her acceptability to the Tanzanian political and security elite,” reports Africa Confidential. 

The fight against the Islamists

  • In 2017, the police and Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) rooted out Islamists who had Salafist and jihadist followings that were different from the traditional local Muslim establishment and attracted disaffected youth.
  • Many were killed, but some escaped to Cabo Delgado, while others ended up in the DRC via Burundi.
  • Now, Tanzania is defending itself from fighters entering into the country amongst the thousands displaced by the Cabo Delgado insurgency and crossing the border.

Samia’s security in office

Following Magufuli’s death, there were rumours that some did not want then Vice-President Hassan to take over, however, the top generals in the army guaranteed her succession as per Article 37 of the Constitution.

While her first 100 days in office appeared promising, having opened more freedom of expression, recent actions against the opposition suggest she will not veer that far off the path of  Magufuli.

Bottom line

President Hassan has not strayed far from her predecessor’s policies, both domestically and across the region.

The full version of this article can be found in Africa Confidential. 

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