US Issues Terrorism Alert for Tanzania as Opposition Leader Returns from Exile

US Issues Terrorism Alert for Tanzania as Opposition Leader Returns from Exile


The United States Embassy in Tanzania issued a terrorism alert on Wednesday, which came the same day as exiled Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu permanently returned to the country for the first time since 2017 following an assassination attempt.

During his political career, Lissu established himself as a key opposition figure within the Tanzania government when he won a Parliament seat in 2010. While in office, Lissu was a staunch critic of then-president John Magufuli, which saw him be arrested several times over allegations of sedition and insulting the presidency. In 2017, Lissu was shot 16 times while in his car outside of Parliament by unknown gunmen. The attack resulted in Lissu leaving the country for advanced medical treatment and out of fear for his life. After receiving medical treatment in Kenya, he moved to Belgium in self-exile, only returning back to Tanzania once in 2020 to challenge Magufuli in the Presidential election. Lissu lost and returned to Belgium after receiving death threats.

Lissu returned to Tanzania on Wednesday, arriving in the commercial capital of Dares Salaam. His return coincided with a recent decision by current President Samia Suluhu Hassan to reverse Magufuli-era bans on political rallies, which targeted opposition parties.

The United States Embassy issued a security warning for the city, advising Americans and other westerners to avoid high traffic areas in Dar es Salaam, stating that “Locations frequented by U.S. citizens and other Westerners in Dares Salaam and elsewhere in Tanzania continue to be attractive targets to terrorists planning to conduct attacks. Terrorist groups could attack with little or no warning, targeting hotels, embassies, restaurants, malls and markets, police stations, mosques, and other places frequented by Westerners.”

Tanzania has been dealing with an ISIS-aligned insurgency along its border with Mozambique for several years now, specifically by militants from Cabo Delgado. Tanzania, however, has not faced a siginifant attack on a major city in over two decades. It remains unknown if the adversary was meant to coincide with Lissu’s return, which has become a political focal point in the country. Rallies held by Lissu would be prime targets for attacks to disrupt political and social life in Tanzania. Likewise, the advisory could be in relation to potential attacks against Lissu by Magufuli supporters.

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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