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Hezbollah’s operations in west Africa – Blogs – Jerusalem Post

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Hezbollah’s operations in west Africa – Blogs – Jerusalem Post.

Last Thursday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on three Lebanese individuals – Mustapha Fawaz, Fouzi Fawaz and Abdallah Tahini –accusing them of running a significant Hezbollah supply network in west Africa. The trio, all Lebanese-born but now residing in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, have a history of alleged links to Hezbollah.

According to the Treasury Department, Mustapha Fawaz has had ties with the group since the 1990s, organizing a network of hidden cameras to monitor the movement of Israelis. Fawaz is also rumored to have provided Hezbollah with a report of his visit to the US Embassy in Abuja. In May 2013, the Nigerian authorities detained him, whereupon he gave up crucial intelligence on Hezbollah’s activities throughout the country. Fawaz’s confession led the Nigerian security services to an unremarkable property in the Nigerian city of Kano, where they uncovered a veritable armory  housing weapons to be used against Israeli targets across West Africa. Following this discovery, Mustapha’s brother – Fouzi Fawaz – along with Abdallah Tahini were apprehended by the Nigerian security forces and charged with supporting Hezbollah operations in the country. All three men have since been released.

Thursday’s sanctions were not the first time the Treasury Department has targeted individuals connected to Hezbollah in west Africa. In June of 2013, the United States blacklisted four Lebanese men – Ali Ibrahim al-Wafta, Abbas Loutfe Fawaz, Ali Ahmad Chehade and Hicham Nmer Khanafer – after they were accused of masterminding Hezbollah’s fundraising campaigns in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia…

Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer – The Washington Post

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Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer – The Washington Post

via Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer – The Washington Post.

It looks a lot like Christmas in Senegal, where 95 percent of the 12.8 million residents are Muslim. Even the Grande Mosquee, a mosque that dominates the city’s skyline, is aglow in holiday lights.

“When they go to school, the children learn about Santa,” says Lo, wearing a flowing olive green robe known as a boubou. “We are born into the Senegalese tradition of cohabitation between Muslims and Christians. What is essential is the respect between people.”

Senegal, a moderate country along Africa’s western coast, has long been a place where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully. Most Christians here are Catholic and live in the south of country and in the capital…

 

allAfrica.com: Senegal: New Alternative After Wade Defeat

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allAfrica.com: Senegal: New Alternative After Wade Defeat.

 Analysts say that Senegal’s outgoing President Abdoulaye Wade was made to pay for his failure to respond to popular demands, particularly arising from the high cost of basic commodities, a lengthy strike by teachers, and high youth unemployment, by losing his bid for a third term of office.

Senegal Elections: A First Take By John Cambell

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http://blogs.cfr.org/campbell/2012/02/28/senegal-elections-a-first-take/

The experience of Ivory Coast should temper unbounded optimism about the elections, however. The Ivorian 2010 polling — the first in a decade — went well. There was a subsequent runoff between the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. But, the runoff was marred by irregularities with both candidates declaring victory, setting up parallel administrations, and there was a low level civil war resolved in the end by the UN and the French. The country now appears superficially calm, but divisions persist.

I am hopeful, even optimistic, that there will be no replay of the Ivory Coast scenario in Senegal. The former was characterized by “big man” rule under Houphouet Boigny that in effect stunted the development of a democratic culture. There was a recent history of civil war and the continued existence of parallel armed forces. There are ethnic and religious divisions often bundled together under the rubrics of “settlers” versus indigenes. Valuable commodities — cocoa, oil — distort politics.

Darfur rebels ‘free UNAMID peacekeepers’ – Africa – Al Jazeera English

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Darfur rebels ‘free UNAMID peacekeepers’ – Africa – Al Jazeera English.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Darfur’s largest armed opposition group, told the Reuters news agency earlier on Monday that they had captured 52 members of the UNAMID force.   Forty-six of the peacekeepers were from Senegal, including two officers, while there was one each from Yemen, Ghana and Rwanda

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