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Tanzanian army reinforces gov’t efforts to end brutal killings of children

NAIROBI – Top military officials in Tanzania say they support government efforts at ending attacks on and murder of children.  Tanzania’s Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), General Venance Mabeyo on Monday said the army has reinforced determinations that end the brutal killings of children in the country’s southern region of Njombe.

General Mabeyo held

In closed door talks with members of the Njombe region defense and security committee on how to contain the killings, General Mabeyo said, “We need to end the killings of children as a matter of urgency.”

The General said the killings have tarnished the image of Njombe to the rest of Tanzania and beyond.

He said information about the brutal killings of innocent children has spread throughout the length and breadth of Tanzania and beyond, and that has sent shivers down the spines of some Tanzanians at home and abroad.

“Some people have been intimidated within and beyond our borders. This is why we have decided to bring a special team of experts that works with regional authorities in ending the killings,” he said.

He appealed for calm among Njombe residents as authorities move to investigate the root causes of the killings while also seeking to bring the culprits to justice.

“There is no reason to panic. This is not yet a national issue because it involves individual families and the reasons behind the killings are typical family matters,” he said.

Authorities in Tanzania have confirmed the brutal killings of at least 10 children in Njombe in less than a month.

The killers removed the reproductive and respiratory organs of the murdered children, hence linking the killings to superstitious beliefs and economic reasons including organ sales.

Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola informed Parliament last week that at least 29 people, including businessmen and some traditional healers, had been arrested in connection with the killings.

The United Nations office in Tanzania has condemned the senseless killings of the children, saying children have a fundamental right to be safe and be protected from violence so that they can enjoy their childhood and reach their full potential.

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Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere

Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere is a public affairs researcher and senior investigative correspondent.

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