Kenya and “vowed to increase attacks
against the crusaders,” Somali pro-al-
Shabaab website Calamada reported
on February 17th.
The previous day, local media reported
at least three primary school teachers
were killed in the attack on Qarsa
Primary School while a fourth was
One hundred police reservists have been
deployed along the border of Wajir East
and Tarbaj sub-counties in a bid to
boost security after the attack, Daily
The move comes as non-local teachers
continue to ﬂee schools in border areas.
More than 60% of teachers in Wajir
County are non-locals and their exit
could create a huge crisis in schools, in
an area which has continued to record
poor performance in the past years.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary
Education Teachers (Kuppet) has con-
tinued to pressure the government to
withdraw non-local teachers from
schools in northeastern region. (Daily
Boni Forest Operation Hits Snags:
Administration Police (AP) ofﬁcers
involved in a security operation in Lamu
County (southeastern Kenya) have
warned that the exercise risks failing
unless the government intervenes.
Speaking to Kenya’s Saturday Standard,
the ofﬁcers cited logistical challenges,
training deﬁcit, poor remuneration and
lack of morale as inhibiting the success
of the operation.
In an investigation into the multi-
faceted Operation Linda Boni
(“Protect Boni”), the security exercise
to ﬂush out al-Shabaab in the dense
Boni forest, the newspaper established
that all police camps lack water and
Between June and November 2017, 28
ofﬁcers were killed in action in various
parts of Lamu through ambushes, gun
or explosives attacks.
(The Standard 18/2)
Meanwhile, the KDF (Kenya Defence
Forces) on February 14th killed three al-
Shabaab militants within Boni forest
and recovered weapons from them. Ear-
lier, police reported that two Kenyans
were executed by the militants in Soma-
lia for allegedly spying for the Kenyan
and Somali intelligence agencies.
Former VP’s Home Attacked: A team of
detectives from Bomb Squad Unit were
on January 31st deployed to the Nairobi
home of opposition National Super
Alliance (NASA) leader Kalonzo
Musyoka after unknown gunmen hurled
a grenade there. Kalonzo, a former vice
president, was at home at the time of the
incident. No one was injured.
Security seconded to Kalonzo and other
NASA principals had earlier been with-
drawn for unexplained reasons. This was
ahead of the planned swearing in of
Raila Odinga and Kalonzo as the peo-
ple’s president and deputy president
respectively on January 30th (see
p. 21754). Kalonzo did not show up.
(The Standard 31/1) Changing face of terror
Second Benghazi Mosque
Seven years since protests ousted Gad-
dafy, insecurity and economic woes
Twin bomb blasts struck a mosque in
Benghazi on February 9th, killing at
least one person and wounding 149 in
the latest attack to target worshippers in
the city. The explosions hit the mosque
at the start of weekly prayers, a security
source told AFP.
The security source said one bomb had
been hidden in a cofﬁn in the courtyard
of the mosque and another in a shoe
cabinet at the entrance.
The blasts follow twin car bombings
outside a mosque in Benghazi on Jan-
uary 24th that left nearly 40 people dead.
There was no claim of responsibility for
that attack, which underscored the
ongoing chaos in the Benghazi region
that is controlled by the forces of mili-
tary strongman Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar, who opposes a UN-backed unity
government based in Tripoli, announced
Benghazi’s “liberation” from jihadists in
July 2017 after a three-year campaign,
but sporadic violence has continued.
The United Nations (UN) mission in
Libya condemned the latest “brutal
bombings” and said the reports of civil-
ian casualties were “deeply concerning.”
Fears over potential reprisals are height-
ened by the reported summary execution
of around 10 jihadist prisoners by a
commander loyal to Haftar following
Video showed Mahmoud al-Werfalli –
who was already wanted by the Interna-
tional Criminal Court (ICC) over 33
suspected extra-judicial killings – appar-
ently shooting dead the detainees at the
scene of the blasts.
Werfalli on February 6th said he had
handed himself in to military police
under Haftar’s command, but it was
not possible to conﬁrm his arrest from
an independent source.
Libya has been wracked by violence and
divisions since dictator Muammar Gad-
dafy was toppled and killed in a 2011
NATO-backed uprising. The UN-
backed unity government based in the
capital has struggled to assert its author-
ity. Haftar supports the rival adminis-
tration based in the east.
The UN is currently trying to negotiate
an end to the current political turmoil by
agreeing parliamentary and presidential
elections later in 2018, but there is deep
scepticism over whether they will take
(© AFP 9/2 2018)
Creating A Nation
Thousands of Libyans on February 17th
marked the seventh anniversary of the
start of protests that ousted Gaddafy,
with rallies and concerts despite the
country’s political and economic morass.
Libya descended into chaos after the
2011 uprising, with rival militias, tribes
and jihadists vying for inﬂuence across
the oil-rich country.
Internationally-backed Prime Minister
Fayez al-Sarraj acknowledged his gov-
ernment’s shortcomings in a televised
speech on February 17th to mark the
seventh anniversary, and called for
The festivities come as persistent insecu-
rity and economic woes feed despair,
particularly among Libyan youth. “I
have no intention of waiting for them
to steal away my youth and life,” said
one teenager interviewed by AFP. “I’ll
throw myself into the sea like the
migrants, without looking back.”
Since 2011, Libya has been a key gate-
way for migrants trying to reach Europe.
Thousands have drowned attempting to
make the journey, while thousands more
have been detained in the North African
country, drawing criticism from rights
groups over alleged abuse.
UN envoy Ghassan Salame said in
February he hoped for elections in Libya
by the end of 2018, but warned condi-
tions were not yet ready for polling.
Haftar has supported holding elections
although it is not clear if he would stand
as a candidate.
Previous efforts to stem the strife have
come up against the opposition of a
myriad of factions which switch alle-
giances according to their interests.
As pointed out by Federica Saini Fasan-
otti of the Washington-based Brookings
Institute think-tank, democracies are not
born overnight. “Processes of
democratisation are – as history teaches
us – always long, cruel and very difﬁ-
cult,” she said. “Creating a nation can be
a matter of decades, centuries in some
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
February 1st–28th 2018 Africa Research Bulletin – 21763