Britain has issued a security alert for its citizens, warning of the possibility of terrorism in Tanzania’s southern districts along the border with Mozambique.
On October 30, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued a revised travel advisory for Tanzania, advising against “all but essential travel to any area within 20 kilometers of the Tanzanian border with the Cabo Delgado Province of northern Mozambique.”
The latest advice was issued in response to “attacks by groups linked to Islamic extremism,” and it warned that terrorists were “very likely to try to carry out attacks in Tanzania in the near future, including in major cities.”
According to the FCDO, the attacks “could be indiscriminate and occur without warning” with an added risk of “kidnapping for ransom and political purposes.”
“Places frequented by Westerners, including places of worship, transport hubs, embassies, hotels and restaurants, and major gatherings like sporting and religious events, may be targets,” it said.
Every year, approximately 75,000 British people visit Tanzania, and the FCDO advises visitors to “remain vigilant at all times” while there.
The current warning comes nearly two weeks after a similar one was issued for certain areas in Uganda in response to the deaths of three individuals, including a British citizen, in a “suspected” terrorist incident in the country’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A South African national and a local tour guide were also killed in the mid-October Uganda tragedy.
According to the FCDO, while Tanzania has not experienced a significant terrorist attack since the 1998 US embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam, there have been a number of smaller-scale incidents.
The advisory specifically mentioned an October 2020 attack in Kitara villagè in Tanzania’s Mtwara area on the border with Mozambique, which was “claimed” by Islamic militants operating in northern Mozambique.
“Attacks by IS-Mozambique, which is based in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, are possible near Tanzania’s border with this area of Mozambique.” There is also some perceived to be support for Daesh (previously known as ISIL),” it claimed.
Members of Somalia’s Al Shabaab faction were also “thought to be active in Tanzania” as well as other East African countries, according to the report.