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Zanzibar on the brink of a new cycle of violence and repression

For the geographer Maïlys Chauvin, the nullification of the october 2015 elections in the archipelago where opposition was about to be declared the winner, jeopardises a hard-won stability.
On the morning of Friday January 22, the people of Zanzibar and its diaspora, discuss on WhatsApp the sudden redeployment of the police and special forces in the capital of the archipelago which has a semi-autonomous status in Tanzania. The nullification of the presidential, legislative and local of the islands elections of October 25 2015, caused a major crisis. The decision aimed at blocking the victory of the Civic Union Front (CUF), the main opposition party in the archipelago. A new vote was planned to be organized but most Zanzibaris reject it because a re-run of the elections has no legal basis.


In the afternoon, the Zombies, masked militia wearing civilian clothes and taken into trucks and 4×4 of the Special Forces of Zanzibar, are back at the famous baraza Commonwealth, in the popular district of Michenzani. Located at the foot of the block 6, this place of sociability known for his support for the opposition was attacked and razed by the Zombies in the night of 11 to 12 December 2015 whereas a discussion process was initiated to solve the crisis. But on Friday the people who have continued to gather despite the threats, are beaten and dispersed.
“We have been cheated ! “
The news comes on the waves of the very official Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation: New elections will be held March 20, 2016. Dejection reigns in the streets of the city. “Tumedhulimiwa! ” shouts a man:” We have been cheated ! “. Citizens have predominantly supported the CUF, not only on the island of Pemba, its historic stronghold in the north of the archipelago, but also on the island of Unguja in the south, where the capital is located and where the Party of the Revolution (Chama Cha Mapinduzi, CCM) in power for more than fifty years, has been recently strongly criticized.
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