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Tanzania Gun Attacks, Security Forces Yet To Identify Gunman, Motive

by Vincent Gasana
11:43 am

The alleged attacker

Tanzanian security services are continuing investigations to identify a gunman who murdered three police offers, and a security guard, at the French Embassy in Dar-es-salaam, before police shot him dead. 

There are still conflicting reports of the gunman’s movements, but what is certain is that he carried out the attack in the Salenda area of Dar es Salaam.

The area is home to several Embassies, including the French Embassy, which was apparently the gunman’s target. 

According to some reports, the man was initially armed with a pistol. He shot and killed two police officers, taking their assault rifles, to attack the French Embassy, a few hundred metres away. 

He was reportedly firing randomly, at the gate, and managed to kill one more police officer, and a security guard. He then holed up inside the guardhouse, where he was shot and killed. 

Soon afterwards, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, announced, via twitter, that a gunman had been “neutralised” and “calm has returned.” In a statement, she sent her condolences for the dead.

“I send my condolences to the police service, and the families of three policemen, and one officer of the SGA security company who lost their lives, after an armed person attacked them in the Salenda area of Dar es Salaam.” 

Six other people were injured in the exchange of fire, between the gunman and security officers. 

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and neither the attacker nor his motive are yet to be identified. 

Early suggestions are that the attack may be connected to the presence of Tanzanian troops in Mozambique, but this remains mere speculation.  

Tanzania has sent its troops to Mozambique, as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces to help the country repel an extremist terror group that had occupied the northern part of the country, for the best of four years. 

According to reports given to the NGO, Save the Children, by the inhabitants of Cabo Delgado, the militants murdered thousands, many by beheadings, including children as young as eleven. 

An estimated 800,000 people were displaced, more than 2,600 murdered, of whom 1,300 were civilians. 

The area has now been liberated in an operation led by the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), supporting the Mozambican army. SADC forces are yet to play any meaningful part in the operation. 

Earlier this month, 8th August, in a bilateral agreement with Mozambique, Rwanda sent 1,000 members of the RDF to Mozambique. Many of the extremists fled towards Tanzania. 

Cabo Delgado is also home to one of Africa largest energy projects, the $20 liquified gas development by French oil giant Total. The company had stopped the work, due to insecurity. They are now expected to restart it. 

It is however too early to say, whether this might explain why the gunman attacked the French Embassy. Some bystanders say that they heard the gunman shout that he wanted to kill police officers. 

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