A Tanzanian social media activist, based in the US, has called for nationwide anti-government demonstrations to take place on Thursday, April 26, to denounce the perceived diminution of political freedoms and rise in human rights abuses. The protests, which coincide with Union Day (commemorating the unification of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar), have been banned by authorities, as with all opposition gatherings, and President John Magufuli has warned citizens against taking part. However, activists have stated that the protests will go ahead as planned. Clashes with security forces are likely.
At least seven people were arrested in Arusha on Tuesday, April 24, accused of being involved in planning the demonstrations.
The government has been accused of taking a number of steps to limit free speech and prevent public criticism. Opposition meetings and protests have been banned across the country indefinitely and those who defy are usually arrested.
Individuals in Tanzania are advised to avoid all protests, maintain a low profile, and avoid talking about sensitive topics in public or on social media.
On a separate note, the majority of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the eastern province of Kigoma (along the Burundian border) due to an unstable political and health environment, as well as to the Rwandan border (Kagera province).
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