Leaders of the Islamic separatist group Uamsho in Tanzania has been charged with incitement to violence after days of protest in Zanzibar. Riots have broken out across Tanzania after a boy urinated on a Quran and a leader of Uamsho was taken in for questioning by police. These protests resulted in the destruction of several churches in Tanzania.
10/23/2012 Tanzania (Reuters) – Seven leaders of a separatist Islamic group seeking to free the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar from Tanzania were charged with incitement to violence on Monday, while police fired teargas on their supporters outside the court.
The Islamic group Uamsho (Awakening) is pushing for the predominantly Muslim island’s exit from its 1964 union with mainland Tanzania, which is ruled as a secular country.
Muslim protesters clashed with police in Tanzania’s commercial capital and on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar on Friday, raising religious tensions in east Africa’s second-biggest economy.
Police fired teargas in Zanzibar’s capital, Stone Town, to disperse members of the group who gathered outside the court to witness the arraignment of their leaders. The officials of the group were charged with causing riots on the island in August.
“Leaders of the Uamsho group were charged with inciting the previous violence that occurred in Zanzibar in August. They have not been immediately charged with last week’s riots,” Zanzibar police spokesman Mohamed Mhina told Reuters.
The Uamsho leaders charged in court by the police include Hadi, 41, and the group’s chairman Sheikh Mselem Ali Mselem, 52.