Overview:  In 2022 the Government of Tanzania and the United States engaged in limited but increasing counterterrorism and countering violent extremism cooperation.  Counterterrorism has risen in importance for the Government of Tanzania as terrorist organizations — namely al-Shabaab, ISIS-Mozambique (ISIS-M), and ISIS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC, locally known as Allied Democratic Forces) — have recruited and operated in Tanzania.  ISIS-M presents a significant danger to citizens of Tanzania, especially those who live along its shared border with Mozambique.  Weapons, provisions, and people from Tanzania cross the porous borders from Tanzania’s southern regions into northern Mozambique to equip ISIS-M.  In 2022, al-Shabaab increased its Swahili language propaganda and social media to recruit fighters to Somalia and Kenya, targeting disaffected youth populations throughout both countries.  Increasing numbers of youth reportedly disappeared in Zanzibar in 2022, presumably to join violent extremist groups.  ISIS-DRC was believed to have crossed frequently into western Tanzania from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi.  Tanzania-Mozambique cross-border security cooperation through multilateral engagement was ongoing — primarily with coordination provided by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).  However, bilateral cooperation remained essential to protecting Tanzanian citizens and territory.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  Tanzania did not experience significant terrorist attacks in 2022.  But Tanzanians continued to fill leadership and rank-and-file roles within terrorist groups in Tanzania’s neighboring countries, where violent extremist attacks were carried out with frequency.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  The Government of Tanzania did not pass or amend any laws regarding terrorism in 2022.  However, the Tanzanian Parliament voted unanimously to ratify the Dakar Declaration Against Terrorism, a protocol of the 1999 Organization of African Unity Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, which recognized the growing threat of terrorism in Africa and the need to coordinate continental efforts in countering international terrorism.  This ratification was perhaps in response to the African Union’s call for all AU member states to scale up implementation of all relevant instruments and decisions during the 2022 Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa.

In response to continued ISIS-M activity in Mozambique, the Government of Tanzania maintained a robust security personnel presence in the southern border regions of Mtwara and Ruvuma, as well as in neighboring Lindi Region.  In 2022 the Government of Tanzania deployed additional troops to Tanzania’s southern border, which are separate and independent from the SADC mission.  The Government of Tanzania granted limited access for diplomatic missions and humanitarian organizations to some areas along the southern border.  In general, the Government of Tanzania’s security forces are proactive and often heavy handed in addressing suspects of violent extremism.

Charges of terrorism, terrorist financing, and money laundering, all of which result in a prohibition on the use of bail, have been used to incarcerate journalists, political party representatives, and other nationals for political reasons.  While this practice slowed under President Suluhu, who assumed the presidency in March 2021, political opposition leader Freeman Mbowe was held in custody for more than seven months on terrorism charges until the Government of Tanzania dropped all charges in April.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  Tanzania is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG).  Its FIU, the Financial Intelligence Unit – Tanzania, is a member of the Egmont Group.  Tanzania was added to the FATF “gray list” in 2022.  In October, FATF reported that Tanzania made a high-level political commitment to work with FATF and ESAAMLG to strengthen the effectiveness of its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism regime.  Since the adoption of its mutual evaluation report in 2021, Tanzania has made progress on some of the report’s recommended actions to improve its system, including by developing a legal framework for terrorist financing and targeted financial sanctions and disseminating FIU strategic analysis.  The Government of Tanzania also continued efforts to regulate the movement of foreign currency in 2022.  While the primary purpose of the regulations appeared to be reducing tax evasion, the measures also made it easier to trace transactions, including those associated with the financing of terrorism.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism:  In 2022, SADC launched its Regional Counterterrorism Center in Dar es Salaam, though Tanzania’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) remained Tanzania’s primary liaison with international partners on CVE.  Starting in 2017, NCTC partnered with the UNDP on a CVE project that included the development of a national CVE strategy and action plan.  Since 2018, NCTC and the UNDP have assured donor countries that the national strategy and action plan would be completed imminently, though the plan has yet to materialize.

In 2022, U.S. funding supported CVE programs in both southern and western border regions that provide training of community stakeholders to identify violent extremism (VE) risks and radicalization to violence trends.  These programs analyzed the VE dynamics along these borders and contributed to community resilience.  A separate program engaged with gender-based civil society organizations to provide training and capacity building on gender conflict analysis, community-level dialogue, advocacy, CVE trends, and mentorship.  Additionally, U.S. funding supported a counter-IED program that provided training and capacity building for Tanzania’s police and military forces.

International and Regional Cooperation:  Throughout 2022, the Government of Tanzania engaged in multilateral efforts through SADC to address regional security and counterterrorism issues.  Tanzania maintained a contingent of troops for SADC’s Standby Force Mission in Mozambique, which also included forces from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, and South Africa.  The SADC Mission joined Mozambiquan and Rwandan military efforts to combat the uprising of ISIS-M violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique.

In eastern DRC, the Government of Tanzania increased financial support to regional operations under the newly established East African Community Regional Force, but has yet to commit to sending additional troops, maintaining that its troops would undermine UN mission efforts, in which Tanzanian troops participate.  Throughout 2022, the Government of Tanzania continued to pursue training from bilateral and multilateral donors to enhance counterterrorism-related security units and efforts.

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