Kenya: Pastor Mackenzie and 94 followers indicted for terrorism Kenya: Pastor Mackenzie and 94 followers indicted for terrorism

Kenya: Pastor Mackenzie and 94 followers indicted for terrorism

Kenya: Pastor Mackenzie and 94 followers indicted for terrorism

Kenyan cult leader Paul Mackenzie and 94 others were charged Thursday with terrorism-related crimes in connection with the deaths of 429 of his followers, whose bodies were exhumed from the Shakahola forest.

The charges, announced during a court appearance in the southeastern city of Mombasa , are the first to be brought against Mackenzie, who was arrested last April after the bodies were discovered.

Mackenzie and his co-defendants denied the charges when they appeared before Judge Joe Omido. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 8 for a bond hearing.

Authorities claim that Mackenzie ordered his disciples to starve themselves and their children so that they could reach heaven before the end of the world.

A lawyer for Mackenzie said the self-described pastor was cooperating with the investigation. A judge in a different court, in the coastal town of Malindi, demanded Wednesday that Mackenzie and 30 of his associates undergo mental health evaluations before being charged with murder in connection with 191 of the deaths.


Ethiopia-Somaliland: Somalia demands withdrawal from agreement before mediation

The diplomatic quarrel between Somalia and Ethiopia is exacerbating.

The Somali government on Thursday ruled out any mediation with Ethiopia until the latter cancels the memorandum of understanding concluded at the beginning of the month with Somaliland.

Mogadishu, which denounces a violation of its territorial sovereignty, is stepping up actions to cancel this agreement which allows Ethiopia to rent 20 kilometers of Somaliland coastline for 50 years.

On Wednesday, the African Union Peace and Security Council called on the two countries to exercise restraint during a meeting devoted to this issue. Following this, the 42nd Extraordinary Session of Igad, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development opened this Thursday in Uganda with the aim of finding a solution to the strong diplomatic tension between Ethiopia and Somalia and the conflict in Sudan.

In this diplomatic impasse, bound for Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, an Ethiopian Airlines plane was asked to turn back on Wednesday as the Somali authorities refused it access to their airspace.

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