News from Africa

Niger 9-18-2020 Islamic State takes responsibility for killings

In August six French aid workers and their guides were brutally murdered. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, no one claimed responsibility for the killings. Heavily armed gunmen attacked the workers while they riding in a vehicle. The group were visiting the Koure National Park. The ages of the workers ranged from 25-30. The park attracts hundreds of visitors daily. It is located only 60 miles from the capital of Niamey. We now know what group is responsible for the attack. The Islamic Stats in its publication, al-Naba, claimed responsibility for the blitz attack against the aid workers. The extremist went to so far in its statement to chastise the French for having a lack of security. France has more than 5000 troops in the region to combat extremists.

Botswana 9-18-2020 women can now own property

Under previous law it was almost impossible for a woman to own state property. The law clearly discriminated against woman in terms of receiving property from the state. If a husband already was on the waiting list to receive property or had already received said property, the wife would not be allowed to receive any property. Her name would be removed from the waiting list even if she married after appearing on the list. Basically, a woman’s ability to acquire the property was tied to her husband not having any. For the first time a woman can own property regardless if her husband it on the waiting list to receive property. Her ownership rights are not tied to her relationship to her husband. President Masisi tweeted the change in the law. The prior law discriminated against woman. Problems would develop following divorce of death of a husband. The President stated in his tweet that the new law would protect widows and orphans.

Rwanda 9-17-2020 Paul Rusesabagina denied bail

A Kigali court has denied the well-known humanitarian bail. He has been charged with various crimes, among them acts of terrorism. During past several years he has lived abroad. He had self-exiled himself from Rwanda. It came as a surprise to many when he was paraded about in handcuffs last month in Rwanda. He was scheduled to attend a conference in a European country. He arrived in country for the conference but mysteriously never made it to the conference where he was schedule to speak. His family says that he was kidnapped by Rwandan agents and forcefully returned to Rwanda. The government has not yet indicated if it played any role in his return to the country. Human rights organization family with his movements and history do not believe that he would voluntarily reenter Rwanda. It is unclear if he has had any visitors since being detained. Rusesabagina has not issued any statement concerning his reappearance in Rwanda. The court found that the charges by the prosecution against Rusesabagina are grave and serious,” Judge Dorothy Yankurije said as she blocked his bail request on Thursday. The defendant has sought bail so that he could seek medical treatment.

Mozambique 9-15-2020 investigation of woman killed by soldiers

A graphic video of a killing was posted on social media. It showed a naked woman being killed by men in army uniforms. The killing supposedly took place in the restive gas rich Cabo Delgado province. Rights groups immediately denounced the killing, which seemed senseless. A spokesperson for the Defense Ministry said the events in the video would be investigated. The video’s authenticity must be established. The government has been battling Islamic Militants in the north of the country for more than three years. The army has been previous accused of committed human rights abuses in its quest to subdue the Islamists. In the video the men can be head speaking in Portuguese. One group beat the woman with sticks. Another group shot and killed the woman. The video does not hint at why the woman had been attacked.   

Somalia 9-15-2020 arrests following girl being thrown from building

Another teenage girl was raped and murdered. Incidents of violent sexual attacks have been on the rise over the last four years. Police say that the young girl was set upon by a gang of men. After sexually abusing her, the men threw her from a six-story building. The attack took place in the capital of Mogadishu.  Outraged women took the streets to protect the most recent sexual attack. There is a sad history of rape, torture, kidnapping and murder in the country. Parliament has been sitting on legislation that might curb these kinds of attacks. The PMs so far have not passed the Sexual Offense Bill that was introduced to protect women from gendered based crimes. The arrest and prosecution of offenders of sexually based crimes is appalling low.