KW 25: Dramatic increase in rapes in Nigeria, Open season for poachers, Transparent and secure land register entries via the blockchain

– NEWS –

Dramatic increase in rapes in Nigeria: During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of rapes in Nigeria has tripled, which is why the country has now declared a state of emergency. Nigeria’s Minister of Women’s Affairs Pauline Tallen said that apart from the pandemic, there is an epidemic of violence against women. In five of the 36 states alone, 253 cases of sexual violence were registered. According to Amnesty International’s country director for Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, women aren’t safe anywhere – not at home and not in schools, churches, police cells or refugee camps.

Open season for poachers: The animal world is also succumbing to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis: the absence of tourists in the national parks is now causing an increase in poachers’ activities. The presence of visitors protects the animals, says Sandra Claassen, who runs the “Elela Africa” travel company in Cape Town and specializes in sustainable tourism. While Tanzania has allowed travel again, the South African government is closing its borders to tourists for fear of the coronavirus and will not open them to tourism until next February.

Transparent and secure land register entries via the blockchain: When buying a piece of land in Africa, the buyer usually lacks legal certainty as to whether the seller was actually the owner or whether the land was already sold previously – the sellers themselves are often not registered as owners. Ownership structures usually involve underhanded dealings and bribes to officials. In some countries like Uganda, Ghana or Nigeria there are already some projects that want to use blockchain technology to make land registration more secure. It is primarily startups that initiate such projects.

Jihadists kill villagers in Nigeria: Jihadists connected to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militant group killed at least 20 soldiers and 40 civilians over the weekend in twin attacks in the restive northeast Nigerian state of Borno, residents and security sources said. Inhabitants of remote Goni Usmanti village told French news agency AFP that jihadists linked to the “Islamic State” terrorist group shot 38 people in a raid on Saturday and set a truck ablaze killing an unknown number of passengers.

Kenya vs. Djibouti: Who will represent Africa on the UN Security Council? In a secret ballot in February, the member states of the African Union (AU) nominated Kenya to take one of three African seats on the United Nations Security Council, which will become vacant in January 2021. With 37 votes to 13, the race to become South Africa’s successor was clearly against Kenya’s contender, Djibouti. But then Djibouti demanded that the AU reconsider its decision. According to Djibouti’s ambassador to the UN, the AU’s support for Kenya is against the rules. During the vote, concerns were raised that if Djibouti were to be elected, then Africa would be represented by three francophone countries in 2021, with Niger and Tunisia filling the other two African seats. The diplomatic fronts have hardened just a few days before the decisive vote of the UN General Assembly in New York on June 17. Because Djibouti still refuses to withdraw his candidacy.

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UN chief calls for Libya mass grave investigation: UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed deep shock at the discovery of mass graves in Libya over recent days, in territory that was recently in the hands of the opposition Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Hifter. The UN Support Mission in Libya announced the discovery of at least eight graves in Tarhouna, around 100 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tripoli, and formerly a stronghold for the forces of General Hifter, during his campaign to capture Tripoli, which has now lasted over a year.

Joint coalition against Islamists in the Sahel: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for an international effort to stabilize the Sahel region in Africa. The area has seen escalating regional violence and terrorism in recent years. Maas pledged that Germany would continue and expand in its commitment to the United Nations’ MINUSMA peacekeeping missions in the West African nation of Mali. The MINUSMA mission is considered one of the most dangerous peacekeeping operations in the world. It was set up in 2013 and comprises 12,000 soldiers and 1,700 police officers.

Pandemic places extra burden on African women: The fact that entire communities can still function despite the coronavirus pandemic is probably due to the efforts of women. They often take care of sick relatives and look after children and the elderly voluntarily. Zimbabwean sociologist Martha Mutisi believes that this is particularly true in African societies. “Women always played the role of care givers,” Mutisi told DW. “But that has been exacerbated, especially for those who had to take care of the sick and also for those who have to home school their children.” Mutisi is one of the co-founders of the Women, Peace and Security program at the University of Columbia in New York. Its aim is to connect women organizations in as many countries in sub-Saharan Africa as possible and create platforms where women can share their concerns with government bodies and the media.

Amidst the pandemic, UN remains operational across Central Africa: The coronavirus pandemic has compounded increasing economic, social and humanitarian challenges facing States and regional institutions across Central Africa, the regional UN envoy François Louncény Fall told the Security Council on Friday. Noting that the region had recorded its first case of Covid-19 on March 6th 2020, and that to date, all eleven member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States are affected, he maintained that the UN Regional Office for Central Africa continues to support the community, during this crucial period of its evolution.


93 percent of all malaria cases worldwide are diagnosed in Africa.


“The coronavirus pandemic exacerbates many of the risks and problems that women have been exposed to before, for example the problem of domestic violence or the problem of poverty.”

Zimbabwean sociologist Martha Mutisi on social inequalities between the genders in Africa.


African Union accuses China of racism: China allegedly used particularly tough measures against foreigners over the course of curbing the coronavirus. Africans living in China have reported systematic discrimination. The African Union is looking into the accusations. Among several other occurrences, people are said to have been driven out of their houses and apartments.

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