KW 39: ECOWAS calls for civilian transition in Mali, Rapists to face surgical castration in Nigerian state, Kenya sues Uganda

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ECOWAS calls for civilian transition in Mali: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has demanded an immediate civilian transition in Mali and elections within 12 months. The demands were spelt out after Mali’s new junta released ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, seized in the August 18th coup, but also apparently granted their new chief the powers of head of state. ECOWAS called on the junta to initiate a civil transition immediately, as well as a rapid establishment of a government to prepare the legislative and presidential elections within 12 months.

Rapists to face surgical castration in Nigerian state: One in four Nigerian girls is sexually abused before they turn 18, according to Unicef. Nigeria’s minister for women’s affairs said in June that the number of rapes had tripled due to women and girls being in lockdown with their abusers. In the same month, all 36 state governors declared a state of emergency of violence against women and girls. Under a new law passed in a state in Nigeria, rapists will now face surgical castration, while those convicted of raping a child under 14 will face the death penalty. While some Nigerians are pleased that drastic action is being taken, critics say the new law is too harsh and may even lead to fewer rapes being reported.

Kenya sues Uganda: Five Kenyans have sued the Ugandan government for allegedly failing to control floods around the shores of Lake Victoria, resulting in displacement of people and damage to their property. They are accusing Uganda of violating their fundamental human rights by breaching the EAC Treaty and the Nile Basin Comprehensive Framework Agreement on how much water Kampala is supposed to release from Lake Victoria.

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Lufthansa will fly to South Africa again starting October: South Africa has announced that it will reopen its borders in October. The German airline Lufthansa would like to take the opportunity to offer flights to the country again as soon as possible. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Lufthansa would fly to South Africa once every day. Routes that were still being offered during the pandemic, for example to Namibia’s capital Windhoek, are well booked. The demand for flights to Kenya is also sky-high.

Bacteria in water behind mass elephant deaths: Toxins in water produced by cyanobacteria was likely responsible for more than 300 elephant deaths in Botswana this year, the country’s wildlife department announced on Monday. Elephants mysteriously started dying in the country’s vast inland Okavango Delta from March this year, alarming conservationists and sparking an investigation. Officials had ruled out killing by poachers who hunt elephants for their ivory, because they died with their tusks intact.

Namibia’s wildlife parks are hoping for tourists: The borders of Namibia have been open since September 1st and the first flights are reaching the capital’s airports in Windhoek. The tourism industry is hoping for guests in autumn and winter. Wildlife parks in particular need the income to protect flora and fauna. The risk of poachers rushing into these areas increases if the funds for protection are lacking. Given the increased workload, poaching is an easy way to get money.

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Ideas for the future of the African continent at the “Radical Solidarity Summit”: In Cape Town, cultural workers and visionaries from different African countries came together to formulate ideas for the future of the continent. They touched on post-colonialism, the difficulties of participating in the “Black Lives Matter” movement and visionary ideas for pan-African cooperation. “We live with a past that has not yet been dealt with. We are still at the very beginning. Our present is also wounded and in dire need of repair. And we already know that this will continue to be the case in the future because of the destructive power of racism and capitalism,” said historian Françoise Vergès.

Africa is breaking apart: Along an arid stretch of East Africa’s Afar region, it’s possible to stand on the exact spot where, deep underground, the continent is splitting apart. This desolate expanse sits atop the juncture of three tectonic plates that are very slowly peeling away from each other, a complex geological process that scientists say will eventually cleave Africa in two and create a new ocean basin millions of years from now.

South African women are losing freedom in the pandemic: Because of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic, many people are moving from the city back to the countryside. This has far-reaching consequences for women in particular: many of them come from villages in which there are chiefs who, as tribal officers, have a say over all events in the community. Women have little power – chiefs have several wives and they are responsible for raising children. Earning your own money is also difficult in South Africa because unemployment is up to 50 percent. Women also need to ask permission if they want to make many decisions.

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Due to the pandemic, the debt burden in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased from 57 to 70 percent.


“The population must be the main point of reference for the rulers of this country.”

Donatien Nshole, General Secretary of the Congolese Bishops’ Conference, criticizes the reform of the country’s electoral law, according to which parliament will elect the president in the future.


South Africa announces easing of Covid restrictions: South Africa, which had one of the world’s earliest and strictest lockdowns, has announced a further easing of anti-Covid measures. An overnight curfew was reduced, gatherings are allowed at 50% of a venue’s capacity, and restrictions on the sale of alcohol were eased.

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