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Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 5th to the 9th October 2020

UN working ‘relentlessly’ to advance women, peace, and security agenda

The Secretary-General of the United Nations in a virtual discussion on Women Peace and Security reminded participants of the 20th anniversary of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 which underscored the link between gender inequality and fragility between women ‘s security and international security. He called the resolution the foundation of global peace. Since the landmark resolution, the United Nations have worked tirelessly to advance the Women Peace and Security Agenda.

Further details: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/10/1074972

Gunmen kidnap 20 villagers in central Mali.

On the 7th of October, CGTN reported that gunmen seized 20 people in central Mali. Local security forces reported that some of the captives were later released with 9 of them remaining in captive. One causality was reported during the kidnapping and mostly women and children. In recent times, central Mali has been known as the epicentre to routine terrorist attacks.

Further details: https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/10/07/gunmen-kidnap-20-villagers-in-central-mali/

No budget to fund the establishment of GBV council

In South Africa, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane stated that despite commitment, there was no budget to fund the establishment of the national council of gender-based violence and no timeframe on the legislation of the national strategic plan to combat gender-based violence and femicide. It has been seven months since the adoption of the NSP, and the minister’s department is yet to secure the budget and additional resources required to secure implementation especially since 5million Rand was allocated to the establishment of NCGBVF.

Further details: https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/general/2367465/no-budget-to-fund-establishment-of-gbv-council-nkoana-mashabane-tells-parliament/

Virtual hackathon for solutions to GBV

With the increased rate of gender-based violence since the pandemic, more digital solutions are sought to find a solution to the shadow pandemic. Zimkhita Buwa director of Silicon Cape said a hackathon will hold to bring together software developers, IT professionals, academics, and Civil Society Organizations and GBV experts to find a solution to the situation.

The virtual hackathon is scheduled to take place October 3 and 4 and followed by a Bootcamp from the 5th of October to 9 comprising lunchtime talks where experts will explore ways of bringing solutions to life.

Further details: https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/news/virtual-hackathon-for-solutions-to-gbv-1f0d6aed-2fab-4938-b2f4-f215179c4185

Anti-Gender Based Violence Protests in Namibia

A group of about 300 Namibians protested the surge in SGBV crimes in the country as women are fed up with the rise in the violence committed against women. The women of Namibia handed over a petition with 24 demands to the government, including that a state of emergency should be declared immediately. Frustration and emotions reached boiling point and sparked a demonstration by the discovery of what could be Shannon Wasserfall’s remains by the police at Walvis Bay on Tuesday. Wasserfall had been missing since April.

Further details: https://www.namibian.com.na/95476/read/Enough

World Food Program awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The World Food Program (WFP) won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to fight hunger and improving the prospects for peace in global conflict zones and prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war. As a UN agency, WFP has remained at the forefront of providing humanitarian assistance to victims of crisis globally.

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2020/10/09/world-food-program-awarded-nobel-peace-prize/

More than 50,000 Flee New Armed Attacks in Eastern DR Congo

Thousands of Congolese are forced to flee the recent surge in violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 5.5 million people reported being internally displaced fled because of the armed conflict in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. The latest surge is over 50,000 internally displace and is said to be the largest in Africa. The Allied Democratic Forces has displaced a huge population of women and children many.

Further details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/more-50000-flee-new-armed-attacks-eastern-dr-congo

Growing Fears Human Rights Violations Could Undermine CAR Elections

An independent expert warns growing human rights violations by armed groups in the Central African Republic and this risk undermining the 27th of December election of the country’s president and National Assembly. Yao Agbetse’s report documents an extensive and growing litany of violations that affect every segment of the Central African Republic. Agbetse said armed groups, who have signed a peace agreement to end the country’s long-running civil war, are responsible for the overwhelming number of human rights violations.

Agbetse said sexual violence, including rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage linked to the ongoing conflict, is a major concern. He said all parties to the conflict continue to recruit girls and boys as child soldiers and to brutalize them in horrific ways.

Further details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/growing-fears-human-rights-violations-could-undermine-car-elections

ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Mali

The regional West African bloc has lifted sanctions introduced after the overthrow of president of Mali, as a supportive measure following the past coup in the country. Though there is stress on placing civilians in government, four out of 25 posts in Ndaw’s cabinet went to military officials, including defence minister portfolio, taken up by fellow coup leader Colonel Sadio Camara. Colonel Modibo Kone was appointed security and civil protection portfolio, and Colonel Ismael Wague becomes national reconciliation minister.

Further Details: https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20201007-regional-body-ecowas-lifts-sanctions-on-mali

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