Tag: nigeria

Mass rapes to mass protests: violence against women in 2016

Impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Donald Trump hasn’t helped.

From historic convictions to impunity for gang rapes, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows when it comes to efforts to stem violence against women.

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10) are a time to take stock of progress and failings in combatting this pervasive human rights abuse.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reached its first conviction for sexual violence. It found a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, guilty of rape, murder, and pillage in neighbouring Central African Republic. Bemba was found guilty under the concept of “command responsibility,” in which civilian and military superiors can be held criminally liable for crimes committed by troops under their control.

‘Immediate action’ needed as millions in north-eastern Nigeria face food insecurity – UN

Warning that ongoing unrest and rising inflation have left more than five million people in restive north-east Nigeria facing acute food insecurity, the United Nations agriculture agency today appealed for $25 million through May 2017 to support irrigated vegetable production and micro-gardening in the dry season, as well as rebuild livestock systems.

In a situation update, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the urgently needed funds would tackle food insecurity among returnee, internally displaced and host communities. In addition, the agency is seeking funds now to provide critical agricultural inputs to farmers in time for the 2017 main rainy season.

Country profile: Nigeria

There is a joke sometimes told about the self-styled ‘Giant of Africa’. It is said that when other countries complained to God about the many blessings bequeathed to Nigeria in the form of natural resources, he replied: ‘Wait till you see the people I put there.’

Over 55 years after it gained independence from Britain, Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation – still grapples with basic problems such as unsafe drinking water, inadequate healthcare and bad roads. These are problems the country should have been able to solve, given the plethora of resources – notably, abundant oil reserves – at its disposal. Instead, when it was recently revealed that Nigeria still imports toothpicks and pencils, and spends about two billion naira a day on importing rice, there was no sense of popular surprise. Nor was it exactly a revelation when the World Bank reported recently that the country’s private sector is constrained by unreliable electricity supplies, poor access to finance, and corruption.

Corruption, in particular, has been endemic. Many link this to the oil resources that should have enabled Nigeria to leap over the hurdles facing the more impoverished nations of West Africa. Oil exports began in 1958, just before independence, but it was the 1970s boom in oil prices that led the country effectively to put all its economic eggs in one basket. Over the years, this ‘black gold’ has arguably been a curse rather than a blessing. Many consider that it has led to the brazen theft of government revenues and fostered a culture of laziness. The ongoing trial of former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki for mis­appropriating $2.1 billion has revealed that people from all parts of the country took a cut out of this corrupt deal.

Claims of Second Rescued Chibok Girl Refuted by Family

On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram abducted 276 Schoolgirls. 57 of them escaped the kidnapping, leaving 219 girls still unaccounted for.

A glimmer of hope was shed upon the fate of these missing girls around 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday when within Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold, a young girl was found nursing her 4-month-old baby. Amina Ali Nkeki was safely rescued despite being accompanied by a Boko Haram fighter, who now is in custody. She was the first to be rescued, and on Thursday she flew to Abuja to meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at his presidential palace.

Today there are reports from Nigerian Army Colonel, Sani Usman, that a second girl was rescued. In a statement from Usman he stated: “We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14 April 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists. Her name is Miss Serah Luka, who is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls. She is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka.”

What Did the London Anti-Corruption Summit Achieve?

What steps did the London Anti-Corruption Summit make towards eliminating corruption?

On 12 May 2016, David Cameron hosted the Anti-Corruption Summit in London. This summit aimed to bring together world leaders to discuss ways to expose corruption, punish those responsible, and to eliminate institutionalized practices that encourage corruption. I previously wrote an article explaining why this conference was unlikely to result in meaningful reform. So far, many civil society organizations have claimed that the Summit was underwhelming and did not go far enough. However, some positive steps were taken and as a result, I believe that it is worth exploring the end result of this Summit.

In the days before the Anti-Corruption Summit, tension started to brew as David Cameron was caught on camera stating that “Nigeria and Afghanistan are possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.” This was expected to cause problems as the Nigerian and Afghani presidents were high profile invitees to the conference. Fortunately, this faux pas appeared to have been forgiven and the summit was able to proceed in a cooperative manner. At the Summit, several commitments and provisions were agreed to and published in a communiqué. Some of these provisions are as follows: