Weekly Highlight of WPS on the Continent 16th to 20th August 2021

The Ever-Evolving Conflict of Mozambique

The Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique has long experienced instability, but the Al-Shabab affiliated militants have further destabilized the region since 2017.  This local militia operating in the area is believed to have links to the wider Islamic state group (IS). High levels of poverty and disputes over access to land and jobs have contributed to local grievances. Current reports have shown that displaced people have faced a long and desperate wait for food and water in the cause of the conflict and women have been raped by government security forces the same people charged with the protection of the rights of citizens.

Further Details: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/aug/18/i-ran-my-heart-was-broken-inside-mozambiques-evolving-cabo-delgado-conflict

Gambian Women Trained on Political Participation

Women’s participation in the political arena is an important mandate of the WPS Agenda and in recognition of this mandate, the officials of the West African Network for Peace Building trained 15 women from different regions in the Gambian on political participation and leadership. Over the years there has been a call for more women participation in politics and leadership positions as a result of lack of capacity building which has caused insufficient women participation. This Is a step in the right direction.

Further details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202108180275.html

Women Soldiers at the Frontline of Mozambique Conflict

A contingent of female Naval soldiers from Rwanda Defence Force have been fighting alongside their male counterparts to bring stability to the Cabo Delgado conflict in Mozambique. These women and their male counterparts have been instrumental in pushing back the rebel forces that were occupying strategic towns in Cabo Delgado as they forced the rebels to withdraw into remote areas.

Further Details: https://www.africanews.com/2021/08/17/female-soldiers-on-the-frontline-in-northern-mozambique/

Somalia Humanitarian Crises Underfunded

The instability, drought, and flooding in Somalia have left them in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The International Rescue Committee has called for increased support for the people of Somalia. The acting director has estimated that 2.9 million people in Somalia will be displaced as they cannot access basic services such as food, water, sanitation, health, protection, and shelter. This humanitarian crisis affects women greatly as these would enhance their vulnerabilities.

Further Details: https://www.africanews.com/2021/08/16/severe-underfunding-of-somalia-humanitarian-response-leading-to-reduced-support-of-the-population-most-in-need-irc-warns/

Women Sexually Exploited for Food Aid in Burkina Faso.

Reports have emerged that community leaders in North Central Burkina Faso are demanding sex or money from internally displaced women in return for food aid. A media outlet named The New Humanitarian focusing on humanitarian issues found a pool of women who had been forced into sex in exchange for food aid in the region. More women have been reaching out to the organization to report their cases.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/sex-food-aid-scandal-unfolding-burkina-faso

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/burkina-faso-again-mourning-after-jihadi-massacre[‘A1] 

Devastating Ethic Conflict Hits Cameroon

The conflict between Choa Arab herders as well as Mousgoum fishermen and farmers in Missiska, in the Logone Birni district of the Far North region of Cameroon, has claimed the lives of scores of citizens. A total of villages has been burned down and thousands of people that have fled the conflict to Chad are women and children. Over 7300 people have been displaced within Cameroon borders. There is an urgent need for temporary shelter because as new arrivals are women and children exposed to a wide range of protection risks


UN Security Council Raises Concerns Over the Deplorable Situation in West Africa, The Sahel, and the Gulf of Guinea

The UN Security Council has expressed concerns about the growing instability in West Africa, The Sahel, and the Gulf of Guinea which encourages piracy. The council condemned attacks on civilians such as women and children. The Security Council emphasized the need for women’s participation in maintaining peace and stability in the regions and commended national efforts to grow the number of women in senior government positions in countries.

Further Details: https://www.africanews.com/2021/08/18/issuing-presidential-statement-security-council-expresses-grave-concern-over-dire-situation-in-west-africa-sahel-gulf-of-guinea/

Military Widows get Support from their families from NGOs

Go Paga an NGO is currently helping widows and orphans of falling soldiers to rebuild their lives. Women bear the brunt of conflict from the loss of their spouses to the abuses they must endure. The conflict in Burkina Faso that began in 2015 has displaced 1.3 million people and claimed the lives of over 6000 people. Go Paga has launched a project to provide support to women so they can make a living and support their families. Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/burkina-fasos-military-widows-get-help-support-their-families

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