Weekly Highlight of WPS on the Continent from 10th to 14th May 2021

Eritrean Troops allegedly Commit havoc in Tigray Region

Reports have surfaced of Eritrean troops raping, killing women and blocking humanitarian aid from reaching starving population. There are also reports of Eritrean troops disguising in old Ethiopian military uniforms to perpetuate gross violations of human rights and threatening staff of hospitals from attending to civilians. Reports have surfaced that an alarming number of women are being gang raped, drugged and held hostage against their will.

Further `Details: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/12/africa/tigray-axum-aid-blockade-cmd-intl/index.html

Sex Abuse Scandal Involving World Health Organization Doctors

Reports have surfaced of WHO doctors abusing their powers and taking advantage of the conflict situation in the DRC to sexually abuse women. Reports indicate that when victims tried reporting the cases, they were silenced by WHO management.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/internal-emails-reveal-who-knew-sex-abuse-claims-congo

Road Ambush in Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan is experiencing another wave of attacks in its capital by unknown gunmen in the nation’s capital. Three attacks occurred claiming lives in an ambush which involved 5 civilians including aid workers and bodyguards attached to the central Equitoria state governor. Reports stated that these killings started in April and no one has claimed responsibility. This has shown some parties to the ceasefire agreements are not holding to their end of the agreement. In every conflict especially protracted conflicts, women and girls suffer the most and the consequences for them remain even after the conflict.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-sudan-focus/south-sudan-authorities-struggle-stop-road-attacks

Hunger Threatens Civilians in Tigray region

Having lost their source of livelihood, civilians affected by the conflict are at the mercy of humanitarian relief sent by aid organizations. New reports claim that widespread hunger and starvation looms the region and the conflict and military operation hinders the delivery of aids. Reports have also stated that children are grippled by malnutrition and pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers have been affected with malnutrition.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/hunger-threatens-ethiopias-tigray-region

No Justice for Gang Rape Victim

An investigation into the gang rape of a  17-year-old girl in 2014 which has been closed by prosecutors based on lack of evidence to refer the case to the criminal court. The prosecutor ordered the release of the four suspects who are from wealthy and powerful homes in Egypt even through it was obvious that witnesses to this gangrape were intimidated and arrested for wanting to come forward. Rape cases continue to be difficult to prosecute given the challenges with gathering evidence and continued intimidation of victims by often powerful men.

Further Details:  https://www.voanews.com/africa/prosecutors-shelve-probe-gang-rape-shocked-egypt

Climate Change Having its effects on Somalia

Heavy rains in Somalia have destroyed this year’s yield for many families that depend on farming as a means of livelihood. Somalia has been hit by a double climate disaster which will likely worsen its already severe food crisis. The climate Issues has caused displacement for many and jeopardised access to safe waters. Climate change affect households where women are the head as they are cut short from access to farm produce to meet the needs of their families. In households that cannot stand the climate disasters, child marriages emerge as a means of survival.  In the case of access to water, the security of women is threatened and increase to waterborne diseases surface.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/drought-torrential-rains-devastate-somalia

Senegalese Women Find Hope in Fishing

As most women In the informal sector in Senegal get their means of livelihood from the fishing industry,  the pandemic disrupting their means of survival which has plunged many women back into poverty. The first through season of fishing since the pandemic commenced and this has brought back hope for many women. Asides the pandemic, the effects of climate change have also affected these women as sea levels are rising and their livelihoods and those with homes along the coast are threatened. Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/hit-covid-senegals-women-find-renewed-hope-fishing

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