Tag Archives: Central Africa

Gabon News | Danish

Danish journalists wounded in knife attack in Gabon capital
  • Two Danish reporters for National Geographic were wounded after a Nigerien national living in Gabon attacked them with a knife in Libreville.
  • The attacker told police the assault was in retribution for the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, although it was unclear if the Danes were mistaken for Americans.
  • The attack was reportedly the first of its kind in Gabon, a Christian-majority country with peaceful interfaith relations.

2 Danish journalists violently attacked in Gabon” (The Associated Press | December 2017)

Two Danish journalists wounded in Islamist knife attack in Gabon” (Reuters | December 2017)

Two Danish journalists wounded in Gabon knife attack” (AFPvia France 24 | December 2017)

Africa Feature | Women

The Resilience of Africa’s Top Female Football Players

Facing nonexistent funding, social suspicion, and expectations of continued domestic obligations, many female football players across the African continent have endured challenges far greater than their male counterparts for the love of the game. Where men’s teams have been able to rely on state support and a long history of social sanctioning, women’s teams have had to resort to informal networks and social media to drum up the support necessary to enable them to compete, all while facing sanctioning of the opposite sort: underinvestment, disparagement, and insults about their gender and sexuality. The Guardian profiled a number of the competitors in this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, revealing the divide in opportunity for women and men and burgeoning signs of progress in the continent’s most popular sport.

Skilled, determined and broke: Africa’s female football pioneers” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Andy Clark/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

Cameroon News | Anglophones

Violent police response to protests by Anglophone Cameroonians leaves at least four dead
  • The killings took place when security forces fired live rounds in the air at a local market in Bamenda, the country’s second-largest Anglophone city.
  • Anglophone Cameroonians have demonstrated in recent weeks over perceptions of second-class status across issues including the dominant use of French in schools, police brutality, and unequal distribution and application of resources.
  • Cameroon’s bilingual administrative structure—a result of the colonial period when the country was split between Britain and France—has marginalized Anglophone Cameroonians, largely clustered in only two of the country’s ten administrative regions.

Read more:
Cameroon urged to investigate deaths amid anglophone protests” (The Guardian)
Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon” (BBC)
Mass protests in Cameroon are exposing the fragility of its dual French-English system” (Quartz)

(Image Credit: Reuters, via The Guardian)

Central & East Africa | Burundians

Central and East African refugee crisis expands as hundreds of thousands of Burundians flee country
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) reported that almost 325,000 Burundians have fled political violence in their country following the president’s decision to seek a third term.
  • Almost 250,000 have crossed into neighboring Tanzania, where poor conditions in underresourced, overcrowded camps—including the threat of malaria—have compounded refugees’ insecurity.
  • Refugees report having suffered harassment, hunger, and poor prospects as the country has fractured following the disputed July 2015 reelection of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Read more:
Tanzania: Assistance Urgently Needed for Refugees” (Médecins Sans Frontières)
Burundi exodus driving major African refugee crisis – charity” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Burundi will soon be one of ‘Africa’s biggest refugee crises’, says MSF” (International Business Times)

(Image Credit: Stephanie Aglietti/AFP/Getty Images, via International Business Times)

Africa News | Africans

African Union prepares to launch common African passport
  • The A.U. is preparing to launch the e-Passport, a transnational passport opening up migration between the 54 constituent countries, at its upcoming summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • The e-Passport is expected to function similar to European Union citizenship, promoting mobility and increased economic integration across the African continent.
  • The passport will initially be available to heads of state and other diplomatic and foreign affairs representatives, with rollout to citizens expected to take place in 2018.

Read more:
African Union set to launch e-Passport at July Summit in Rwanda” (African Union press release)
The opposite of Brexit: African Union launches an all-Africa passport” (The Washington Post)
As EU fights over migrants, African Union takes steps to free movement of people” (CNBC)

Citations | Refugee Education

Education for Refugees, from Preschool to Professorship

Global emergencies like war, natural disaster, and health pandemics have uprooted families and disrupted education at all levels as displaced students have been deprived of access to schools. Students in early childhood, primary, secondary, and higher education as well as teachers, professors, and other educational professionals have experienced delayed educational and professional development during times of crisis, disabling dreams and prospects for the future. Whether in Malaysia, Greece, or Lebanon, displaced communities have struggled to adjust to lost livelihoods, new cultures, and uncertain futures.

As the average duration of displacement has dramatically increased over the last three decades, international humanitarian organizations have been pressed to develop long-term programs and partnerships to replace short-term emergency educational provision. These challenges have been compounded by the disproportionate burden of education in emergencies shouldered by developing countries, where refugee populations vastly outnumber those in high-income countries. Over time, the educational pipeline has come to look less like a pipe than a funnel, with progressive exclusion and decreasing resources constraining opportunity as refugee children age. Workarounds developed in earlier stages have at times installed barriers for students at more advanced education stages as credentialing standardization and selective admissions disadvantage students from newly developed, temporary, and informal educational institutions outside of the national curriculum.

From connected learning hubs in refugee camps in Kenya to elementary classrooms in Canada, technological innovation and international coordination have worked to connect displaced students to well-resourced institutions and support educational continuity through crises. Meanwhile, new momentum in the development of transnational platforms for educational financing, advising, and service delivery has reinvigorated the global education community and increased commitment to education for all, regardless of circumstance. Here is a look at select recent news, features, and open research on and resources for global refugee education and scholar protection: Continue reading Citations | Refugee Education

Cameroon Feature | Women & Children

The Weaponized Girls of Boko Haram

As Boko Haram’s successes in northeastern Nigeria have been rolled back, the extremist group’s attentions have turned elsewhere in the region, including neighboring Cameroon. Rare in other global terrorist activity, female suicide bombers between 14 and 24 years of age have formed the lion’s share of suicide attacks in Cameroon, comprising some 80% of incidents. Female suicide bombers have also been deployed in Nigeria, most recently in Maiduguri. Reuters investigates the pipeline from abduction to sexual slavery to suicide attacks that women captured by Boko Haram have found themselves caught up in.

Weakened Boko Haram sends girl bombers against Cameroon civilians” (Reuters)

Video: The war against Boko Haram’s suicide bombers in Cameroon” (France24)
Nigeria mosque hit by Maiduguri suicide bombers” (BBC)

(Image Credit: Joe Penney/Reuters)

DRC News | Activists

DR Congo activists go on hunger strike as detention without trial continues
  • Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala, members of the group Struggle for Change (Lucha), began their strike after the Supreme Court refused to release them from jail, despite their having been held for more than a year without trial following their arrest at a pro-democracy workshop.
  • An additional 30 members of Lucha have been arrested as the group has held demonstrations to move elections in the country up and secure basic resources for their neighborhoods.
  • Founded in 2012 on the principle of non-violent demonstration, Lucha has no centralized organization except that necessary to maintain communications, strategy, ideology, and funding, and the group, part of a growing constellation of youth movements across Africa, have so far refused external funding.

Read more:
Congolese activists on hunger strike after court refuses release” (The Guardian)
Law and disorder in the DRC: Who is Fred Bauma, Congo’s jailed Mahatma Gandhi?” (International Business Times)
Congo police arrest 18 pro-democracy activists: U.N.” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: via The Guardian)

Central African Republic News | Muslims & Christians

Violence in the C.A.R. capital of Bangui fuels fears of return of religious violence
  • Dozens were killed in fighting that showed signs of the religious divisions between the country’s Muslims and Christians responsible for the deaths of thousands and displacement of nearly a million from 2012 to 2014.
  • An estimated 27,000 fled the recent violence for a camp for the internally displaced near Bangui’s airport.
  • Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza denounced the violence as an attempted coup meant to disrupt elections set to be held in mid-October and late November.

Read more:
Dozens Killed in Clashes in Central African Republic” (The New York Times)
RCA: retour de Samba-Panza à Bangui dans un calme relatif” (Radio France Internationale, in French)
RCA: Samba-Panza dénonce une tentative de coup d’Etat” (Radio France Internationale, in French)

(Image Credit: Edouard Dropsy/AFP/Getty Images, via The New York Times)

C.A.R. Feature | Muslims & Christians

Connecting the Living through the Dead

Image Credit: Laurent Correau/RFI
Image Credit: Laurent Correau/RFI

Situated in the Boeing neighborhood of the Central African Republic capital Bangui, a Muslim cemetery that was long the stronghold of Christian anti-balaka militants found itself in need of repair. RFI highlights how the situation provided a unique opportunity for the city’s Christian community to help their Muslim brethren clear not only the weeds of the burial plots, but the divisions between their communities as well.

« Nous sommes en train de désherber sur le cimetière musulman de Boeing. Je suis un chrétien. Ce qui m’a poussé à venir travailler, main dans la main avec les musulmans, c’est la cohésion sociale. Si nous sommes réunis, c’est parce que nous voulons que la paix revienne dans notre pays et pour éviter les problèmes qui se posent encore dans notre pays »

Translation: “We’re pulling weeds in Boeing’s Muslim cemetery. I’m a Christian. What pushed me to come to work, hand in hand with Muslims, is social cohesion. If we’re gathered, it’s because we want peace to return to our country and to avoid the problems that still come up in our country.”

Read the full feature at Radio France Internationale (in French).

Chad announces it will begin rounding up panhandlers and some foreigners as a part of security crackdown following Boko Haram suicide attacks
  • The detained individuals will be held in Baga Sola, a town near Lake Chad.
  • The government has not announced which nationalities will be subject to detention or its rationale for the detentions.
  • Monday’s coordinated attacks in Ndjamena, the capital, were the largest seen in the country, leaving 34 dead and dozens injured.

More on this story at Reuters.

(Image Credit: Moumine Ngarmbassa/Reuters)

The African Union works to tackle continent-wide child marriage problem at its latest summit in Johannesburg
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, two in five girls are married off before adulthood, with the highest rate in Niger, where three in four are.
  • The AU plan requires the criminalization of child marriage and the development of prevention strategies.
  • The practice has held the continent back from reaching six of the eight Millennium Development Goals, including education and public health targets.

“It’s unacceptable that a continent as rich as Africa – with oil and diamonds, and with coltan that is found in everyone’s phone – can leave its people so poor that they feel they have no choice but to marry off their daughters.”

More on this story at Reuters.

Burundi Research | Burundian Refugees

Al Jazeera‘s infographic on the Burundi refugee crisis

Image Credit: Al Jazeera
Image Credit: Al Jazeera