U.N. food cuts lead to desperate food situation for refugees in Uganda
- The U.N. cut food rations by half in refugee camps, adding to an already critical famine driving displacement in the region.
- Refugees have taken to stealing crops and other food from locals to sustain themselves, and while no widespread violence has broken out yet, tensions have worn at the historically amicable relations between Ugandans and refugees.
- Nearly 1 million refugees have fled from South Sudan into neighboring Uganda, a significant fraction of the 3 million driven from the country since the outbreak of civil war in 2013.
“South Sudan refugees scrounge for scraps as rations slashed in Uganda camps” (Reuters | May 2017)
“Tensions rise as Uganda neighbourly refugee policy starts to feel the strain” (The Guardian | May 2017)
“Faced with slaughter they fled, now their safe haven teeters on the brink” (CNN | May 2017)
(Image Credit: via CNN)
Global Women’s Marches
On the day following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, millions gathered in demonstrations taking place across all seven continents in support of women’s rights. Trump, who was elected despite having been accused of sexual assault by at least two dozen women, ran a campaign that attacked reproductive rights, disparaged high-profile women (including his opponent, Hillary Clinton), and equivocated on issues like gender pay equity, and of the 25 members of his incoming senior leadership team, only three are women. From Austin to Antarctica, women and allies around the world mobilized around issues including women’s security, reproductive rights, racial and immigration justice, climate change, and LGBTQ rights.
Source: The New York Times (YouTube)
Europe & Africa
Source: ODN (YouTube)
Asia Pacific & Antarctica
Source: Reuters (YouTube)
Tanzania suspends funding for HIV/AIDS programs supporting queer men as crackdown grows
- The country’s health minister indicated the programs had been suspended “pending a review,” while programs supporting adolescent girls, drug users, and others will continue uninterrupted.
- The government has accused some community-based and internationally funded programs of normalizing same-sex relationships as part of their outreach to queer men, some 25% of whom are living with HIV.
- Though same-sex relations are punishable by up to 30 years in prison in the country, the government only recently broke its silence on the issue to condemn groups “promoting” homosexuality, with a number of officials having announced anti-LGBT campaigns.
“Tanzania suspends HIV/AIDS programs in new crackdown on gays” (The Washington Post)
“Tanzania suspends some HIV programs for gay men, says health minister” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
“‘Seeds of hate’ sown as Tanzania starts LGBT crackdown” (The Guardian, August 2016)
(Image Credit: Kevin Sieff/The Washington Post)
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.
“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)
Police raid Uganda Pride event, arrest more than a dozen
- After attendees reported some 10 officers stormed the nightclub where the Mr. and Miss Pride pageant was being held in Kampala.
- Reports of those arrested ranged from 15 to 25, including prominent Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, and some witnesses reported that police beat some attendees and undressed trans participants.
- The Pride march was postponed indefinitely after a senior government official threatened to bring a mob of opposition to protest the event.
“Ugandan police storm Gay Pride event, arrest at least 15 – activist” (Reuters)
“Ugandan Police Storm Gay Pride Event, Arrest More than a Dozen People” (NBC News)
“Uganda’s Pride Parade Has Been Cancelled” (BuzzFeed News)
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.
“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)
Kenyan court upholds legality of anal examinations as evidence in homosexuality prosecution
- The presiding judge dismissed a challenge to the state’s subjection of men accused of homosexuality to anal exams, widely decried in the medical community as unscientific and invasive.
- The ruling comes as part of a case against two men charged with “unnatural acts,” “indecent acts between adults,” and “trafficking in obscene materials.”
- Though being appealed by Kenya’s main LGBT advocacy group, anal exams can now be used as evidence of “unnatural acts,” whereas historically they were most often used in same-sex rape cases.
“Kenyan Court Upholds Anal Exams For Homosexuality Charges” (BuzzFeed News)
“Two Kenyans in gay sex case lose bid to outlaw anal examinations” (Reuters)
“Kenya court rules anal tests on ‘gay suspects’ legal” (AFP via Capital News)