CAIRO (AFP) – An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 men accused of homosexuality to jail terms of between three and 12 years, legal sources said.
The defendants were arrested in a flat in the leafy Cairo suburb of Agouza in September last year. The court convicted them of “debauchery and incitement to debauchery”, the charges generally used to prosecute alleged homosexuals in Egypt as the law does not formally prohibit same-sex relations.
Late on Sunday, it sentenced three of them to 12 years, three to nine years, one to six years and four to three years. Egypt’s use of the debauchery law to prosecute and jail gay men has drawn condemnation from human rights groups.
Source : EIN News
Olorunsogo, Molete, community in Ibadan, Nigeria is presently under the siege of students, who break into houses, during working hours.
The students, who are from different Secondary schools, have the covert support of a number of criminally minded residents.
On Thursday, 17 March, 2016, at about 10.00 AM in the morning, some students, adorning the school uniforms of Community Grammar School, Eyinni, Ibadan Grammar School and St. Lukes College, Kudeti, scaled a fence bordering houses Number 5 and 3, Kehinde Aderibigbe street, Olrunsogo, Molete and broke into the ground flat of house Number 3.
The student burglars, among whom were the son of the Landlady of house Number 5, one Tobi Ajayi, carted away building materials worth thousands of Naira, just as they used large stones to vandalize the building.
Before this time, the student burglars had pretended to be searching for mangoes alongside some residents in a fenced land behind the house they broke into.
In quick succession, the students made an unsuccessful attempt to break into the house in question, on 16 March, 2016, but took to their heels, when a vigilant occupant of the house raised alarm.
On a daily basis, the criminals converge in front of house no. 5, two storey building, in the night to perpetrate their criminal acts with the covert support of the Landlady Mrs Ajayi.
An official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) occupies the ground floor of the building.
Sadly, Parents and Teachers of the student burglars, including one Samson of Ibadan Grammar School, Sola of Community Grammar school Eyinni, Samuel and one Godspower Ethumetse of St. Lukes College, Kudeti, Mathew and Ayo Ajayi, both of Anglican Grammar school, Eyin Grammar, are residents of the community, which is home to several young and old criminals.
Of worry and concern is the fact that the police are unable to curtail the activities of the criminals, who are well known to them.
In South Sudan, Malaria Consortium saves lives by preventing and treating malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and undernutrition
Since 2009, Malaria Consortium has been implementing a programme for the integrated community case management (iCCM) of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea in children. iCCM centres around the idea that these most common childhood killers can be readily and safely diagnosed and treated by people within the community, including those with limited educations and medical training.
Three-quarters of deaths in children under five are caused by malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and newborn conditions; more than a third of these deaths are linked to malnutrition. Research has shown that iCCM, in addition to a focus on identifying and referring sick newborns, has the potential to decrease childhood mortality from these conditions by 60 percent. As a result, Malaria Consortium decided to add a nutrition component to the iCCM approach.
Children suffering with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), a particular form of undernutrition, are some of the most vulnerable, and have a greater than nine-fold increased risk of dying than children who are well nourished. These children are more likely to enter into a vicious cycle of becoming malnourished through poor absorption of nutrients, while those already malnourished are more likely to die from malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea due to a compromised immune system.
Without tackling undernutrition in addition to these key childhood diseases, efforts to reduce incidence of disease and illness will face challenges, especially in under-resourced settings.
Implementation in South Sudan
This was particularly true for our iCCM project in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan, where there is persistent malnutrition in children under five, with multiple factors contributing to the high prevalence – fragile food security due to late rains and flooding, inefficient child feeding practices and a dramatic rise in inflation, making food prices soar.
With funding from UK aid from the UK government, Malaria Consortium implemented a project that integrated nutrition into iCCM services in communities in Aweil Centre and Aweil West in April 2013. The iCCM approach is not a standalone programme; rather it is designed to complement the existing health system while increasing access to health services for the early diagnosis of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea as well as treatment of these illnesses, early detection of SAM and referral to nutrition services.
Malaria Consortium, in partnership with UNICEF, has established a network of outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP) sites in Aweil Centre County and Aweil West County in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, with the aim of improving the delivery and coverage of nutrition services within these two counties.
The integration of nutrition services into the ICCM programme in Aweil Centre County and Aweil West County – which include the assessment of children and provision of food supplements – is designed to help prevent or reduce cases of wasting among children six to 59 months. It incorporates an adapted form of community management of severe acute malnutrition (CMAM), which brings OTPs to the communities, rather than expecting caregivers to bring their children to a health facility for weeks at a time.
In both counties, a total of 9,123 SAM cases were admitted to OTPs. The outcome of the OTP sites exceeded Sphere standards – one of the most widely known and internationally recognised sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response – with only 227 children (2.5 percent of the total) who didn’t complete the treatment from January to December 2015.
Of the remainder, 5,493 recovered (were cured and discharged), 158 were referred and 15 died (0.16 percent). This meets the Sphere standards’ guidelines, which outline that: fewer than 10 percent died, 75 percent recovered and 15 percent defaulted.
In 2014, due to ongoing conflict in the region and temporary suspension of services for some months, 1,265 children out of 3,106 didn’t complete their treatment.
A much higher number of children was admitted in 2015 compared to 2014; an average of 720 SAM cases was admitted to 50 OTP sites monthly in 2015. A spike in admissions was observed from May to June and from August to November. Harvesting time in Aweil Centre typically begins in July and ends in September, and food security is usually lowest immediately before and during the harvest.
Placing the OTPs within the communities so that the children and caregivers do not have to leave their own communities during the time a child with SAM is admitted has resulted in high recovery rates.
Community nutrition workers are very capable of treating SAM cases. Linking this with iCCM services and with social and behaviour change interventions have made community involvement in the process optimal and provided a more integrated approach to the management of childhood ill health.
Following our CMAM programme in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, we want to see this scaled up and adopted as a core strategy by the Government of South Sudan. If, over time, the people of South Sudan can take more ownership and allocate funds for this strategy, it will become more sustainable and will contribute to improved health outcomes for the country as a whole.
Malaria Consortium is using experience gained in South Sudan to develop ‘iCCM plus nutrition’ programmes in Myanmar and Nigeria, where high levels of malnutrition and lack of access to care for childhood diseases are prevalent. In Asia, this knowledge is being applied to large outbreaks of other vector borne diseases such as dengue.
Source : Malaria Consortium
By Gareth Haysom, University of Cape Town and Jane Battersby
Urban agriculture is widely promoted as the solution to the growing problem of urban food insecurity in South Africa and in Africa more broadly. It is said to provide livelihoods and social cohesion, and have environmental benefits. But it’s also promoted as having additional food security benefits.
It is the primary, and usually the only, food security policy of local governments, and the focus of many NGOs and corporate social investment programmes.
There is, however, very little evidence to support this level of investment and focus.
It is thus important to critically assess whether the promotion of urban agriculture is warranted, particularly when it is at the expense of other potential solutions. We simply cannot afford to keep polishing the lamp and hoping the genie will appear.
Research shows something else
Proponents of urban agriculture offer figures suggesting that as many as 40% of African urban residents are involved in some form of agriculture. Such figures require far greater interrogation. In the case of Cape Town in South Africa, research conducted in low-income areas of the city in 2008 found that less than 5% of poor residents were involved in any form of urban agriculture. In reality, those most active in urban agriculture were found to be wealthier people in low-income areas.
Context is a further determining factor. Research shows that in towns where the municipal boundary extended into areas with more rural characteristics, urban agriculture was higher.
In South Africa this finding is supported by the 2011 census, which identified more than 30% of the population practising urban agriculture in medium-sized towns like Mafikeng, Polokwane and Newcastle. In Mogale City and Johannesburg, larger settlements with large urban settlements adjacent, the practice was well below 10%. And in Cape Town it was below 5%. Context, climate, soil fertility and spatial legacies all matter.
There is little evidence to suggest urban agriculture is contributing to food and nutrition security, either locally or internationally. The incomes from sales of produce are generally low, so the indirect food security benefits are limited.
Assumptions without evidence
The assumption in much advocacy work and policy is that urban agriculture benefits the most food-insecure households. But numerous case studies show this is not the case.
Two themes are implicit in motivations for urban agriculture. The first is welfare driven. The second is a narrative that calls for self-help interventions so that the poor initiate their own food security through urban agriculture. This assumes free time for the under-employed poor, who pursue multiple strategies to survive.
Linked to this is the assumption that the food insecure can get access to land, water, seeds and everything else they need. This misses the reality of poverty. State and NGO programmes do facilitate access to such resources, but the most vulnerable lack the knowledge or social networks to access these.
Urban agriculture is often promoted as a means of empowerment. But expecting the urban poor, who have the least access to resources, to grow their own and lift themselves out of poverty and food insecurity fails to recognise the barriers constraining urban agriculture. That isn’t empowerment; it’s the cruelty of false promises.
So where does the dogged pursuit of urban agriculture as the solution come from?
Local governments have no direct food security mandate, as food insecurity is still considered by most states to be primarily a rural problem. This means local governments wishing to address food insecurity adapt rural programmes to meet urban needs.
Food insecurity is seen as a household poverty problem and not a systemic problem. The obvious household response is food production.
The state is largely unwilling to address the systemic drivers of food insecurity, which would entail regulating food companies and challenging the dominant development agenda.
Looked at in this light it is possible to view the increased promotion of urban agriculture as a politically reactionary response. It claims to be aimed at fixing the worst effects of structural poverty and food insecurity. But it doesn’t actually address the root causes.
Changes that need to be made
For as long as urban agriculture remains local government’s main entry point for addressing food insecurity, it is essential that programming be improved.
First, more effort needs to made in monitoring and evaluation of government-run initiatives. Though inputs are monitored well, outputs and impact monitoring are extremely weak. This means many programmes are failing and lessons are not being learnt.
Second, many NGOs working in urban agriculture have sustainable, viable projects. Local government should work more directly with these to increase the viability of state-initiated projects.
And if urban agriculture is to be a main focus area for food security programming, then suitable land should be identified and protected.
But urban food security efforts need to look beyond urban agriculture. For example, it is essential that local governments understand the food system in which urban agriculture operates to understand why producers struggle to find markets for their goods. This would allow them to develop a range of interventions based on their existing mandates, including integrating formal and informal food retailing spaces, and supporting fresh produce markets to increase their role in local, pro-poor food value chains.
Finally, local governments should develop food security strategies to guide their interventions. Through these measures, urban agriculture can remain integral to efforts to alleviate food insecurity and would be more likely to have the desired impact.
It is clear that urban agriculture can have significant benefits for some participating households. But we are concerned about the absence of wider evidence supporting its potential to address food insecurity beyond those households. The assertion that urban agriculture can provoke systemic change is untested. Through their dogged promotion of urban agriculture, the state and the private sector can claim they are working towards food insecurity and have a good photo op with key personnel in wellington boots. At the same time they can absolve themselves from responsibility for the causes of food insecurity.
Gareth Haysom received funding from from CIDA (AFSUN Programme) and currently receives funding from the ESRC/DFID (Consuming Urban Poverty Project) and IDRC (Hungry Cities Partnership programme).
Jane Battersby has received funding from CIDA (AFSUN Programme) and FORMAS (Ways of Knowing Urban Ecology Project). She currently receives funding from the ESRC/DFID (Consuming Urban Poverty Project).
Source :The Conversation
Bujumbura — BURUNDI is teetering on the brink of full scale mayhem following the assassination of a top army general. There is a spree of assassination attempts rocking the East African country. They were shot at the school premises as they dropped the daughter offer.
The assassination of Brigadier General Kararuza comes in the wake of several instances of politically-motivated assassination attempts, including another attacks on Monday on Martin Nivyabandi, Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender, as well as those on prominent members of the security forces. This has sparked outrage from the international community.
“All such acts of violence serve no purpose other than to worsen the already volatile situation in Burundi,” said United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. He urged for a rigorous and prompt investigation into the events.
African Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also condemned the deadly violence saying it would impact on stability in the region. Burundi was thrust into crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term last April. More than 400 people have been killed in the unrest.
Under 1996 Laws, Arbitrary Detention, Fast-Track Deportation, Family Separation
By Lewis Sanders IV
The protesters were en route to the electoral body’s offices in Nairobi to oust its commissioners. Ex-premier Raila Odinga said the officials have done nothing to respond to irregularities during Kenya’s 2013 election.
Kenyan police on Monday fired tear gas on opposition protesters that included key leaders, such as former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who lost the 2013 presidential election to Uhuru Kenyatta.
The protesters were attempting to reach the Nairobi offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to eject the African nation’s election commissioners over inaction over voting irregularities during the 2013 general election.
In a March op-ed published in Kenya’s independent newspaper “Daily Nation,” Odinga called for the electoral commission to embody the principles of “transparency” and “impartiality.”
Kenyan businesses are urging their German counterparts to come and invest in their country. Compared to other European countries, Germany is still lagging behind in investment in Africa.
The former premier claimed that the IEBC did not thoroughly investigate irregularities, including voting equipment failing “within the first hour of the opening of the polls.”
“We cannot afford to wait for miracles again. That’s why the opposition and civil society have teamed up to institute measures to reform the electoral system through a referendum,” Odinga said.
However, the IEBC on Monday said it would not succumb to “intimidation, threats or malicious orchestrations.”
“The commissioners were appointed through a legal process and their removal from office is also governed by the same legal process. The rule of law therefore must be respected in any conversation in regard to the removal of the commission,” the IEBC said in a statement.
‘An irreducible reality’
Odinga called for electoral reforms to be implemented ahead of the 2017 general elections, adding that they were only possible if Kenya’s election officials stepped down.
“In all accountable political systems, electoral debacles lead timmediate thorough public reviews,” the ex-premier noted.
“Kenyans will have to go to the polls under a new set of laws, new arrangement for elections and without the current officials. The sooner this dawns on the government and electoral commission as an irreducible reality, the better for our country,” Odinga said.
Source : DW
A RENOWNED Nigerian prophet has described the recent ritual killings and riotous behaviour in Lusaka and other towns as political, orchestrated by some politicians to make the country ungovernable and to usurp power.
Prophet Isaac Amata has said on his Facebook page that the ritual killings and violence Zambia was facing were politically motivated by those who were enemies of the people and President Edgar Lungu.
He, however, assured Zambians that “there is going to be a dramatic twist to the ritual killings. God has started moving. There is going to be a mistake that will come from the killers’ camp. I say a divine move from Heaven. I see exposure. Those who want to put Zambia into fear, into confusion shall enter into confusion.”
“In March, l saw the ritual killings. I saw the violence. I was told it was political,” Prophet Amata writes.
According to his Facebook page, which is his only authentic page and source of all his messages to the nations of the world, Prophet Amata said “that is why God said May is a month of exposure and surprise.
“The Lord is with you Zambia. Mr President. Copper prices are about to appreciate dramatically. On the prayer mountain, l saw maize diversions to other countries… Sabotage.. It will backfire.”
Prophet Amata also warned President Lungu to be aware of enemies, both within and outside the ruling party.
“Last night I heard the words, another betrayal! Mr President, be vigilant, be watchful. Some within, some trusted will out of greed, promises made to them… … ., will soon be revealed, expose themselves, they will be disgraced. I say be watchful,” according to his message of April 16, this year.
He said the Mr Lungu should not trust anyone but the Lord.
“Tell my son Edgar not to trust anyone but me alone. Many he trusted will betray and fail him but l will never fail him. Between now and June l will expose many more hidden Judas, who don’t want him to succeed. They want him to fail, but I will shock them all,” his message of April 25, this year, stated.
Last year, another Nigerian prophet Bro Joshua Ignila warned the President to be aware of tigers within and outside because “a tiger is a tiger.”
Prophet T. B. Joshua is said to have revealed that there were many hypocrites among politicians, who would betray the people of this country.
Of late, Lusaka had been engulfed in sporadic rioting and looting, mainly against the foreigners, following a spate of suspected ritual murders in the city.
Most of these murders have been blamed on foreigners, mainly Rwandese, but according to arrests made, all but two arrested were Zambians.
Some peace loving Zambians had accused some political parties of instigating murders to cause anarchy in the country.
This is because some ritual murders have also been recorded in areas, where there are no Rwandese nationals or other foreigners, and these had been done in similar fashion.
Times of Zambia
Julius Malema is never far from the spotlight. In 2012, his aggressive and divisive brand of rhetoric led to expulsion from South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC).
As head of the influential ANC youth league he had earlier helped Jacob Zuma become South Africa’s president.
Many observers wrote him off, but he re-emerged quickly as head of a new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), becoming a member of parliament in 2014.
Their fight, Malema says, is against white-held capital, and the “irritant” as he now describes Jacob Zuma.
His economic policies, including nationalisation of industry and expropriation without compensation, play well on the streets and badly in company boardrooms.
“We are not to wage any war against Zuma and the ANC,” Malema says.
“We are waging a war against the white monopoly capital. Zuma is not our enemy, the ANC is not our enemy, they are standing on our way to crashing white monopoly capital which has stolen our land, which controls the wealth of our country, and as we are in the process of crashing the white monopoly capital, there will be some of those irritations that we have to deal with and Zuma represents such an irritation, the ANC represents such an irritation.”
A controversial and often contradictory figure, Malema is a confirmed capitalist himself, known for his expensive taste, while much less is known about the source of his wealth.
He has been accused of corruption, convicted of hate speech, yet to his supporters he is a revolutionary, proceeding where the ANC has failed – to reduce inequality, redistribute wealth – and even, if necessary, to defend their rights by force.
He says that he is willing to take up arms against Zuma’s government and “remove the parliament through the barrel of a gun” if they push them to do so.
“We know for a fact that Gauteng ANC rigged the elections here. We know for a fact that they lost in Johannesburg and they lost Gauteng. But we still accepted it but they must know that we are not going to do that this year,” Malema says.