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Sierra Leone Declares Rape And Sexual Violence A National Emergency

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Sierra Leone Declares Rape And Sexual Violence A National Emergency

Sierra Leone has declared the prevalence of rape and sexual violence a national emergency. The move follows a nation-wide outcry over the rape of a five-year old by a relative a year ago,  that left the victim partly paralysed.

President Julius Maada Bio said on Thursday, each month, hundreds of cases of rape and sexual assaults are being reported against women, girls and babies. He said some fatalities included three-month-olds and that 70% of survivors are under 15.

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Bio said those convicted of sexual offences against minors would now face life in prison. The current law carries a maximum penalty of 15 years, and very few cases have been prosecuted because thousands of cases are unreported because of a culture of silence.

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Police say the number of recorded cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Sierra Leone almost doubled last year to more than 8500.

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Withdrawal Of Burundian Soldiers In Somalia Begins

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AU Begins Withdrawal Of 1,000 Burundian Soldiers From Somalia

A Burundian official says the AU`s decision to withdraw a thousand soldiers from the regional force in Somalia has begun.

The official, said on Thursday at least 200 soldiers have boarded a flight from Somalia to Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura. He says, more soldiers are expected to be flown back from Burundi in the coming weeks.

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The African Union says it plans to withdraw thousands of its troops from Somalia by the end of 2020. The AU force, made up of soldiers from several African countries, has tried for years to secure the horn of Africa country against Al-Shabab Islamic extremist rebel.

READ:  Gunmen Kill Tuareg Civilians In Mali

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Kenya Court Delays Ruling On Gay Sex Till May

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Supporters and opponents of gay rights said on Friday they accepted a decision by Kenya’s high court to delay for another three months a ruling on whether to strike down a colonial-era law banning gay sex.

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The ruling, potentially a landmark decision for gay rights in Africa, was due to be issued on Friday, but the court said it needed until late May to reach a decision.

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Judge Chacha Mwita told a packed court in the capital, Nairobi, that the extra time was necessary because of the voluminous paperwork submitted in the case.

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Same-sex relationships are illegal in more than 70 countries, almost half of them in Africa.

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Gunmen Attack Anadarko Convoy In Northern Mozambique

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Gunmen Attack Anadarko Convoy In Northern Mozambique

Gunmen in Northern Mozambique have attacked a convoy of vehicles belonging to an American oil and gas company, Anadarko – the first such attack in an area where an Islamist militant group is active.

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Anadarko is expected to spend more than $20 billion dollars on the gas project close to the Tanzania border.

At least four persons from the firm were injured when more than a dozen unidentified gunmen ambushed the convoy in Cabo Delgado province.

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A jihadist group, Al-Shabab, with no known links to the Somali jihadist group of the same name, has carried out frequent attacks on isolated villages since 2017.

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Correspondents say if the same group was behind this attack, it could mark a significant shift in its tactics and threaten Mozambique’s fledgling gas industry.

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