Afghan women march against violence

Updated 14 February 2013
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Afghan women march against violence

KABUL: Dozens of Afghan activists and supporters marched in Kabul yesterday to denounce violence against women amid reports that domestic abuse is on the rise.
Afghan women have made great strides in education and official circles since the days under Taleban rule, when they had to wear burqas and were not allowed to go to school or leave their homes without a male relative as an escort. But they still face widespread domestic violence, forced marriages and other problems.
“Violence against women has to be eliminated or at least reduced in Afghanistan,” rights activist Humaira Rasouli said after walking from the landmark Darul Aman Palace just outside Kabul to an area in the city near Parliament. “Unfortunately ... the violence against women rate is increasing day to day.”
Organizers said some 200 people, men and women, participated in the march, which was planned by several Afghan rights groups as part of a global domestic violence awareness campaign called One Billion Rising.
Past protests supporting women’s rights have been attacked by hecklers and men throwing stones, and riot police with helmets and shields stood guard yesterday.
Underscoring the security concerns, protesters had badges and the public was not invited to join. But the march remained peaceful and many women welcomed the support of men along the way.
“It was very successful because usually protests don’t get so many people,” said Manizha Wafeq, one of the organizers.
In August 2009, Afghanistan enacted an Elimination of Violence Against Women law that criminalized child marriage, selling and buying women to settle disputes, assault and other acts of violence against women.
But a UN report issued late last year found that Afghan women still face frequent abuse despite an increase in the prosecution of abusers.
Violence against women also remains largely under-reported because of cultural taboos, social norms and religious beliefs in the conservative Muslim society.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights commission has recorded more than 4,000 cases of violence against women from March 21 to Oct. 21 last year, but most were not reported to police.
“Women don’t have a bright future and the government isn’t doing enough to protect them,” said Faryaa Hashimi, a 20-year-old student at the march.
“We are calling on the international community and Afghan government to protect the women.”


86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

Updated 25 June 2018
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86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

  • Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009
  • The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades

JOS, Nigeria: Eighty-six people have been killed in an attack by suspected nomadic herders against farming communities in restive central Nigeria, police said on Sunday.
The discovery in the Barikin Ladi area of Plateau state came after days of violence apparently sparked by an attack by ethnic Berom farmers on Fulani herders on Thursday.
State police commissioner Undie Adie said a search of Berom villages in the area following clashes on Saturday found “86 persons altogether were killed.”
Adie told reporters six people were also injured and 50 houses razed. Bodies of those who died have been released to their families, he added.
The deaths are the latest in a long-running battle for land and resources that is putting President Muhammadu Buhari under pressure as elections approach next year.
The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades.
Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009.
The Plateau state government said it had imposed restrictions on movements in the Riyom, Barikin Ladi and Jos South areas “to avert a breakdown of law and order.”
“The curfew takes effect immediately... and movement is restricted from 6:00 p.m. (1700 GMT) to 6:00 am, except (for) those on essential duties,” said spokesman Rufus Bature.
On Sunday, ethnic Berom youths set up barricades on the Jos-Abuja highway and attacked motorists who looked “Fulani and Muslim,” according to those who escaped the violence.
Plateau state police spokesman Tyopev Terna and Major Adam Umar, from the military taskforce in the state capital, Jos, confirmed the blockade and vandalism to several cars.
There were no official reports of deaths but Baba Bala, who escaped the violence on the road, said at least six people were killed.
“I was lucky the convoy of the (Plateau) state government was passing through the scene of the attack shortly after I ran into the attackers,” he said.
“I escaped with smashed windscreens and dents on my car. I saw six dead bodies and several damaged cars.”