Despite numerous efforts by member states and stakeholders to eradicate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls in Africa, the scourge still persists, mostly linked to harmful socio-cultural norms and practices.
African Union Heads of State and Government have recommitted to further actions to sustainably address the vice which remains the most widespread and socially accepted form of human right violation.
Among the key recommendations is the engagement and active involvement of men and boys in leading the preventive actions against violence, and to nurture a culture of positive masculinity; increased investment in gender transformative social protection programmes; and a commitment to facilitate, negotiate and adopt, the African Union Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.
The development of the Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls that addresses the specific needs of African women and girls, is among key outcomes of the inaugural Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity convened in 2021, where the Heads of States also adopted the Kinshasa Declaration and Call to Action on Positive Masculinity to End Violence Against Women and Girls in Africa.
The Africa Union Commission will provide the technical support and resources for the drafting of the Convention which will be submitted for consideration by the African Union policy organs.
While convening the 2nd Men’s Conference on the 10th November 2022 in Dakar, Senegal under the leadership of H.E., President of the Republic of Senegal and the 2022 AU Chairperson, in collaboration with H.E. Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Republic of the Democratic Republic of Congo; H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa; H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana; H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of the Republic of Liberia and the Patron of the African Women Leaders’ Network (AWLN); and H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission , the Heads of State committed to five key areas to advance, promote and accelerate actions to prevent, sustainably address, and end the scourge of violence against women and girls on the continent.
The key areas on intervention include:The introduction of gender-transformative intervention such as of Domestic Violence Prevention Training Programmes (DVPT) for boys and men at the community level using the existing local governance structures and institutions and galvanise their participation in the Continental Men’s Coalition to end VAGW as a strategy for the promotion of positive masculinity as a new equitable gender norm in Africa; Increase investment in gender transformative social protection programmes and public social services in the rural areas and develop legal and policy framework that will reduce the impact of drivers of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) such as Unpaid Care and Domestic Work (UCDW), negative attitude towards Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRH&RR), Stereotypes and other forms of discrimination against women in Africa; Develop an intentional policy framework or guidelines to incentivise private sector and academic entities who demonstrate the meaningful representation and participation of women in their enterprises; Institutionalize a structure for systematic and continuous engagement with traditional and religious leaders, including their strategic participation and interaction with Heads of State and various AU champions and other mechanisms on campaigns and programmes on Elimination of Harmful Practices and Violence Against Women and Girls; Continue to encourage Member States of the African Union to support the capacity enhancement of their various gender machineries to respond to and accelerate the implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa already initiated in the Kinshasa Declaration, facilitate effective participation and leadership of women in development, peace and security and provide more resources in support of the African Women’s Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion of Women and youth through various empowerment programmes especially for informal sector.
Addressing the Men’s Conference, H.E. President Macky Sall underscored the need to not only raise awareness but to act against all forms of violence against women and girls.
He stated, “let's not forget that violence is not only physical.
It is also through harassment, threats, insults and other derogatory or humiliating remarks that hurt as much.
No religion, no law, no social rule justifies violence against a human being.
In short, there can be no legal or moral basis for violence in any form.
whatever form it may take.
Nothing can justify a woman or a girl being abused, marginalized or discriminated against.
Altogether, public authorities, religious and traditional leaders, members of civil society and citizens, we must all raise our voices and say Enough!
Enough of the brutality, enough of the abuse, enough of the harassment, enough of the bullying, enough of the insanity, rape and other unwanted solicitations.
But it is not enough to say enough.
It is necessary to act so that the custom of silence ceases, in times of peace as in times of war.” Read the full statement here.
H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa, expressed the commitment of his government to end gender based violence and empower women on the continent.
“We recently convened the second presidential summit on gender based violence and femicide in South Africa, at that summit, I once again made the call for the involvement of men in this fight.
Gender based violence is a problem of men, not of women.
We cannot win this struggle until we fundamentally transform how masculinity is expressed”, he stated.
The president further called for the speedy development of the African Union Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and offered to join the African Union circle of Champions of Heads of State leading the call for positive masculinity.
Through various normative frameworks, programmes and campaigns, the African Union has been keen on putting a definitive end to inequalities and prejudices that propagate the various forms of violence against women and girls, including ending child marriage, eliminating Female Genital Mutilation, and prevention of violence of women in conflict situations.
H.E. Moussa Faki, reiterated the need for enhanced collective and individual actions and particularly, a change of the mentality.
He observed, “violence against women remains the most widespread and pervasive violation of human rights in the world affecting an estimated one in three women.
The statistics of such violence have not changed much in the last decade.
The COVID-19 pandemic has even intensified violence against women and girls and has exacerbated deep structural inequalities, reversing decades of progress.
Finding the necessary resources and working to mitigate these negative impacts in the daily life of every woman in every household, remains one of the priorities of the African Union Commission.
African men and especially leaders must become more involved in this fight.
We must go further, be more concrete to protect women, denounce and punish harshly the perpetrators of violence against women.
It is up to men, the main perpetrators of physical and psychological violence, to reverse the trend by fighting in themselves, the impulses which push them to violate women.” Read the full statement here.
H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on her part, underscored the key role men and young men play in ending the violence and discrimination and called for more actions to support women and girls in all spheres on life.
“I recognize I have a few years ahead of me than those behind me, therefore forgive my impatience.
I would like to see atleast three women elected as president.
There are several countries holding elections in the coming years, it is not impossible.
I would like to see a resolution of atleast three of the ongoing the hostilities on the continent, and other potential conflicts prevented through the participation of women in the peace and security architecture.
I would also want to see women included in the African Continental Free Trade Area as this also gives impetus to the African Union Decade on Economic and Financial Inclusion of Women 2020- 2030”, she noted.
While presenting the outcomes of the 2nd Men’s Conference that was preceded by consultative meetings by civil society leaders, male youth leaders, male leaders in business and private sector, male leaders of the academia, religious and traditional leaders who took stock of progress in the implementation of the Kinshasa Declaration on Positive masculinity, and made far-reaching recommendations and commitment as agents of change to lead the fight against violence against women and girls, H.E. Bineta Diop, African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security emphasized the importance of supporting the campaign on the elimination of violence against women and girls and its importance in realizing the Aspirations of Agenda 2063; and other normative frameworks including, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA), the AU Strategy for Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment; the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and the Continental Results Framework on Women, Peace and Security.
Involving and engaging men in the fight to end violence against women and girls has proven to be a catalyst in the ending of the vice.
The partnership is not only to see men end physical violence in spaces such as homes and workplaces, but also curb non-physical aggression meted on women and girls in the digital spaces where cyber-bulling and harassment are on the rise.
Today, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with Minister of Justice Counselor Omar Marwan.
The Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency stated that the meeting discussed the efforts made by the Ministry of Justice regarding the comprehensive development of the State’s litigation system and the speedy disposition of cases.
President El-Sisi was updated on the comprehensive development of the litigation system and efforts made to enhance the performance of courts across Egypt to help reduce case backlogs, particularly family court cases.
About 309,000 family court cases have been tried before 2021, only 100 of which are currently pending in courts.
The President also expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by the judges to complete cases.
Counselor Marwan also reviewed the work of the Supreme Committee for Legislative Reform, which lasted for two years, to issue a national legislative database.
This database classifies laws, presidential decrees, cabinet decisions, as well as international agreements.
As a result of these efforts, the State’s laws have become 618 laws of the total of 17049 and international agreements have become 1997 of the total of 4366, with a flexible framework allowing immediate amendments when a legislation is passed or repealed.
The Minister of Justice briefed the President on the most prominent axes in the development process of the litigation system, particularly the efforts made to raise the efficiency of the courts’ headquarters and buildings in all governorates.
President El-Sisi directed that these efforts be kept under close review and the development of Galaa Courts Complex be expeditiously completed.
He also directed that an engineering committee be formed to inspect Bab Al-Khalq Court, a historical building, and prepare a report on its condition.
Furthermore, President El-Sisi directed that the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Communications and IT cooperate to rapidly automate courts of first instance and courts of appeal.
President El-Sisi also followed-up on the efforts made by the Ministry of Justice to prepare a group of experts from the Ministry of Awqaf, Al-Azhar and Dar al-Iftaa to seek their help in cases of defamation of religions.
They will also be legally qualified to identify the elements and circumstances of the crime.
The meeting discussed the efforts of developing the Real Estate Registration Authority.
The President confirmed the need to continue opening new branches providing documentation services with night shifts to meet the needs of all citizens across Egypt.
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has pledged the government’s commitment to support and improve child survival outcomes in the country in line with the universal healthcare agenda.
Speaking on Thursday at the Pumwani Maternity hospital, during celebrations to mark the world prematurity day, the health CS said the ministry of health has developed a host of interventions aimed at improving the survival and health of new-borns.
“Preventing deaths among babies born too soon is a public health priority.
The most urgent action is to prevent, diagnose and manage preterm births.
We have solutions to improve the survival and health of vulnerable preterm and low birth weight babies.” Said Nakhumicha.
She said high impact interventions such as Kangaroo Mother Care for management of preterm and low birth weight babies, use of corticosteroids in management of premature labour and use of Chlorhexidine Digluconate 7.1% gel are some of the interventions that have been key in the prevention of neonatal sepsis that have greatly helped in saving preterm babies.
“In order to ensure our preterm babies, thrive and survive, the Ministry of Health through the Department of Family Health has managed to scale up Kangaroo Mother Care centers across the 47 counties and established Pumwani maternity hospital as the Regional Training center/ hub for Kangaroo Mother Care.” Noted the CSThe CS also launched the Comprehensive New-born Care Protocol and Revised Guidelines on the application of Chlorhexidine Digluconate 7.1% on new-born umbilical cord, which she said demonstrates the Ministry’s commitment to the survival and health of new-borns.
MPs have unanimously approved a US$140 million loan to finance the Uganda Digital Acceleration Project (UDAP), and ring-fenced it to the implementing agency, National Information Technology Authority-Uganda.
In a rare show of unanimity untypical of loan requests, the Opposition’s only rider has been having the money strictly supplied to NITA-U, in an apparent bid to protect it from being generally applied to budget support, which would spread it across all votes.
Speaking in support of the loan, Hon. John Bosco Ikojo, the Chairperson of the Committee on National Economy, said if implemented, the project will go a long way in improving connectivity in the country.
“… [The project] is intended to ensure that high bandwidth data connectivity is available in all major towns of Uganda at a reasonable rate; and b) Electronic Government infrastructure aimed at reducing the cost of doing business in government, improving communications between government agencies and reducing the need for officials to commute for meetings and thereby increasing efficiency,” he said.
MP Hassan Kirumira (NUP, Katikamu South County) supported the loan but said Parliament should ensure NITA-U gets the loan amount in its entirety.
He also asked Parliament to nip in the bud efforts of rationalisation of agencies, which would see the Ministry of ICT fold NITA-U and execute its functions.
“I am disappointed…the Ministry of ICT informed the committee that government intends to make a position on the status of NITA-U and other agencies; we decided to support this loan on the condition that the implementation entity being NITA-U; I also propose that it is resolved that Parliament should not amend or repeal the NITA-U Act,” he said.
Shadow Finance Minister, Hon. Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi (NUP, Butambala County) said the loan should only sail through on condition that ‘this House compel the Government to ensure that NITA-U is the implementing agency.’Hon. Ikojo outlined the key areas the project will cover.
“… [The project will] establish a national backbone infrastructure (high bandwidth data connection in major towns of Uganda; connect all Ministries in a single wide area network; c) establish a Government Data Centre; and d) Establish district information Centre,” he said.
The dividends will be having all government ministries connected to an e-platform and a robust optic fibre backbone transmission cable set up across the country, among other benefits.
The now approved loan comes with an up to US$60 million grant element and will be sourced from the International Development Authority of the World Bank.A grant element on a loan means aside from the loan, which will attract interest, the lending institution also gives the borrower a giveaway in form of a grant.
The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions took stock of the contribution of non-State actors at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 at a special event this evening, wrapping-up a two week programme of more than 50 events.
Across the two weeks, the Champions supported and delivered a wide range of actions, announcements, and events across mitigation, adaptation finance and equity, with a clear focus on implementation.
This included the launch of the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund, an African-led insurance commitment to provide cover for up to USD 14 billion in climate losses, and the Sharm-El-Sheik Adaptation Agenda in partnership with the COP27 Presidency.
A full list of announcements and initiatives can be found in the press release from the UN High-Level Climate Champions here.
Parliament’s Committee on Public Accounts - Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has asked the Uganda National Roads Authority to explain the cost of the 51-kilometre Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.
In a probe over queries raised by the Auditor General, the committee noted that the Shs35 billion per kilometre cost of the tolled expressway looks exorbitant and the roads agency should explain.
“How do we justify this to a lay person other than me; if this one is costing Shs35.4 billion per kilometre is a bit high,” said committee chairperson, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi.
The road cost US$476 million, approximated to be Shs1.8 trillion.
UNRA’s Head of Design, Eng. Patrick Muleme, defended the costing.
“The average cost per square kilometre of a bridge is high; UNRA carried out an independent audit for the cost based on the scope of what was to be done; looking at the bridges, UNRA was satisfied that the cost was reasonable,” he said.
Hon. Ssenyonyi then tasked UNRA to provide the document detailing the various study of the costing.
MPs also took issue with the management of collections from the road toll, managed by a contractor.
Eng. Joseph Otim, the Director of Road Maintenance at UNRA, placed collections at about Shs2.5 billion per month, Shs1 billion of which is set aside for maintenance and remuneration of the contractor’s staff.
The toll is collected by Egis Roads Operation S.A., a French company.
The committee demanded details of the maintenance, and took issue with the poor lighting of the road, making it a hotspot for accidents.
Hon. Muwada Nkunyingi (NUP, Kyaddondo County East) said motorists avoid the road at night due to the lighting issues, with UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, committing that the contractor is in the advanced stages of lighting the expressway.
Chairperson Ssenyonyi asked about the progress of the loan repayment to China, which was the chief financier of the road.
“The collection from the toll is meant to repay the loan; if you give Shs1 billion for the contractor to do maintenance, how will the repayment be achieved?” he asked.
He also questioned how the Shs1 billion maintenance fee was arrived at.
The funds are placed on an escrow account, where the contractors draw the Shs1 billion every month, an issue that irked MP Richard Sebamala (DP, Bukoto Central County), who said that amounts to usurping Parliament’s powers to appropriate.
Kagina chipped in with an explanation.
“We can produce tomorrow [the details of the Shs1 billion maintenance fees]; the question of why the money was not going to the Consolidated Fund was really for the ease of payment for these [maintenance] services,” she said.
The probe continues Thursday, 17 November 2022.
The Honourable Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailash Kumar Jagutpal launched Health Promotion Clubs in the Public Service on 14 November 2022 to mark the World Diabetes Day 2022 in Mauritius.
The Health Promotion Clubs aim at promoting a healthy lifestyle among the public officers through regular practice of physical activity, talks and awareness campaigns on health issues, especially NCD risk factors and regular NCD screening programme.
Eminent personalities including the Minister of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms, Honourable Mr Teeruthraj Hurdoyal and the newly arrived World Health Organization (WHO) Representative, Dr Anne Marie Ancia attended the event.
High officials of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, representatives of other ministries and numerous public officers were also present.
“Diabetes is a silent killer.
It affects a huge proportion of the population in Mauritius,” said Dr K.
Jagutpal, Health Minister in his address.
He expressed concern on the growing number of prediabetes in the population as well as the prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes.
The risks of having complications are higher among the uncontrolled diabetes said Dr Hon. Jagutpal.
“You need to know yourself.
That is in terms of your family history as heredity is a non-modifiable factor for noncommunicable diseases”, added Dr K.
He urged public officers to take advantage of the facilities that are being put at their disposal at their workplace for regular practice of physical activity to prevent diabetes and other NCDs.“You need to invest more in your health, and you have to work hard to make this behaviour of practicing regular physical activity a habit”, further added the Health Minister.
The Health Minister emphasized on this year’s theme "Education to protect tomorrow", and the need for better access to quality diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes.
The last NCD survey conducted in 2021 shows around 20% of the overall population in Mauritius has diabetes.
The prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes is a real concern as it increases the risk of severe health complications such as heart diseases, renal impairment, eyes problems and damaged arteries.
Pre-diabetes and obesity are major precursors of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and therefore, promoting a healthy lifestyle at an early age will help to reverse the situation.
The support and technical assistance provided by the World Health Organization was duly acknowledged by Dr Hon. K.
Honourable Mr Hurdoyal, Minister of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms, expressed concern over the rising number of diabetes at global level.
He said, “tackling diabetes has become very critical in the face of COVID-19 pandemic as they can lead to more health complications and cause premature deaths.”“The health and well-being of public officers is a top priority of my Ministry”, added Hon. Mr Hurdoyal who announced NCD screening programme in different ministries and departments.
The creation of a Fitness Centre for public officers to prevent and control NCDs among civil servants and improve the work life balance as well as enhance productivity is in the pipeline.
Dr Anne Ancia, the newly appointed WHO Representative in Mauritius, during her first public health event, said, “each one of us has an important role to play in the fight against diabetes”.
She emphasized on small daily actions that can contribute to reducing one’s risk of developing diabetes and other NCDs. “It is critical to promote the adoption of a healthy lifestyle among children and youth people to prevent diabetes”, said Dr Ancia who recalled the creation of the first global targets for diabetes by 2030, as part of recommendations of the 75th World Health Assembly in May this year to strengthen and monitor diabetes responses within national NCD programmes.
These global targets are, among others, 80% of people living with diabetes will be diagnosed and will have good control of their glycaemic levels and blood pressure; 60% of those older than 40 will be receiving treatment with statins; and 100% of people with Type 1 diabetes will have access to affordable insulin and blood glucose self-monitoring.
Ancia highlighted the need to double our efforts to improve services to prevent and manage diabetes care and achieve Universal Health Coverage.
There is also a need to take action to accelerate the implementation of the Package of Essential Noncommunicable (PEN) Plus regional strategy which focuses on integrating outpatient care for severe and chronic NCDs at first-referral level health facilities.
The diagnosis and management of Type 1 diabetes, and other severe NCDs is also a priority for Member States in order to save the lives of children living with Type 1 diabetes.
“Despite encouraging results from the last Mauritius NCD survey report 2022, we still need to do more to reduce suffering and premature death due to diabetes and other NCDs in the country.”, said Dr A.
She also commanded the sustained efforts of the Government of Mauritius in addressing diabetes and other NCDs and for making it a priority at the level of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Promotion of a healthy lifestyle in the population remains key in combating diabetes and other NCDs. Children needs to learn the importance of healthy and balanced diets, combined with regular exercise as well as learn to say ‘no’ to smoking and alcohol while also maintaining a healthy weight, said the WHO Representative.
“I wish to reiterate the availability of the World Health Organization, in supporting the country in its fight against NCDs”, concluded Dr A.
The World Health Organization country office has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness in view of strengthening the national NCD Prevention and Control Programme during the past years.
In close collaboration with WHO, the country has recently aligned its national food laws to international standards to ensure food safety while new legal framework for the setting up of a national food standards agency has been enacted.
WHO also supported the assessment and strengthening of the foot care services through procurement of podiatry kits and training of foot care nurses in June 2022.
The findings of the foot care assessment will help to improve the quality of foot care services in the country to prevent amputations among people living with diabetes.
Further, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and WHO is working closely to finalize the national NCD Integrated Action Plan and National NCDs Service Framework which will soon be launched.
WHO has also been supporting ongoing training of NCD nurses in NCD prevention and promoting involvement of NGOs and civil society in addressing health issues, especially NCDs and the high prevalence of NCD risk factors.
Mauritius has also enacted new tobacco plain packaging legislation with WHO legal support, and the tobacco industry has been given the necessary notice prior to implementation of the new tobacco law to address the high prevalence of smoking in the country.
The Government of Mauritius remains fully committed to provide quality health care services to the population in the face of the high prevalence of noncommunicable Diseases.
No stone is left unturned in the fight of diabetes and other NCDs.
Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the trailblazing first female speaker of the US House of Representatives, said Thursday that she will step down as party leader when Republicans take control of the chamber in January.
“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said in an emotional speech on the House floor.
“The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.
” The 82-year-old Pelosi’s departure from party leadership marks the end of an era in Washington and comes after Republicans secured a slim House majority in last week’s midterm elections.
Democrats retained Senate control.
Democratic President Joe Biden hailed Pelosi as a “fierce defender of democracy” and the “most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history.
” “Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilify her,” Biden said in a statement.
“History will also note her fierceness and resolve to protect our democracy from the violent, deadly insurrection of January 6,” when supporters of Republican former president Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol, he said.
Elected to Congress in 1987, Pelosi first became speaker in 2007.
Known for keeping a tight grip on party ranks, she presided over both impeachments of Trump during her second stint in the role.
Currently second in the presidential line of succession, after Vice President Kamala Harris, Pelosi said last week that a decision on her future would be influenced by the brutal attack on her husband in the runup to the November 8 midterms.
Paul Pelosi, who is also 82, was left hospitalized with serious injuries after an intruder — possibly looking for the speaker — broke into their California home and attacked him with a hammer.
Pelosi said she would continue to represent her San Francisco district in the next Congress and praised Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the midterm contest.
“Last week, the American people spoke and their voices were raised in defense of liberty, of the rule of law and of democracy itself,” she said.
“The people stood in the breach and repelled the assault on democracy.
O.A.T.’ With Pelosi stepping down from leadership, and fellow octogenarians Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, the number two and three Democrats, signalling they will do the same, the party is on the cusp of a generational shift in power.
New York lawmaker Hakeem Jeffries, 52, who is expected to become Democratic minority leader in the next House, called Pelosi the “G.
O.A.T” — a sports reference to the Greatest of All Time. “Thank you for all that you have done for America,” Jeffries said.
Her announcement met with a far different reaction on the Republican side.
“The Pelosi era is over.
” tweeted Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert.
Kevin McCarthy, a 57-year-old Republican lawmaker from California, is lobbying to take over the speaker’s gavel from Pelosi in the Republican-majority House.
McCarthy won a party leadership vote by secret ballot Tuesday but potential far-right defections could yet complicate his path when the House’s 435 newly elected members — Democrats and Republicans — choose a new speaker in January.
On Thursday, House Republicans signaled they would wield their new power to make the president’s life more difficult announcing plans to investigate Biden and the business connections of his family, particularly those of his son Hunter.
“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business schemes,” said Jim Comer, a Republican lawmaker from Kentucky.
With inflation surging and Biden’s popularity ratings cratering, Republicans had hoped to see a “red wave” wash over America in the midterms, giving them control of both chambers of Congress and hence a block over most of Biden’s legislative plans.
But instead, Democratic voters — galvanized by the Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights and wary of Trump-endorsed candidates who openly rejected the result of the 2020 presidential election — turned out in force.
Biden’s party secured an unassailable majority in the Senate with 50 seats plus Harris’ tie-breaking vote, and a runoff in Georgia next month could yet see the Democrats improve their majority in the upper house.
The Senate oversees the confirmation of federal judges and cabinet members, and having the 100-seat body in his corner will be a major boon for Biden.
Veteran freedom fighter Berhe Goitom (Patata) passed away on 16 November at the age of 82.
Veteran freedom fighter Berhe who was a member of the ‘Tihisha’ clandestine group in Addis Ababa and Asmara from 1970 to 1975, joined the EPLF in 1975 and served his country and people in various capacities.
After Independence Veteran freedom fighter Berhe has been a member of the Eritrean Airlines and Asmara International Airport Authority.
Veteran freedom fighter Berhe Goitom, during Ethiopian occupation of Eritrea, was one of the 8 Eritreans that were selected to the Ethiopian national football team and played at 5 African Nations Cup competitions including in the 6th African nations cup where the Ethiopian national team won the championship.
Veteran freedom fighter Berhe was also vice-president of the National Football Federation from 1995 to 1998 and he was among those that played a big role in joining Eritrea to CAF and FIFA.
The funeral service of veteran freedom fighter Berhe was conducted in the afternoon hours of today, 17 November, at the Asmara Martyrs Cemetery.
Expressing deep sorrow for the passing away of veteran freedom fighter Berhe Goitom, the Asmara International Airport Authority expressed condolences to families and friends.
UNSMIL is alarmed by reports that more than 70 inmates at Mitiga Central Prison are on a hunger strike.
Inmates have been striking since October, protesting the prolonged arbitrary detention of many inmates, conditions of detention and ill treatment, including denial of family visits and medical care.
In recent weeks, reports indicate the treatment of hunger strikers has worsened in apparent retaliation.
UNSMIL calls on judicial authorities to investigate these reports, immediately release all persons detained without legal basis and ensure the rights of all detainees in line with Libya’s international obligations and national laws.