20 October 2021

Egypt: 98 women have been sworn in before the State Council's chief judge. The State Council is one of Egypt’s main judicial bodies. It had been “exclusively male until now” and had “actively rejected female applicants”.
BBC Africa Live 20 October 2021. 4:46

Kenya: The murder of 10 km road running world record holder Agnes Tirop, possibly by her husband, has drawn attention to gender-based and domestic violence. After providing some data on these issues for Kenya, the article goes through encouraging recent developments, the first of these being the government’s commitment. It has, in fact, adopted a gender-based violence (GBV) indicator in June 2021 in the government’s performance monitoring framework which ought to ensure that enforcement and implementation of GBV laws and policies are tracked. Additional resources have furthermore been allocated to prevention and response. In all major hospitals, GBV recovery centres are to be established and gender desks have been established in police stations. Apart from these, civil society organisations (the Coalition on Violence against Women; the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya) continue to function.

Somalia: For three decades, the country has been subject to external ‘state-building’ interventions, all of which have emphasized the law and all of which have been unsuccessful – people resist against “foreign” legal rules, be they imposed by colonisers or a Somali government. Shari’a law may be a better alternative – faith in a higher power could guide people toward the rule of law. Shari’a is more flexible than most think. In Somaliland, women activists deploy it as a means to assert women’s rights.

Algeria: The article recounts and analyses the iconic film The Battle of Algiers ”filmed in 1965 as a co-production between an Italian creative team and the new Algerian FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) government, whose representative Yacef produced the film and stars as the character of Jaffar” and who has died on 10th of September.

Nigeria: In the north-west of the country, “(t)he atrocities and motivation of the bandits have assumed an insurgent-type criminality.” So why is the government “reluctant to label the groups as terrorists or insurgents”? Buhari is thought to be sympathetic with the bandits/terrorists because most of them are Fulani like him. Others claim that political elites sponsor banditry. But according to security and civil-military relations expert Sallek Yaks Musa, it is necessary as a first step to call bandits terrorists. “This (…) to ensure that the requisite level of force, tactical and operational assets and resources are deployed against the groups.” Instead of air raids without adequate ground support, “collaboration within the military and with partner security agencies including the police and intelligence agencies” is needed. And the army needs to regain the trust of locals – they could do so, for example, by freeing hostages.

Nigeria: The article discusses what has changed since the #EndSARS protests a year ago. It comes to the conclusion that much too little has been done over the past year to reform the police force. In the meantime, insecurity is getting worse.