21 May 2022
Rwanda/GB: BBC has interviewed migrants and aid agencies across the Channel in a Calais camp – the great majority will still attempt to get to Britain, never mind London’s deal with Kigali – “for most migrants here, ready to gamble with their lives to reach the UK, resettlement is just one more risk.” While one of the interviewees said that in the case of being transferred to Rwanda, “(m)y life would be over. It would be like killing me slowly”, another opined that “he would come straight back to Calais, and try to cross the Channel again.”
Nigeria/Facial scars: They were mostly marks of identity. But they have been on their way out for some time. In 2003, a federal law has banned all forms of child mutilation – that includes facial scars. To see the many pictures that come with the BBC article, follow the link:
20 May 2022
Senegal: The decolonisation of relations between Senegal and its former colonial master France is an unfinished, but ongoing project. Senegal is reclaiming its heritage. Monuments and museums play a role in this. The Museum of Black Civilisations was opened shortly after the Macron-commissioned report that demanded restitution of stolen art kept in French museums – the Museum of Black Civilisations signals that Senegal “has the museum infrastructure to store and preserve the art looted under colonial rule, and owned by French museums." In the article’s author’s opinion, decolonisation of heritage should follow Senghor’s universalist approach – reclaiming the country’s “Blackness” (négritude) and a heritage dismissed by racial science and colonial rule yet in doing so, it should also acknowledge the achievements of French civilisation.
Nigeria/Restrictive Abortion Laws: Induced abortion is common in Nigeria but illegal. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the incidence of abortion in the country in 2015 amounted to 50.6 per 1000 women of reproductive age – one of the highest abortion rates in the world. Using dangerous substances or turning to untrained professionals and quacks with no clinical training to end pregnancies “makes abortion extremely dangerous and fraught with complications.” The law valid to this day was put in place by the British in the 19th century. “It is based substantially on Section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861 of England” – abortion is legal only if necessary to save the life of the mother & heavy penalties threaten offenders (patients and performers). But we know – from Nigeria as well as the world over – that restrictive laws by no means prevent women with unwanted pregnancy from resorting to abortion – they only make the abortion dangerous and unsafe. So it is high time to change the law.