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Last to abolish slavery, Mauritania still hunts anti-slavery activists

The institution of slavery, though abolished some 37 years ago in Mauritania, still has significant scars on the country’s landscape

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The institution of slavery, though abolished some 37 years ago in Mauritania, still has significant scars on the country’s landscape.

The effect of the discredited practice came to the fore recently as two anti-slavery activists freed from prison in Mauritania vowed an all-out fight to rescue their nation from one of the world’s worst slavery rates, saying jail and torture were no deterrent.

Mauritania was the last nation to abolish slavery, outlawing it in 1981, and more than two in every 100 of its people still live as slaves, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index.

Human rights groups say government made no effort to stamp it out and arrests people who speak out against it.

Abdallahi Matallah Saleck and Moussa Biram were jailed for their alleged role in a protest and charged with inciting riots and rebellion. They spent two years in a remote desert prison where they say they suffered horrible abuse.

“They tortured us, they did everything they could so we would back down. But we will never, ever back down,” Biram told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Less than a week after being released, both were back on the streets of Nouakchott, encouraging fellow members of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) to stay strong.

“The fight has just begun,” Biram said adding he is not in good health and has injuries from torture and beatings. “I can’t even stand up because of my legs which people hit with batons.”

A government spokesman said allegations of torture were false and an independent body called the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture had visited the detention site in 2017 and found no human rights violations.

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Government previously denied making arbitrary arrests and said that it prosecutes “unlawful and unregistered organisations that provoke riots, chaos and insecurity.”

Because government refused to register the IRA as an organisation, the men could be jailed at any time, said Francois Patuel of Amnesty International.

“We know we’re not safe, but we are not afraid,” Saleck told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“This is our country no matter what and we have to fight against discrimination and slavery,” he said.

Slavery in Mauritania follows racial lines, with black descendants of ethnic groups from the country’s south typically enslaved by lighter-skinned Mauritanians.

Some Mauritanians are born into slavery and spend their lives as domestic or farm workers.

Culture

Nigerian singer, Kizz Daniel’s Buga video breaks new bounds, hits 3.6 million views on YouTube in 48 hours

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Nigerian songwriter and music sensation, Daniel Anidugbe, popularly known as Kizz Daniel, has set a new record after the video of his successful single, ‘Buga,’ hit 3.6 million YouTube views just 48 hours after it was released.

The success of the video on streaming platforms also revealed that it had raked in excess of over N2.5 million during the same period while also trending at number two for music on the streaming platform.

The Buga music video was also the first from Africa to hit two million streams in 24 hours of its release on Thursday, according to music aficionados in the country.

Kizz Daniel who announced the release of the visual of the song on his verified Instagram page on Thursday, later took to the platform to share the good news.

“Wow!! 2m in 24hrs THANK YOU WORLD VA’22 #BUGA,” he wrote.

Before the release of the Buga video, Kizz Daniel had also announced that the audio of the song which was released in May, had recorded 17 million views on TikTok.

The popular Buga song which which featured another Nigerian star, Tekno, is now a raging like wild fire across the country and is taking the music world by storm with different covers and challenges attributed to it.

The song is currently number 8 on the top 10 Billboard’s U.S Afrobeats Song Charts and also became the first song to hit 1 million streams within 24 hours on Boomplay.

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Senegal: Thousands of explorers visit as African arts dazzle at Dakar Biennale 2022

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The 2022 edition of the Dakar Biennale, an art festival in Senegal has come to an end after a month of exhibition of some art pieces from the West African country.

The Biennale, which opened last month and runs through June 21, is the zenith of the city’s ebullient cultural calendar, drawing in artists, collectors and trendsetters from across the world.

This year’s edition featured artists like Johanna Ziemer works as a playwright, translator, Serigne Boyer is a graffiti artist, Zhang Yanzi, Stephanie J. Woods, Ytasha L. Womack amongst others

The Technical Director of Dakar Biennale, Abdou Diouf said that the edition lived up to expectation as it was widely attended with visitors numbering almost half of a million.

“The Dakar Biennale this year has kept all its promises. We had between 450 and 460 thousand visitors unlike in 2018. We had over 180 thousand visitors at the main expo site. So I think it is truly a great success.,” said Abdou Diouf.

“I think that it is also a challenge, a stake. We must manage to maintain this course, so that the universe, the environment, and I would even say the world of art can consider Dakar the capital of plastic arts,” said Diouf.

The Biennale has been established by the State of Senegal since 1989 with a first edition dedicated to literature in 1990, it was later reserved for contemporary art during the second edition in 1992 before being definitively devoted to contemporary African creation from 1996.

 

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