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Somalia seeks trial of female genital mutilation offenders after death of girl. Why it matters

With over 90 per cent of girls and woman subjected to the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), the authorities in Somalia have said they will prosecute those responsible for the death of Deeqa Dahir Nuur, a 10-year-old girl who bled to death recently after the exercise

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With over 90 per cent of girls and woman subjected to the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), the authorities in Somalia have said they will prosecute those responsible for the death of Deeqa Dahir Nuur, a 10-year-old girl who bled to death recently after the exercise.

The prosecution, if taken, would be the first of its kind in Somalia.

The move comes amid efforts this week, involving a number of Irish campaigners in Somalia, to build local alliances against FGM.

A week-long campaign was launched on recently in Mogadishu by the Somali-born Irishwoman, Ifrah Ahmed, whose Ifrah Foundation is working with the London-based Global Media Campaign Against FGM, run by the former journalist Maggie O’Kane, and supported by Irish and other EU diplomats in eastern Africa.

The campaign is seeking to enlist the support of local religious leaders for a so-called zero tolerance approach to FGM, and also using local media and medics to convince parents to cease subjecting their daughters to the practice. FGM has no medical benefit and predates both Islam and Christianity, but is linked to efforts to control female sexuality and reproduction.

Read Also: Last to abolish slavery, Mauritania still hunts anti-slavery activists

The death of Nuur days before the launch of the campaign received media attention in Somalia and internationally.

The girl had FGM performed on her on Sunday 15th July and died two days later from blood loss and further complications caused by tetanus.

The cut is understood to have severed artery – not a vein as earlier reported – leading to severe blood loss and tetanus. Deequ Dahir Nuur was cut in a “ceremony” with her three sisters, two were older and one younger.

According to sources in Somalia, all four were all subjected to the most extreme form of FGM which is the complete removal of the clitoris and labia using a knife or razor blade.

Culture

President Tinubu renames Nigeria’s National Theatre after Nobel Laureate Soyinka

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The Nigerian National Arts Theatre has been renamed after the country’s only Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

President Bola Tinubu who made the announcement on Friday in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka birthday on July 13th said the foremost playwright was a national treasure that should be celebrated.

In the tribute titled, “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” Tinubu expressed his delight to “join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka,” adding that “July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.”

“Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth,” Tinubu said.

“Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu also stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” the Nigerian President said.

The President further stated that Prof. Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

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Culture

Ghanaian woman sets Guinness World Record for ‘Most Cars Washed’ in 8 Hours by an individual

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The Guinness World Records (GWR) has officially confirmed a Ghanaian woman, Felicity Asantewaa, as the record holder for “Most Cars Washed” in eight hours by a single individual.

The official confirmation from the GWR came in a statement posted on its highlighting Asantewaa’s “remarkable achievement” which took place on March 9, at the Executive Club in East Legon, Accra.

According to GWR, during Asantewaa’s record-breaking attempt, she successfully washed 60 cars within the eight-hour period, breaking the previous record by five cars.

The GWR statement reads:

“The most cars washed in eight hours by an individual is 60 and was achieved by Felicity Asantewaa (Ghana) in Accra, Ghana, on 9 March 2024. Felicity broke the record by 5.

“Her determination and efficiency in washing 60 cars in such a short time frame have earned her a well-deserved spot in the Guinness World Records and put Ghana on the map for such remarkable accomplishments.

“This achievement becomes a source of pride for Felicity who is known as a car enthusiast.”

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