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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

Eight years after, abducted Nigerian schoolgirls recaptured by French artist in art exhibition

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Eight years after their abduction while preparing for the West African School Certificate examination in a school in Chibok town in the Nigerian state of Borno, an exhibition of sculptures representing the school girls was displayed by a French artist, Prune Nourry, at the an exhibition in Lagos on Tuesday.

The emotional exhibition which held at the Art Twenty-One at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites in Nigeria’s commercial capital, showed sculptures of the heads of the famous ‘Chibok Girls’ who were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

According to Nourry, the exhibition which is billed to travel round the world to raise awareness on the plight of some of the girls who are still in captivity, is a collaborative effort between of the Obafemi Awolowo University where he is a professor, and the families of the over 250 Chibok girls who were kidnapped by the terrorists.

On display at the exhibition titled “Statutes Also Breathe,” were 108 sculpture heads by Nourry and art students of the OAU Fine and Applied Arts department, inspired by the ancient Ife terracotta heads.

“The heads so much evoke memory of the narrative/works on the Igbo Landing in Georgia, where Igbo slaves decided to drown with their masters rather than live as slaves in US,” Nourry said at the unveiling of the exhibition.

According to Nourry, the exhibition is to remember the Chibok girls as the works are “symbols of their agony which also signify love for the girls.”

“The idea is to travel the world with the army and to show all the heads that personify the Chibok missing girls. It is also an opportunity to talk about girls’ education around the world.”

“When I heard about the Chibok girls for the first time, I was travelling with a work, an “Army of girls” called the “Terracotta daughters” in China, and I heard about the Ife heads.

“As a sculptor, it was my dream to go someday to Ife and work with the clay,” she explained.

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Tunisia’s spicy sauce, Harissa, makes it into UNESCO Cultural Heritage list

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Tunisia’s popular spicy sauce, Harissa, has been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) cultural heritage list at the 17th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which ended in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Sunday.

In a statement announcing the listing, the UN agency said the spicy sauce was chosen because of the “skills, knowledge, and culinary and social practices” which passed the examination at the testing level

Harissa which is one of the most popular spice in the North African country, is made by drying chili peppers in the sun before splitting them, removing their stalks and deseeding.

The chili peppers are then washed, ground and seasoned with salt, garlic and coriander using a pestle and mortar or a manual meat mincer.

Harissa is used regularly in the country and is a culinary tradition, according to UNESCO.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted at the 32nd General Assembly of UNESCO on Oct. 17, 2003, to protect the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

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