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Sierra Leone: President Julius Maada Bio backs moves to decriminalize abortion

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While the United States is getting rid of her abortion right law, West African country, Sierra Leone is making moves to decriminalize abortion in the country.

President Julius Maada Bio announced his government had unanimously backed a bill that would decriminalize abortion in the country.

Maade made the revelation while speaking at the 10th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, which took place in Freetown, Friday.

“At a time in the world when sexual and reproductive health rights for the women are either being overturned or threatened, we are proud that Sierra Leone can once again lead with progressive reform, Julius Maada Bio said. I want it to be a norm that an African man, an African leader, I can and should speak freely and publicly about menstruation, because there is no shame in menstruation.”

The Sierra Leone parliament will debate and vote on the “risk-free motherhood” bill. The country’s current abortion law dates back to 1861. It allows the procedure only if the mother’s life should be at risk.

The US Supreme Court on last month reversed a nearly half century old constitutional right to abortion.

A report by Guttmacher says during 2010–2014, an estimated 8.2 million induced abortions occurred each year in Africa. This number represents an increase from 4.6 million annually during 1990–1994, mainly because of an increase in the number of women of reproductive age

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UN peacekeeping mission to resume operations in Mali month after suspension

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Barely a month after the Malian junta suspended operations of UN peacekeeping troops on its soil, a spokesperson of the mission has confirmed that mission will resume again on Monday.

Malian authorities in a statement in July suspended all rotations of the military and police contingents of the United Nations Mission in Mali (UNMIS). The suspension was in continuation of its position of severing foreign relations, the suspension includes UN mission that are already scheduled.

The spokesperson said the mission and Malian authorities had agreed on a streamlined rotation procedure and that the mission’s request to resume rotations on Monday had been accepted.

Mali’s foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

Relations between Mali and troop-contributing countries remain strained. On Friday, Germany said it was suspending its military reconnaissance mission, which provides intelligence to MINUSMA, after Malian authorities withheld a flight clearance

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies.

It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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15 African migrants found dead in the Libyan-Sudan border desert

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At least 15 African migrants were found dead on Saturday in the desert on the Libyan borders with Sudan, with authorities saying the tragedy involved migrants seeking a better life in Europe while perilous journeys through the deserts and the Mediterranean Sea.

The discovery of the victims was made by the Libyan Department for Combating Irregular Migration, in the southeastern city of Kufra, which said the migrants were on their way from Sudan to Libya when their vehicle broke down due to lack of fuel.

The agency, in a statement, said nine other migrants survived while two remain missing in the desert.

It added that there were women and children among the migrants, but did not elaborate on how many they were.

It also did not reveal causes of the migrants’ death, but said they did not have enough food and water.

“All the migrants were Sudanese, from a country in turmoil for years. The migrants likely attempted to reach western Libya in efforts to board trafficking boats to Europe,” the department said on its Facebook page.

In June, the Libya authorities had also discovered bodies of 20 migrants in the sprawling Kufra desert who they said died of thirst after their vehicle broke down close to the border with Chad.

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