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UN Urges Somali Lawmakers Not To Pass Flawed Sexual Offenses Bill

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The United Nations has expressed concerns about attempts by Somali lawmakers to pass a new bill that allows child marriage and contravenes relevant international conventions.

In separate statements, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said the Sexual Offenses Bill, which was approved by Somalia’s cabinet, may have been changed by a parliamentary committee in a manner that allows child marriages.

The UNFPA expressed concern about the inaction of parliament to introduce the bill adopted by the cabinet and submitted by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights in 2019 for reading and passage into law.

“We are calling for the immediate passage into law of the Sexual Offenses Bill, which has been pending adoption by the parliament.

The law will be vital in preventing and criminalizing all sexual offenses,” UNFPA Somalia Representative Anders Thomsen said in a statement issued Sunday evening.

Thomsen called for the strengthening of protection systems as women and girls continue to be at high risk of experiencing gender-based violence.

The UNFPA said it does not support any bill with the potential to violate the rights of women and girls and expose them to further violence and deprivation nor does it support a bill that deviates from norms and standards of international human rights.

The Sexual Offenses Bill criminalizes child marriages and other offenses against women and children such as forced marriages and female genital mutilation. UNSOM also expressed concern over the tabling of a “deeply flawed” bill that allows child marriage.

 

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  1. Dr. Joseph Mullen

    September 2, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    A more insidious and outrageous crime against women and children is about to be passed by the Somali Federal Parliament in what is titled as the Sexual Intercourse Related Crimes Bill, replacing the Sexual Offenses Billl. which protected women and girls from sexual violence ; child and forced marriage. A close colleague of the President ‘Farmajo’ is said to be sponsoring the new Bill..
    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has called on legislators not to enact the law, saying that provisions in the draft “constitute serious breaches of international human rights norms and standards.” If passed, she stated that it would represent “a serious step backwards for the rights of victims of sexual violence in Somalia, in particular women and girls”, as well as sending a worrying signal to other States in the region. Britain’s Ambassador to Somalia, Ben Fender has tweeted : “Govt submitted a modern Sexual Offences bill after consulting imams, scholars. Never debated. New draft allows marriage at puberty + says a forced marriage is one where the family (not individual) doesn’t consent.”
    The international community , through political and diplomatic channels, should insist with Somalia on the removal of this perverse law off the statute books and save Somalia from becoming a pariah state

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Crime

Police Nubs 26 Drunk Drivers During Curfew

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On Sunday, June 20, Rwanda National Police (RNP) paraded to the media 26 people, who were arrested in different parts of City of Kigali over driving while drunk and violating the curfew.

They were paraded at Nyarugenge District Police Unit offices in Rwezamenyo Sector.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said that all the 26 were arrested in a span of four days, (June 16 to June 19) in Kigali.

“Some of them were driving while drunk during prohibited movement hours. They are knowingly violating traffic rules and setting a bad example because they are drivers with driving permit,” CP Kabera said.

He added: “There is no exception in respecting traffic rules and observing Covid-19 guidelines. Alcohol is not prohibited but when you drink you must not drive. Again, if you want to drink, we expect you to drink from your home but it looks like these people were in prohibited social gatherings from where they had their drinks and went on to drive while drunk and violated the curfew.”

Patrick Mazimpaka, one of the suspects said he was arrested at about 9:10pm.

He added that he had taken a local brew called Kambuca.

A taxi-moto operator, who only identified himself as Emmanuel, said that he was arrested on June 19, in Kibagabaga Sector, Gasabo District.

He claimed that he was not drunk but admitted that driving while drunk is a “fatal decision.”

CP Kabera cautioned of strengthened operations against anyone flouting the government directives and violating traffic regulations including drunk-driving.

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Crime

Hackers Approve 18 Buildings in Nairobi

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Un identified hackers have conducted a daring move and approved at least 18 illegal building in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

The illegal approvals were made after hackers found their way into Nairobi County’s online development plan system according to Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

“The hacking paved the way for illegal building approvals to be made and there were 18 illegal approvals done when the system was hacked into, forcing us to suspend it,” said NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi.

He said that hackers were City Hall staff who collude with outsiders to do the illegal approvals.

“The hackers are not strangers or outsiders but retired county staff who had access to the system and are now working with outsiders to do illegal approvals. It’s unfortunate that desperate city residents landed in the hands of these conniving dealers and got illegal approvals,” he added.

Mr Badi made it clear that NMS will not allow the construction of buildings which have not been approved by the Nairobi City County Urban Planning Technical Committee.

“City residents have suffered in the hands of conmen but unfortunately as NMS we will not allow a single building to go up without the proper approval by the technical committee on urban planning. We shall go for it and bring it down,” he said.

However, the NMS boss said they have now sealed the loopholes after bringing in experts from the Ministry of ICT as well as security agencies.

“We handed over the e-construction system to the experts to look into the situation. It took us almost two weeks to close those loopholes,” said Mr Badi.

Last week, NMS suspended approval of development plans in Nairobi after the Quick Response (QR) code system, which is part of the e-construction development plans application system used for the application of building plans and construction permits, was hacked into.

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Crime

Rwanda Prosecution Seeks Life Sentence For Paul Rusesabagina

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Embatled terrorist Paul Rusesabagina may get booked a life sentence if court agrees to a request by prosecution.

Rusesabagina is battling nine charges, including terrorism, financing terrorism, recruiting child soldiers, kidnapping, arson, and forming terrorist groups.

According to current details, Rusesabagina has been found guilty of all the charges which would collectively fetch him 170 years in prison.

However, under the Rwandan law, court would opt for the highest punishment in Rusesabagina’s situation and that would be a life sentence.

Rusesabagina Crimes

In reference to Rwanda’s prosecution, Rusesabagina is accused of creating and being part of an irregular armed group, financing terrorism, terror activities for political gains, conspiracy to commit terror activities, commanding terror acts and being part of a terrorist group.

He has also been battling the charge of conspiracy and encouraging others to join a terror group, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to armed robbery, conspiracy to commit arson, conspiracy to aggravated assault and conspiracy to conscript children in an armed group.

All these criminal charges can only fetch Rusesabagina a life sentence as the highest punishment for the gravity of his crimes.

For decades, Rusesabagina had eluded the long arm of the Law as he enjoyed protection in Europe and the United States where his adulterated story of 1994 inspired a Holly Wood movie Hotel Rwanda.

Rusesabagina who for long enjoyed a sexed up hero status due to Hotel Rwanda Movie, founded of the ‘National Liberation Forces (FLN)’, an armed terrorist organisation under his Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD).

Last year in August, Rusesabagina was arrested and eventually produced before both local and international media.

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) said Rusesabagina a high profile catch was arrested “through international cooperation”.

However, Rusesabagina’s manner and process of his arrest has triggered a lot of debate across the world but Rwanda doesn’t find any problem with it.

President Paul Kagame who recently spoke to Radio France Internationale was tasked to explain the mysterious arrest of Rusesabagina.

“What’s wrong with tricking a criminal you’re looking for? When you get him, where do you put him? If he’s in a court of law, that’s OK,” Kagame said, adding that he had not been hidden somewhere.

The US, European Union and UN have consistently claimed that Rusesabagina would not get a fair trial in Rwanda but President Kagame has a responce.

“I want to see a fair trial myself. Why do you think being fair belongs to Europe or US or to anybody, not to us?” asked Kagame.

“It’s like the only thing to be fair in Rwanda or in Africa has to be supervised by the US or some other place. No. Absolutely not,” he added.

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