Roundup: Five Talking Points from Last Week

Hello everyone!

Here is a roundup of some top stories from the past week.

The Nigerian army’s shutdown of a plaza in Abuja, Zambia’s jailing of opposition and the rising gender-based violence cases in Sudan all got our attention during the week.

‘Excellence’ Award: Addressing Alleged Corruption in Customs

With his recent excellence award, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, should further justify the recognition by addressing the pressing issue of corruption within the agency. The NCS boss, Adeniyi, has to initiate an investigation into the allegations. This investigation should be led by an independent body with no affiliations with the customs service or any implicated parties.  Read more

Sudan: Darfur Women, Girls Need Urgent Support against GBV

The surge in gender-based violence (GBV) and related pregnancies in Sudan has become a grave concern amid the ongoing conflict that began in April 2023. The government of Sudan should scale up GBV prevention and response services to address the soaring needs of women and girls in Sudan and neighbouring countries​. Read more

Banex Conflict: Army Shutdown of Businesses an Overkill

The recent attack on two personnel of the Nigerian army over a phone transaction gone wrong is deeply troubling and unacceptable. We call on the army authorities to adopt a more measured and lawful approach in their response to a matter like this, to avoid infringing on the rights of innocent Nigerians. Read more

Zambia: Jailing Opposition for ‘Defaming President’ Questionable

Zambia‘s commitment to freedom of expression is questionable following the conviction and sentencing of a leading opposition member to 18 months in prison for ‘defaming’ President Hakainde Hichilema. The Secretary General of the Patriotic Front, the largest opposition party, Raphael Nakacinda, was convicted for remarks he made in 2021, which were said to be ‘defaming the president’. The Zambian administration should free Nakacinda and cease using this legislation to prosecute political rivals and other people. Read more

Obstetric Fistula Treatment: Health Bodies Must Ensure Equitable Access

As the world marked Obstetric Fistula Day, thousands of affected women in Nigeria, predominantly in rural and underserved communities are still in need of urgent support. Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of fistula cases worldwide, according to figures from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The federal and state ministries of health, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) should ensure equitable access to quality maternal health services to tackle this profound health issue. Read more

That is the roundup of some stories that made headlines last week. More headlines are available on Development Diaries or dev_diaries on IG and X, and development diaries on Facebook.


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