Uganda’s constitutional court has ruled that the government’s failure to provide basic maternal healthcare services violates the constitution and subjects women to inhumane and degrading treatment.
Two families had filed a lawsuit against public hospitals they accuse of unethical behaviour of its health workers and lacking basic maternal health kits. The case was filed nine years ago by health rights activists and two mothers whose daughters died while giving birth at public health facilities.
The court agreed with their argument, and has awarded $84,000 in damages to the families of two women in a ground breaking judgement.
The ruling is being celebrated as granting maternal healthcare a place in Uganda’s constitution.
The case highlights the shocking state of public maternal healthcare in Uganda and the government’s failure to fix the problem.
Authorities have been demanding an increase in maternal health spending, properly trained personnel, and facilities equipped within two years.
Uganda demographic and health survey says 16 women die each day in the country from complications related to pregnancy and child-birth.
Islamic State Claims Niger Killings Of French Aid Workers
The Islamic state group, I.S. has claimed responsibility for an attack on six aid workers in Niger. I.S. militants say they were behind the killing of the six French aid workers, their local guide and driver in Niger last month.
The eight individuals were killed on trip to see some of the last giraffes in west Africa in the Kouré national park. Reports at the time said they were shot by gunmen who arrived on motorbikes.
The AFP news agency reports that the militants said the attack was a “major security lapse” for France. A statement from the group has been published by the us-based site intelligence group which monitors extremist violence.
Militant groups, including Boko Haram, operate in Niger and neighbouring countries. Violence by groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group is reported to be on the rise in the Sahel region.
France has been leading a coalition of west African and European allies against Islamist militants in the region.
Botswana Law Change Allows Wives To Own Land
Botswana government has ruled that wives can now own land alongside their husbands, for the first time. Until now, the country’s land policy stopped wives from owning land if their husbands already had some as only unmarried women or the wives of men who did not already own land were eligible. The discrimination had left millions of women without access to the land where they live and work.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the amended law now gives right to wives to be eligible for allocation of one residential plot at an area of their choice within the country, on both state land and tribal land.
Rights groups have welcomed the change saying it was long overdue.
The president said the new policy will also protect widows and orphans who head households and are in need of land for residential purposes.
Ethiopian Group ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Violence In Western Part Of The Country
Ethiopia’s human rights commission says it is deeply concerned about two recent waves of ethnic violence in the west of the country.
The commission has now called on the government to set up an independent investigation on killings and displacement in Benishangul Gumuz regional state and the security events unfolding there.
An official in charge of security in the region blamed opposition parties for the violence but denied local media reports that more than 80 persons had died in the attacks. He did not give casualty figures.
The UN says there are now more than 1.2 million internally displaced people who have fled their homes as a result of conflict in Ethiopia
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed has said in a tweet that trouble in different parts of the country was being “perpetrated by groups aimed at overturning the reforms journey”.
In another news, state television in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has reported a call by the coalition of Ethiopian federalist forces, for a “national salvation congress” to be convened to facilitate the transition to an elected federal government. The coalition held an election recently in defiance of prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the national electoral board, which postponed all polls until next year because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
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