RIP, Efua Dorkenoo

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The international icon Efua Dorkenoo is the reason there’s an international movement to end female genital mutilation. She passed away from cancer yesterday. She will be missed, but her campaign will live on. “Efua Dorkenoo, widely seen as the mother of the global movement to end female genital mutilation, has died after undergoing treatment for cancer, her family have confirmed. She was 65. Dorkenoo – known affectionately to many as “mama Efua” – was a leading light in the movement to bring an end to FGM for more than 30 years, campaigning against the practice since the 1980s…The girls’ and women’s rights campaigner saw the progression of the movement to end FGM go from a minority, often ignored, issue to a key policy priority for governments across the world. (Guardian

Yemen is Falling Apart…This will be an important story to watch over the coming days. At least 33 people were killed in a suicide bombing and gun attacks in central Yemen, tribal sources and medics said on Monday, as al Qaeda fighters seized a Yemeni city in a new challenge to the central government. Violence has spread in Yemen since Shi’ite Muslim Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa, last month, threatening the stability of a country that borders on Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter. Houthi forces have fanned out into central and western Yemen, posing a challenge to Sunni tribesmen and al Qaeda militants, who regard the Houthis as heretics. Fighting has flared in several provinces.


It’s official: Nigeria passed its 42 day monitoring period without a further case of ebola. The outbreak in Nigeria is officially over. (VOA

Could Ebola be on the decline in Liberia, the epicenter of the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,500 people, mostly in West Africa? Some local reports said fewer bodies are being found in Liberian communities. (VOA

Since the death of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan in Texas on 8 October and the Ebola infection of two US nurses that treated him, there have been increasing calls by US lawmakers to ban travel from the countries most affected by the virus – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (IRIN

The Committee to Protect Journalists says authorities in some of the countries affected by Ebola have tried to control and censor coverage of the outbreak. The CPJ says governments and media should work together to ensure the public is well-informed about the epidemic. (VOA

Countries are starting to kick in more to the fight…

How China is contributing to the global fight against ebola.  (VOA and  (AP

The European Union committed itself Monday to step up efforts toward getting $1.27 billion in aid to fight Ebola in West Africa and rejected the idea of halting direct flights coming from the region. (AP

South Korea will send doctors, nurses and military officers next month to the West African region hit by Ebola amid growing concerns over the outbreak, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. South Korea has pledged to spend $5.6 million to help curb the virus. (AP


Suspected attacks by militant group Boko Haram have reportedly killed dozens in northeastern Nigeria. The violence may complicate already difficult negotiations to release 200 kidnapped schoolgirls. (DW

Ghanians whose homes have been levelled to prevent cholera fear the authorities are motivated by commercial rather than public health concerns. (Guardian

 Heavily armed gunmen freed some 300 inmates from a prison in eastern Congo on Saturday, the provincial minister of justice said, amid fears over deteriorating security in the mineral-rich region. (Reuters

Uganda police fired live bullets and tear gas on Monday to break up protests by university students, wounding several people, authorities and witnesses said. (AFP

In Nairobi’s overcrowded slums, hungry children often trade their bodies for a few coins or food. Kenya has up to 30,000 child sex workers, according to the United Nations children’s fund, mainly along its palm-fringed tourist beaches, with child prostitution widely acknowledged as a problem that needs to be tackled by stronger law enforcement and by giving the youngsters a way out.  (Reuters


A Libyan official says fighting in the eastern city of Benghazi between Islamist militias and pro-government fighters has left 65 people dead as fierce battles continued for a sixth day. (AP

The Vatican has demanded that world governments do more to prevent a possible “new genocide” in northern Iraq and Syria, and for Muslim leaders in particular to repudiate the Islamic State militants who are killing and exiling the region’s Christians. (AP

The United Nations would offer humanitarian assistance for proposed “safe zones” inside Syria even if they were created without a Security Council resolution, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official Valerie Amos said on Monday. (Reuters


Human Rights Watch has called on the Central Committee of China’s ruling Communist Party to take steps to address human rights abuses at its four-day meeting, which begins Monday in Beijing. (VOA

Amnesty International said South Korea’s farming industry is “rife with abuse,” and called on the country to end its widespread use of forced labor migrant agricultural workers. (VOA

Indonesia’s new president Joko Widodo said on Monday that he wanted the Southeast Asian nation to be self-sufficient in food staples sugar, rice and corn within four years. (Reuters

A blaze engulfed a fireworks factory in southern India on Monday, killing at least 13 workers and seriously burning seven others, police said. (AP

A controversial plan to make women wearing the burqa or niqab sit in separate glassed public enclosures at Australia’s Parliament House due to security concerns was abandoned Monday after an outcry. (AFP

The Americas

Official results from Bolivia’s presidential election confirm incumbent president Evo Morales has won a third term in office and will govern until 2020. (BBC

Farmers with smallholdings are not responsible for most of the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, but their contribution to deforestation is rising and must be addressed if the country is to hold on to recent gains, according to the Stockholm Environment Institute. (Guardian

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff highlighted her government’s achievements in reducing poverty while her rival used Sunday night’s presidential debate to attack her on allegations of bribery in state-run oil company Petrobras. (AP


Anneke van Woudenberg is Mark’s podcast guest this week. She’s the famed Human Rights Watch researcher in DR Congo who’s loathed and feared by many a warlords. (Global Dispatches Podcast

This is the simple but effective Islamic State strategy to win hearts and minds (GlobalPost

How much of a problem is inequality in East Africa? How can it be reduced? (A View From the Cave

Microfinance veterans face up to new technologies and new competition (Guardian

Innovation Needed to Help Family Farms Thrive (IPS

When U.S. Politics Met Ebola (Daily Maverick

Chibok Girls: Seeing Is Believing (allAfrica

Getting Hospitals Right: Dispatches from Our Cape Town Consultation Session (CGD

Rwanda’s School Feeding Programme Gets Off to a Shaky Start (The New Times

The Ebola Outbreak You Haven’t Heard About (Chatham House

 The Central African Republic is Once Again on the Verge of Total Meltdown (UN Dispatch