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Over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the global pandemic has only made it harder for young people to stay in school. There have been dire consequences for girls, who are at risk of being married off. In a recent report,…
A woman protests against child marriage in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Water mixed with salt was dinner for Umar Abubaker and his family of eight, including three young children, for many nights during Nigeria’s five-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Before the lockdown, Abubakar, who has a physical…
A man reading the newspaper "The Nation"
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Russian and Central African Authorities Have Put Little Effort Into Finding the Perpetrators

In July 2018, three Russian journalists, Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko set off to the Central African Republic to film a documentary on the alleged presence of a Russian private military company. After they arrived in…
Flowers are placed by portraits of slain journalists Alexander Rastorguyev, Kirill Radchenko, and Orkhan Dzhemal, at the Russian Journalists’ Union building in Moscow on August 1, 2018.
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When Akanni’s mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn’t help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni’s…
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For years, international media have been full of horrifying stories of Nigerian women and girls trafficked to Libya and Europe for sexual and labor exploitation. The world now also knows very well that many refugees and migrants seeking…
A Nigerian woman sits in a center in Benin City.
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I can’t stop thinking about Marie. She was 30 years old when I met her in 2015. Two years earlier, six fighters armed with rifles and machetes burst into her home in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. Two of the fighters held her…
Josephine, 28, said she fled her home in Bangui with her husband and five young children due to fighting in the city in October 2014. When she returned to her neighborhood to collect clothes and dishes for the family, three anti-balaka stopped her and t
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There is no doubt a peace deal could be transformative for the Central African Republic. Armed groups control 80 percent of the territory. Tens of thousands of people languish in internal displacement camps in the center of the country…
Anti-Balaka fighters in Gambo, Mboumou province, Central African Republic, on August 16, 2017.
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News

In an op-ed, Human Rights Watch calls on the pan-African organization to release its report on the 2014 killings in Boali

  At the beginning of a brutal civil war in the Central African Republic, in 2012, African Union (AU) peacekeepers were deployed to try to stop attacks on civilians and bring stability to the country, in a mission…
Twelve skulls discovered in a mass grave in February 2016 near a peacekeeping base in Boali, Central African Republic. The victims are believed to be individuals who were summarily executed by Republic of Congo peacekeepers on March 24, 2014.
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Farmer-Herder Conflicts on the Rise in Africa Violent clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in June reminded me of a smelting hot afternoon a year ago.  I was sitting in my living room watching a herder grazing his…
Internally displaced villagers herd livestock in Turkana county, Kenya.
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Victims Played Key Role in Hissene Habré’s Reckoning

“Never before had victims’ voices been so dominant”,  declared journalist Thierry Cruvellier, who’s spent two decades observing international war crimes prosecutions, as the trial of Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habré reached it…
Hissene Habre Trial
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Back in 2014, when the Central African Republic was on the world’s radar, the United Nations stepped up and sent peacekeepers to take over from an African-Union-led mission there as an effort to avoid a deepening human rights and…
A man from the Paris-Congo neighborhood of Alindao, Basse-Kotto province, Central African Republic, with his children at the displacement camp in town, August 27, 2017.
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"Go back and die in Nigeria.” The words still echo in the soft-spoken young man’s mind as he recalls the parting words of a Cameroonian soldier as he pushed a group of 40 Nigerians across the border. Then the young man, whom I will call “…
The congested Ngala camp for internally displaced persons in Borno State, northeast Nigeria, where a Boko Haram attack in early September killed at least seven people, April 2017.
News
When an armed group attacked “Irène’s” home in the Central African Republic, fighters shot her husband in both legs as he tried to flee, and tied their five-year-old daughter to a post when she began to cry. “Irène,” 36, held her palms over her eyes as…
Angèle, 27 ans, serre son enfant dans ses bras à Bangui, en République centrafricaine. Les combattants de la Séléka ont tué son mari et ses parents, avant de la capturer près de Bambari en juin 2014, a-t-elle raconté. Ils l’ont détenue en tant qu’esclave
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Lagos — As I waited at Nigeria's Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, watching bags of various colors and shapes tumble onto the carousel, I cast a glance around the airport. It always feels good to be back in the city that was my home for over 20 years.…
News

Violence in the Central African Republic has fallen from the world's radar, but that does not mean the conflict is over

Last month, I sat down with Monica, a 30-year-old polio survivor in Bambari, a war-torn town in the Central African Republic. She was living in a displacement camp after intense fighting forced her to flee the town of Bakala, 110 kilometers away. “…
A displacement camp in Grimali, Central African Republic, for people fleeing violence in the vicinity of Bakala, Ouaka province. Photo taken on January 24, 2017.
News
One year ago, a rare feeling of hope took hold in the Central African Republic as the new president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, was sworn in. His administration replaced a transition government that struggled to establish security and…
President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 23, 2016.