PRESS BRIEFING BY THE BOMB VICTIMS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (BVAN) ON THE WELFARE AND CARE OF VICTIMS OF BOMB BLASTS IN NIGERIA AND THE 80 BILLION NAIRA VICTIMS SUPPORT FUND OF JULY 2014

(22 July 2015) We are victims of bomb blasts, which have occurred at different locations in the Northern part of Nigeria starting from the 1st of October 2010 at the Eagle Square in Abuja, 31st of December 2010 at the Mogadishu Barracks – Asokoro, the Suleja blast at the INEC office April 2011,the Madalla Catholic Church Bomb blast same year, theUnited Nations House blast in August 2011 and many others that have happened in the recent past. We come from every state and zone of Nigeria. We are united by our scars and by our belief that together we can care for and support one another to get through this trauma, reclaim our dignity and, ultimately, prevail over the perpetrators of the crimes that have scarred our lives forever. As a result of prolonged neglect of the victims of this bomb blasts across Northern Nigeria, some of us who initially survived the bombings have died, many due to little or no medical care and othersas a result of their inability to continue with their medical bills orfurther their treatment here in Nigeria or abroad. One example is the story of a victim named Hope Musa, a survivor of June 26th 2014 EMAB plaza bomb blast and a founding member of the Bomb Victims Association of Nigeria diedtwo weeks ago as due to injuries sustained from the blast. Hope is from Taraba State. The blast affected his brain, and he was poorly managed which led to several episodes of convulsion until his death, as he could not afford to further his treatment for a neurosurgical operation abroad.

Read the full statement.

Kenya: Integrate Somali Refugees Into Kenya Society

The Star

There are more than half a million refugees in Kenya, trapped in protracted situations with few opportunities for self-reliance. Some Somali refugees have stayed at the Dadaab camp for 25 years. Their prolonged stay is not in any way illegal but it should be a concern to all that we ought to find lasting solutions for them.

A tripartite agreement signed in 2013 by the UNHCR and the governments of Kenya and Somalia set out a framework for voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees. It is expected that a few Somalis, if not all, will voluntarily return home.

The other two durable options accepted internationally are resettlement to third countries and local integration.

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The AU’s plans for an African passport a pie in the sky?

Amid the furore over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s attendance, along with celebrities like Angelina Jolie, some of the discussions at last month’s African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg went largely unnoticed.

One of these is a renewed call for African countries to open their borders and for regional economic communities (RECs) to do this by no later than 2018.

Is the AU way ahead of its time? Or is this just a desperate measure to find alternatives for Africans who are so eager to leave their own countries that they risk life and limb to settle elsewhere?

Read more.

Nigeria: Connecting Citizens With Govt Through Smartcard

The Guardian

It must have appeared daunting initially and many in Ondo State, pooh-poohed the idea, dismissing it as unworkable, impracticable.

But today, that dream has become a reality and the goal of drastically reducing maternal and child mortality to a level as low as obtains in developed countries is now realizable, thanks to an Automated Teller Machine-like card that contains a chip embedded in it.

Today in Ondo State, every hospital is home to a pregnant woman regardless of where she registered for ante-natal.

Read more.

African civil registration experts meet in Zimbabwe

Star Africa

Representatives of documentation registries from more than 40 African countries are meeting in the Zimbabwean capital Harare to discuss ways of improving the registration processes in their territories.Officially opening the meeting, Zimbabwe’s newly appointed Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo urged African countries to embrace new technologies as they seek to strengthen their capacity to improve their documentation processes.

He noted that the use of specially designed and appropriate electronic gadgets was becoming the norm in civil registration around the world and Africa should not be left behind.

He however cautioned that African countries should guard against rushing to accept all electronic gadgets as some of these would comprise their security.

Read more.

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