Saturday, 28 April 2012

Human right abuse on the rise in Haiti; as rape among teenagers escalates

Seeking justice for Haiti's rape victims

By Allie Torgan, CNN
April 26, 2012 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
CNN Hero: Malya Villard-Appolon
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Three days after a massive earthquake threw Haiti into chaos, Alvana was homeless, along with her two children.
But her nightmare was just beginning.
"I was gang-raped while I was sleeping in the middle of the street," she said. "And I got pregnant."
Alvana did not know her attackers. Depressed and unsure of what to do next, she was directed by a friend to a clinic run by KOFAVIV, a Creole acronym that translates into the Commission of Women Victims for Victims.
"By the time I got to them, my belly was already big," she said. "But they took care of me."
Alvana was given food, water, housing and prenatal care. She decided to keep her daughter, even though the psychological pain could be difficult -- and still is, two years later.
"It's terrible," said Alvana, 33. "I love my daughter ... (but) I look at myself and see that I have a child that is a product of a gang rape."
Malya Villard-Appolon, right, knows what it\'s like to be a victim of sexual violence. She has been raped twice.
Malya Villard-Appolon, right, knows what it's like to be a victim of sexual violence. She has been raped twice.
Her story is, unfortunately, all too common in Haiti, said Malya Villard-Appolon, one of KOFAVIV's co-founders.
"After (the earthquake), the situation was inhumane and degrading," Villard-Appolon said. "There was no security in the (displacement) camps. There was no food; there was no work. And now there is a rampant problem."
Accurate numbers are difficult, if not impossible, to find in the aftermath of such devastation, but KOFAVIV and other groups say they have seen a definite increase in rape cases after the January 2010 earthquake.
"Victims became more vulnerable due to a range of things," said Brian Concannon Jr., director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. "They lost their houses; there were no locked doors anymore. People lost family members who were a source of protection."
Terrible living conditions, including a shortage of food and water, contribute to the problem as well, said Charity Tooze, a senior communications officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' Washington office.
Culture of rape in Haiti
"The conditions are so dehumanizing," Tooze said. "Over months and months, it increases all forms of violence, including sexual violence."
There has also been a lack of prosecution in the country. In the first two years after the quake, not one person in Haiti has been convicted of rape, according to the UNHCR.
"The big problem is, you can't find justice," said Villard-Appolon, 52.
Even before the quake, she says, rape was an issue in Haiti, historically underreported because of social stigma, retaliation from perpetrators and a lack of legal support. That is what led her and Marie Eramithe Delva to start KOFAVIV in 2004. Since the group's inception, it has helped more than 4,000 rape survivors find safety, psychological support and/or legal aid.
"We tell people to come out of silence," she said. "Do not be afraid to say that you have been victimized."
Villard-Appolon knows what it's like to be a victim of sexual violence. She has been raped twice, and her husband died as a result of beatings he endured trying to save her from being raped. In 2010, her 14-year-old daughter was raped in a displacement camp.
"I can't describe to you how I felt when I heard about that, because I was a victim," she said. "I started asking myself what kind of generation I came from. Am I cursed?"
She escorted her daughter to two police stations and received no assistance, she said, just a lot of talk. One police officer told her that "girls are so promiscuous" and indicated that many young girls are asking for sex.
But she carries on, "fighting with hope that I know there will be a change," she said. Internationally, she has testified before the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling for increased security within the displacement camps and asking that women's groups be included in decision-making processes.
"I was a victim, and I did not find justice. But know I will get it for other women," she told CNN.
When the earthquake hit Haiti, KOFAVIV's founders watched their clinic and their offices collapse along with their homes.
Villard-Appolon lived in the dangerous Champ de Mars displacement camp for half a year. There, she said, she watched as conditions deteriorated.
"It was all kinds of people who ended up in one area," she said. "The jails were not destroyed, but their doors were opened, and all prisoners went free. Many of them ... were armed, and they were notorious murderers."
One criminal held Villard-Appolon at gunpoint, demanding money. The police never showed up, she said, but she managed to escape after a group of supporters arrived to fight.
Villard-Appolon said many single women had to leave their children with strangers in order to search for food, water or work. In some cases, the children were raped. The youngest victim, she says, was a 17-month-old.
"I spent six months witnessing it," she said. "Babies are not spared; adults are not spared; mothers are not spared; sisters are not spared."
Despite the escalating violence and the loss of its clinic, KOFAVIV regrouped to help victims in Haiti's "tent city" camps, where about 500,000 people still live today. The group has 66 female outreach agents and 25 male security guards who work within the camps, organizing nighttime community watch groups and providing whistles and flashlights to women. All of them have been affected by gender-based violence, whether personally or through a family member or loved one, Villard-Appolon said.
KOFAVIV also relies on more than 1,000 members to help share their stories, support the victims and urge them to come forward and fight for justice.
It usually starts by accompanying the victims to the hospital within 72 hours of being raped. Once they undergo a test, they receive the medical certificate they must have to begin legal proceedings.
"After that, we assign a lawyer to her," Villard-Appolon said. There is no cost to the victims, and they receive support from KOFAVIV through the trial.
Villard-Appolon says she is determined to keep fighting for a brighter future, even though justice has been elusive.
"My dream is that we will get to a place where we stop talking about the number of rape cases," she said. "We will stop talking about Haiti as a country where people are committing violence against others. One day, we have to be able to say that we have a country with people who respect each other."
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Meet the MBGN contestant of the year, 2012

The 2012 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN)pageant will take place May 5 ,2012 at the Best western Homeville,hotel,Benin city, edo state. Meet the 2012  contestants .
Miss Abuja -Ifeoma umeokeoke

Miss Adamawa -ofoma chisokwue

Miss akwa ibom - Esther ephraim

Miss Anambra- Elsie Anuli Dike

Miss bauchi-Okolo obianuju

Miss bayelsa- isaiah inara anthonia

Miss benue -Aghedo oses

Miss borno- Kelly ochuko

Miss cross river- Isabella Ayul

Miss Delta -Tifanny Anabella Davies

Miss Ebonyi -Abana onyeka

Miss Edo -Omobhude omoye mary

Miss Ekiti-Egbe rejoice

Miss Enugu-Adaugo Ndu
Miss Gombe-Igebu antonette

Miss Imo-Nsofor gail anulika
Miss Kaduna-Joyce Ngozi Chidebe

Miss kebbi-uju chimezie

Miss kwara

Miss lagos-Chinaka olorunsola nkechi

Miss ogun -Majoro winifred

Miss nassarawa-Hadassah Emike

Miss Niger-Chidueme vivian ifeoma

Miss ondo-Okereke barbara

Miss osun-Okafor christabel Nkechinyere

Miss Oyo- Ezenwa Augusta Chioma

Miss plateau-Elshammah Enadelo ignanoi

Miss rivers-Charles granville

Miss taraba-Onuoha Grace

Miss Yobe-Oyemwosa Allwell omoregie
Miss Abia-Onuoha Glory
Miss Kogi-Charity Chineye Obiora

whom among this worthy contestant would you like to be crowned as the most beautiful girl in Nigeria?

PDP is Boko haram, Boko haram is PDP - Rtd Gen Azazi

Azazi blames Boko Haram attacks on PDP

The retired General made this known during the second day of the South-south economic summit where the collapse of the nation’s security challenge was deliberated on.

Tracing the rise of Boko Haram’s attack, the chief security adviser to the president stated that “the extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until when there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest.”

“PDP got it wrong from the beginning, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule ……according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution and that created the climate for what has manifest itself, this way.”

He added that there is some level of political undertone to the problem.

He also noted that the bombings, suicide attacks and jail breaks that have been raging the northern part of the country “could be traced to the politics of exclusion of the PDP in the region.”

Blaming the notion of anointing candidates and the ‘do or die’ attitude of the political party, Retired General Azazi asked why “is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and that if he could not win, there would be problems in this society?”

“Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, or something else was responsible.”

“It takes very long for somebody to be a sniper,” Mr. Azazi said.

He affirmed the level of sophistication of the group but also gave assurance that the government is aware of all their doings in a bid to addressing the issue. “I can assure you that Boko Haram can garner that level of sophistication over time, if it has not got it already. There are a lot we know that they are doing, and there are a lot that could be done to address the problem.”

“But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work” he added.

On a final solution, the security adviser discourage just the use of force but called for a collective effort to address the economic problems of the north saying “it is not enough for us to have a problem in 2009 and you send soldiers to stop the situation, then tomorrow you drive everybody underground. You must look at what structures you need to put in place to address the problem holistically. There are economic problems in the North, which are not the exclusive prerogative of the Northerners. We must solve our problems as a country.”

He noted that the relationship between national security and development is inseparable, because “one cannot do without the other” the NSA said.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

samson in a Restaurant

     It"s on Monday morning, April 2012.  Samson woke up from sleep with an emptied stomach, hungry like a roaring lion looking fro whom to devour.  Samson looked around his room just like someone who slept in an unknown place but no, Samson was looking to see if he’s any food stuff in his room, he has only rice and Indomie noodles.
     He couldn’t stand the time wasting in cooking rice, “Indomie will take me 20 minute to cook”, he said to himself. He move speedily to the direction of the noodles and tore it apart, poured it inside his small cooking pot, he plunged his hand into the pot and collected some small quantity and chewed it raw.  He took up the lighter to lit his plate-size kerosene stove but discovered there was no kerosene in it, Samson transferred the pot to Akpako’s.  Akpako is a right-hand friend of his; some refer to them as Gay friends but yes they are happy friends.  Akpako is not he type of a guy that takes things so common, he always make sure he leaves no trace of kerosene in his stove, he always empty it into a can.  With all his effort to cook deemed futile he  searched pockets sanctimoniously for a penny and came to live when he saw a N100 note on his table.  Samson has no other option than to rush to a nearby breakfast joint, Mama Chichi restaurant, on getting to the restaurant Samson ordered for a beans cake and a pudding for N70, Mama Chichi rushed into the kitchen like an Olympic medalist and brought out beans cake and pudding for N70 each, argument ensued between them as he tried tirelessly to let her know that it was not what he ordered for, Samson and Mama Chichi argued over it for like 30minutes as Samson’s face was filled with exasperation, she has no choice but to return the breakfast and make amendment, Samson watched her as she walked back into the kitchen in an angry mode with her breast sagging above her belly, she was conversing with her daughter, Ada in a subdued tone in igbo language, Samson was eavesdropping on their conversation as fowl words are been hurled at him, Samson feigned obliviousness as she was walking straight to him, he ate the food with double anger.
     He went back to his apartment and narrated his Mal-treatment in the hands of Mama Chichi to him.  He was surprise and astonished after learning that he did not retaliated viciously at her. Samson is the kind of a person that takes no shit from a a girl, an evidence that shows he’s half-gay to his female friends.
     He went back to Mama Chichi’s restaurant two days later with Akpako to prove his claims to him.  “I need beans cake and pudding for N70”, Samson said to Mama Chichi, this time around Mama Chichi, Ada . Samson and his friend were all in the kitchen, she spoke in igbo to Ada, “is he not the guy that came the other day?” and Ada affirmed “he’s the guy that came the other time, the foolish dude”.  The word FOOLISH struck him in the head like when two metals collides, Samson asked Ada “what did you say?” Both of them turned at him, gazing at him like a daze frog that finds itself in a cinema hall, “she said you are the fellow that came the other day”, Mama Chichi replied, “she said I am the fool that visited the other day or do you think I don’t understand igbo” Samson retorted.  Bewilderment became their maiden name as Akpako was making jest of them, “a wise man will act and pretend to be foolish just to acquire the prudence and weakness of the other”, Akpako said this time in a more adoring way.  Mama Chichi and Ada later apologised to Samson and thanked him for being able of bridling his cantankerousness.  On that sultry Wednesday, Akpako and Samson ordered their best delicacies for free without coughing out any dime from their pockets.
                                                                                                                  Written by: Samson Mikel