Thousands of residents swarm the streets in protest over the 2017 Congo elections. /Courtesy of
Thousands of residents swarm the streets in protest over the 2017 Congo elections. /Courtesy of

Violent protests in Congo erupted as citizens challenge a violation of the country’s constitution.

Outraged that next month’s scheduled national election is now being pushed back by almost two years, keeping current President Joseph Kabila in power for an additional two terms, citizens rebelled with deadly violence and authority arrests.

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, expressed his concerns.

“So you kind of keep the country in limbo,” he said of Kaliba, NPR reported. “And you say, ‘as long as there’s no election, then I get to be president.’”

The country’s election committee reportedly cited a lack of funds and logistical obstacles as the reason for preventing new elections before December 2018.

Many Congolese citizens are ready to remove Kaliba, who has already been president for 15 years — five years beyond the allowed two five-year terms — due to establishment of a new constitution during his term.

Nigerian President Demands Social Reform

Parents travel in celebration from Chibok to the Nigerian capital Abuja to meet schoolgirls set free. /Friday Ajagunna

Twenty-one of the 276 schoolgirls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria, who were abducted by the Boko Haram in 2014 recently reunited with their families after 30 months in captivity.

Muta Abana, father of one of the girls set free Oct. 13, spoke out in excitement of his daughter’s safe return.

“When we heard they found some of the girls, and that our daughter was among them, we slept as if the day is not going to break,” he said, The Associated Press reported.

Though the deal for the release was orchestrated by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross, an air of uncertainty regarding details of the agreement still looms.

Another section of Boko Haram is reportedly willing to negotiate the release of 83 more girls.

Madagascar Faces Emergency Famine

Madagascar women using small cups to gather silt-water, lying in pools of mud for drinking water. /Courtesy of

As drought obstacles linger, United Nations officials and the World Food Program fear for emergency-level famine in Madagascar.

With at least 1 million people in need of food and money and over 200,000 pregnant women and children under the age of 5 in need of treatment for acute hunger, Madagascar continues to battle off emergency hunger levels set to hit by the end of the year, according to the U.N.

Many native residents have already abandoned their homes in search of better areas, as the El Niño weather pattern warming sea temperatures worsens living conditions.

With nine of 10 residents currently living on less than $3.10 a day, many worry about sustainability as the country grapples with one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world, receiving little to no aid in the past 20 years.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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