Parents and pupils block a road with burning tyres during violent protests over the closure of 33 schools in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. /Courtesy of Gallo/REX Shutterstock
Parents and pupils block a road with burning tyres during violent protests over the closure of 33 schools in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. /Courtesy of Gallo/REX Shutterstock

Thousands of students all across South Africa have begun protesting for amenable student fees and less eurocentric academic studies, resulting in live fires, police brutality and attacks and cancellations of 2016 university fee increases.

Students who live in dormitories report being harassed both by law enforcement agents and by protesters, with images of police brutality, racial profiling and sexual harassment by private security guards permeating social media.

As reported by News 24, almost 567 people have been arrested in connection with the protests this year, with at least 16 of the country’s 26 universities closed or seriously disrupted.

Damage to campuses are estimated at more than $40 million, with more damages likely to come should student demands not be met.

The #FeesMustFall movement began last year with a national call for accessible higher education, the “decolonization” of Eurocentric institutions and curriculums and protections for janitors and other poorly paid workers all across campuses.

Muna makeshift camps currently houses more than 16,000 internally displaced people on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria. /Courtesy of Huffington Post

Military, Police Officials Sexually Abuse Boko Haram Victims: Report

In late July, Human Rights Watch, an American based international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, documented the sexual abuse of over 43 women and girls fleeing the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, including rape and exploitation.

The women and girls were housed at seven camps in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency began.

That insurgency has displaced more than two million people and killed some 15,000 in Nigeria’s northeast.

Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at HRW, decried the henious events.

“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” he said, reported. “It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them.”

A woman cries as she attends a prayer ceremony for protesters who died during Ireecha. /Courtesy of Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Ethiopia Issues State of Emergency

After months of violent protests, Ethiopian officials released an estimated 2,000 citizens detained for anti-government demonstrations while under a national state of emergency.

Since the state of emergency was announced on Oct. 9, over 2,600 people have been arrested as of Oct. 20, BBC reported. The state of emergency will likely limit civilians from using multimedia outlets such as social media to speak out and organize demonstrations at places such as schools or universities.

The current protests stem from increased security measures that began in November 2015 after government officials made plans to expand the territory of the capital, Addis Ababa.

Plans to move forward with the expansion have reportedly come to a halt, with the Ethiopian government blaming outside forces such as Eritrea and Egypt for sponsoring violence, which both countries have denied.

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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