News Brief

This Somali-American Activist Just Made History as She Wins Minnesota's District 60B Primary

Ilhan Omar beat a long-term incumbent, and will be the candidate for Minnesota's DFL on the November 8 ballot for state representative.

Defeating Minnesota’s longtime, 22-term District 60B incumbent Phyllis Khan yesterday, Ilhan Omar will likely be the first Somali-American legislator in the U.S. after a competitive primary race, the StarTribune reports.


Born in Somalia where her family escaped civil war and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years before settling in the Somali-American neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside in Minnesota, Omar, 33, currently serves as director of policy initiatives at Women Organizing Women (WOW) Network.

With this win, Omar will be the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) candidate on the November 8 general election ballot.

“Our campaign is about connecting with people and engaging them in the political process. We are uniting the diverse voices of our district – long term residents, East African immigrants and students. I will make sure their voices are heard at the Capitol,” Ilhan says in a press release. “I look forward to winning the general election in November and then co-governing and advancing the shared progressive values of our district when the legislative session begins after the first of the year.”

Secretary of State Steve Simon reports that Ilhan received 2,404 votes, where Kahn received 1,726 votes and third opponent Mohamud Noor received 1,738 votes. Since the 2014 primary election, there has been an increase of 37 percent of voters this year.

Through her work at WOW, Omar works to engage and empower East African women to take civil leadership roles and see themselves as leaders within their communities. And as District 60B’s state representative, she seeks to dedicate herself to closing the opportunity gap and advancing an agenda focused on economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

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Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

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Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.