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South Africans are Marching to Parliament to Protest Violence Against Women

'Their blood is on your hands,' protesters say to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Amid a wave of violent abductions, rapes and murders of numerous women in South Africa, hundreds have marched to the Parliament buildings in Cape Town to protest against the continued violence against women and children. These protests come after yesterday's initial protests at the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was held at the Cape Town International Convention Center (ICC). Several protesters including comedian and actor, Siv Ngesi, were arrested by police.


Hundreds of students and staff from the University of Cape Town, along with members of the public, have gathered outside the Parliament buildings to hand over a memorandum of demands to President Cyril Ramaphosa. News24, which has been on the ground since the protests began this morning, reports that upon Ramaphosa's arrival at the protest, the crowd was asked to sing the national anthem and subsequently refused.

South Africans have expressed their anger at Ramaphosa's initial silence over both the surge in violence against women and xenophobic attacks plaguing the country. Many have signed a petition calling for the return of the death penalty of those who rape and murder women while others have demanded that the national sex offenders registry, which is not accessible to the public save for potential employers, be made public.

Addressing the protesters briefly, Ramaphosa said that, "We are drawing a line in the sand...Men who rape women, men who kill women must stay in jail for life. [T]hey do not belong in society." However, his words bring very little hope or reassurance to the many South African women and children who have been continuously failed by a justice system that victimizes them even further after attempting to report incidents of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. A few days ago, the South African government received heavy criticism and condemnation for tweeting that women should "not allow themselves to become victims."

BusinessLive reports that Ramaphosa, who was supposed to be participating in a panel discussion at the WEF with UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, left the proceedings to go and address the protesters. He has since returned and it is unclear when he will respond to the demands of the protesters.

Police are currently preventing the crowd from marching to the WEF and staging a sit-in at the ICC as they did yesterday.

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Sudan Declares State of Emergency, As Military Dissolves Transitional Government

As the North African country edged closer to democracy, Sudan's military has seized power.

Sudan's military has seized power over the North African country, arresting multiple civilian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The power-sharing, unstable coalition, called the Sovereign Council, was created as a transitional government after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, in an attempt to move towards a democratic Sudan.

The Sudanese public has been split in recent weeks as groups protested for a military-run state, while others pushed for a civilian lead, democratic nation. Last week, the Prime Minister vocalized his plans towards a full transition to civilian rule, and his plans to have that body in place by November 17, echoing the voices of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators who showed up in hoards to demand that the promise of Sudan's pro-democracy movement be honored. But on Monday the PM and multiple government ministers and officials were placed under arrest, resulting in Sudan's top general's declaring State of Emergency.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised statement, "To rectify the revolution's course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet." His statement came as soldiers fired live rounds at anti-military protestors, outside of the army headquarters in the capital.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said. After months of rising tensions in the country, army and paramilitary troops have been deployed across the capital city, Khartoum, with the airports and internet access being shut down. As a result of the coup, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets, demanding the return of a civilian ruled and the transitional government, the BBC reports.

Demonstrators have spread to a number of Sudanese cities including Atbara, Wad Madani, and Port Sudan, and more are expected to attend the call for action. "We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back," protest attendee Sawsan Bashir told AFP. While demonstrator Haitham Mohamed says, "We are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan."


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