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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Extraordinary crisis require extraordinary measures

News of the first British Ebola patient, a health care worker in Sierra Leone, is testament to the fact that this outbreak is not only a crisis for the affected countries and their neighbours, but also for the international community as a whole. As the virus can be spread by international travel, it can show up in any city that has an international airport. This is bound to become a humanitarian crisis of international proportions if actions are not taken immediately to stop the spread of the Ebola virus. To make matters worse, many of the infected people are health care workers, upon whom the fight to curtail the spread of the virus relies. Regrettably, the response of the international community has been uncertain and disjointed so far. Cold War anxieties related to the situation in Ukraine and the entrenched fear from the threat of jihadists have overshadowed the need to expel the most dangerous enemy right now: the Ebola virus. This extraordinary crisis requires extraordinary measures. Our governments also need to be aware of the matter and take all necessary measures so that the deadly disease cannot enter to our country.

Abdul Hamid Dinajpur 

Monrovia, Liberia


Disintegration of Libya


Dear Sir,

Since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed as leader of Libya in 2011, Libya has slid slowly but inexorably toward civil war and anarchy. A coalition of forces found sufficient common cause to work together to oust the long-serving dictator, but whatever unity existed rapidly disintegrated once he fell from power. Various militias, loyal to tribes, religions, regions and leaders sparred for power. A parliament, known as the General National Congress (GNC), was formed by national elections held in 2012. Its authority has been limited, however, by the determination of local groups, backed by those militias, to hold on to power. The conflict is playing out in various forms in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt, and it is the ability of governments and factions across the region to seek and find like-minded forces that is the most disturbing for the region.  

Baba Saho

Jamisa, Brikama 


Stopping early marriages


Dear editor,

Marriage should be a time for celebration and joy – unless you are one of the 64 million girls around the world forced into marriage before the age of 18.Imagine the life those girls — who are 7, 10 or even 16 years of age — endure. Child brides have a diminished chance of completing their education and are at a higher risk of being physically abused, contracting HIV and other diseases, and dying while pregnant or giving birth.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Please join hands in helping bring an end to this gross human rights violation that puts the lives of 39,000 more young girls at risk every single day. We should all work towards gender equality, women’s empowerment, champions among men and boys, and an end to violence against women. Together we can end child marriage. 

Poverty is correlated with higher rates of child marriage. Poor families may not have the resources to keep girls in school or even to feed and clothe them. Because of prevailing gender norms they may prefer to use the limited resources they have for their sons rather than their daughters. Poor families may see marriage as a means of reducing their economic burden- in some places, economic gains such as a bride price (dowry) provide them with an incentive to marry their daughters early. 

In some parts of the world, girls are expected to marry and start having children in early adolescence.

Where prevalent child marriage functions as a social norm; parents feel pressured by existing expectations and traditions or by economic hardships. Families may marry their daughters at a young age because they believe that marriage will protect their daughters from premarital sex and pregnancy or because of concerns that if their daughters are not married early according to local traditions, they may not be married at all. There is an ongoing effort to pass national laws declaring the minimum age of marriage in many countries, a strategy that should be commended. Where laws are in place, efforts are needed to ensure that they are followed.

Mam Barrow



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