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New Report Summarizes Human Rights Trends in 23 African Countries

Human Rights Watch says African nations need to do more to address the widespread displacement, killings and other abuses that have come about from the continent’s many conflicts. According to ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, there were at least 36,000 violent events and more than 50,000 deaths caused by violence in Africa last year. Human Rights Watch said in at least 15 armed conflicts, in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin area, the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa, government forces and armed groups have been implicated in abuses against civilians. The report said hate speech, attacks on perceived political opponents, increased competition for resources and other factors continue to fuel communal tensions, insurgency and extremist recruitment in some African countries. The rights group praised the African Union and regional blocs including ECOWAS for taking action, such as reconciling Ethiopia’s warring factions, condemning coups in West Africa and refusing to recognize any attempt to seize power by force.