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The Africa Report: 23 July

'Morsi kidnapped' says family, Rwanda's support of M23 rebels, and the latest on female genital mutilation.

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi demonstrates on 16 July, 2013 in the centre of Cairo.Picture:AFP

'MORSI ABDUCTED' SAYS FAMILY

Ousted leader Mohamed Morsi's family have not seen him since the coup in early July and are now claiming the country's military generals are guilty of kidnap and hold them responsible for his safety and security.

His family are planning to take immediate legal action against military generals whom they believe are guilty of, in addition to the kidnapping, an unconstitutional act of arrest and detention.

Morsi, who was overthrown by Egypt's powerful military on the 3rd July, has not been seen publicly or by family members since.

He is believed to be in holding at an undisclosed military barrack.

Foreign ministers of the European Union as well as United States' officials have called for the immediate release of Morsi.

Meanwhile, self-appointed Egyptian government officials have claimed that withholding Morsi is for his own safety and protection.

Clashes persist in Egypt with more than 100 people reported dead.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

RWANDA CONTINUES TO BACK M23 REBELS

According to new evidence uncovered by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Rwanda continues its support of M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where the rebels are guilty of mounting acts of violence, rape, and child soldier recruitment.

Since March this year, HRW found that at least 44 people have been executed and 61 women raped at the hands of the rebels.

The rebels are also guilty of the recruitment - either forced or masked through employment opportunities - of men and child soldiers.

The Rwandan government has vehemently denied all allegations of support for the rebels although the HRW reports that information was obtained from rebel deserters.

The M23 rebels have been openly labelled a Tutsi rebel force whilst HRW also reports the Congolese are guilty of backing the Hutu militia, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

The Congolese military recently launched an offensive on rebels in the eastern DRC.

The fighting that began again in early July, following a ceasefire between the rebels and the Congolese army, has led to the fleeing of more than 60 000 people from the eastern DRC to neighbouring Uganda.

South Africa is part of the special force mandated by the United Nations to aggressively stop the rebels.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

30 MILLION YOUNG GIRLS FACE FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has released a report detailing the continuing practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) throughout Africa and the Middle East.

FGM/C is the centuries-old cultural practice of removing the female's external genitalia - fully or partially - under the guise of preserving the female's honour, purity, beauty and ensuring she is fit for marriage.

Whilst the report, which was released on Monday, illustrates a decline in the practice of FGM/C in a number of countries such as Benin and Nigeria, the number of females who are in danger of mutilation within the next ten years is at a staggering 30 million.

The report covers the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where FGM/C remains prevalent.

The African countries included are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti are found to be the worst regions in Africa for FGM/C with the percentage of female victims at 98%, 93% and 93% respectively.

125 million females in the world have been subjected to FGM/C.