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08 Oct 2020 | 08:05 AM UTC

Namibia: Gender-based violence protests held in Windhoek October 8

Protests against gender-based violence staged outside parliament in Windhoek on October 8; localized disruptions likely

security
NAM

Event

Hundreds of activists staged a demonstration against gender-based violence in Windhoek on Thursday, October 8, following the suspected murder of a woman in Walvis Bay. Demonstrators gathered in the city center before marching to the Windhoek Central Police Station and Ministry of Justice on Independence Avenue, finishing with a rally outside the Parliament of Namibia. Some protesters blocked traffic along the route and police reportedly fired tear gas after a group attempted to enter the parliament building, but the demonstration is believed to have remained largely peaceful.

A demonstration was also scheduled to be held between the Tutaleni Police Station and the municipality building in Walvis Bay following a smaller march in the city on Wednesday, October 7.

Further protests and localized disruptions are likely in central Windhoek and Walvis Bay in the near term.

Context

Thursday's protests were organized after police discovered a body outside Walvis Bay on Tuesday, October 6, believed to be that of a woman who was reported missing on April 10. Gender-based violence activists have since accused the police of failing to commit sufficient resources to the case and properly investigate cases of missing women and gender-based violence.

Advice

Those in Namibia are advised to avoid demonstrations due to the risk of exposure to potential crowd disturbances and police crowd control operations. Travelers should monitor developments to remain apprised of protests and associated disruptions in their area and heed any directives issued by local authorities.

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