In Case You Missed It: 8/15/16 – 8/21/16

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Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya smiles as he wins the gold medal for the men's marathon. 2016 Rio Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, Africa takes home the gold at the Olympics, an Olympian uses his win to protest violence in his home country, and John Kerry plans an Africa trip.

Ten Gold Medals Go to African Continent

The 2016 Olympics have concluded, and it’s time to look at the scores. Several African nations competed, bringing home a combined total of 44 medals for the continent, 10 of which were gold.

Kenya won the most medals of any African nation: they won 13 medals, 6 of which were gold. South Africa came second with 10 medals, two of which were gold. Ethiopia was third with 8 medals, and 1 gold. The final gold medal was won by the Ivory Coast.

Runner Unable To Return Home After Olympic Win

While most Olympic participants celebrated their win, Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia instead used his moment of glory to draw attention to injustices back home.  Lilesa won the silver medal in the men’s marathon, and as he crossed the finish line, he raised his arms in a cross above his head.

The gesture is a symbol of the Oromo people of Ethiopia, a group to which Lilesa belongs. He explained later at a press conference that the Oromo people have had their lands stolen and suffered other injustices by the Ethiopian government, leading to protests in which the Oromo and other protestors are jailed or killed.

Lilesa says that he will not be able to return to Ethiopia as a result of his display. He may also lose his medal because the International Olympic Committee prohibits any political display by the event’s participants.

Kerry To Meet With African Leaders

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to Kenya and Nigeria this week. Kerry will meet with leaders from eight African nations in order to discuss how to stabilize South Sudan and Somalia.

Parts of central and east Africa have suffered violence for decades as a result of the conflicts in these countries, including a civil war in South Sudan in 2013. Kerry will meet with officials from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Djibouti, Tanzania, Somalia and Ethiopia. He will be there to discuss ways to implement peace, provide aid and create economic and political stability in South Sudan, Somalia, and their neighboring nations.

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