The Ghanaian government last week blocked an upcoming gathering of LGBT activists. The July conference would have been the first of its kind in West Africa, and organizers planned to invite global leaders to discuss how to push for changes to laws. Conservative campaigners urged the government not to provide visas for participants, and an online petition received nearly 19,000 signatures in one week. Ghana has not prosecuted anyone for homosexuality in recent years, but the practice remains illegal. —O.O.
Hundreds of grieving family members gathered in rural Tulufera, Ethiopia, last week to mark the one year anniversary of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157 people on March 10, 2019.
“It is painful, but as painful as it is, the love for my wife, and my children, and my mom-in-law doesn’t leave,” Paul Njorogi told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “I want to commemorate their lives. I want to remember them and I want to see that place where their flesh was left.”
Joan Vincent, whose daughter was one of 18 Canadians who died in the crash, said although time has softened her pain, her daughter comes to mind daily: “We think constantly about the possibilities of what their life would have been.”
The same day, the Ethiopian Airlines Pilot Association held a memorial service in the city of Addis Ababa. Association member Bahru Zewde called the tragedy avoidable and the deaths “an unnecessary sacrifice.”
In an interim report released last week, Ethiopian investigators blamed Boeing design failures and inadequate pilot training for the crash. Pilots reported difficulty with the Boeing 737 Max immediately after Flight 302 took off from Addis Ababa on the day of the tragedy. They requested to return to the airport but could not regain control and crashed, killing everyone on board.
Tsegaye Workineh was one of the first people to reach the wreckage: “It was very chaotic, and we were in distress. It is a sight that I will never forget in my entire life. You’re lucky that you haven’t seen it. It was very shocking.” —J.A.S.