The Third TARGET Desert Conference - Tadjourah, Djibouti,
TARGET's third desert conference took place under the patronage
of his Eminence Sultan Abdelkader Mohamed Humad at the Sultan's
residence. The location is on the Red Sea, close to the border
with Eritrea. The Sultan is the religious leader of the Afar
people of Djibouti. It amounts to about half the population.
The other half are Issa.
The conference also lasted two days here. On the first day,
the conference was just for the tribal leaders, excluding
the public. We played the six-minute film on Female Genital
Mutilation, which was specifically produced for religious
leaders, to inform them about the seriousness of the crime.
Pharaonic mutilation is practised in Djibouti.
The public were permitted entry on the second day. They were
informed by banners, which were hung across the streets.
The Sultan announced the decision:
"I, Sultan Abdelkader Mohamed Humad, hereby condemn
the harmful custom of Female Genital Mutilation. [...] The
participants have unanimously decided to abolish this custom.
[...] I command all people of Djibouti to follow this example."
The conference ended with a theatre and music performance
by the local human rights' group ADEC (Association pour
le Développement de l'Education et Culture).
State television reported five times on the event.