Saturday 21 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
By the time her 19-year-old son was shot in front of her, Ayak had already lost her four brothers and witnessed countless deaths in South Sudan's brutal war. Living alone in a miserable structure of plastic sheets and tin in a huge camp for displaced people, watching as relentless rains turned earth to mud, it all became too much to bear for the 44 year-old. "I have seen it all. When I thought about the lives of my relatives and their deaths, I decided to take my own life, too," Ayak says, falling silent as tears fill her eyes. She survived her suicide attempt but is only one of a growing number of people trying...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/27/18)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - The East African bloc IGAD has said South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar should be released from house arrest in South Africa as soon as possible on condition he renounces violence, amid signs of mounting diplomatic pressure on the Juba government. Machar, who has been held in South Africa since late 2016, should “be allowed to relocate to any country outside the region and not neighboring South Sudan”, read a statement issued after a meeting on Monday of officials from the eight countries in the bloc. IGAD said it had designated officials to decide on a third country. It was unclear why a third country that does not border South Sudan would be preferable to South Africa...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/18)
JUBA (Reuters) - U.S. sanctions on 15 South Sudanese oil operators will work against efforts to restore peace and stability in the nation, the government said on Thursday. The sanctions, which were announced on Wednesday, will require companies and government bodies to apply for special licenses to do business in the United States, an action designed to increase pressure on President Salva Kiir to end the conflict and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. “These measures are viewed by the Ministry...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
The United States imposed restrictions Wednesday on exports of US technical support to the South Sudanese oil industry, warning that it is fuelling the bloody civil war there. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said exporters will henceforth need a license to export, re-export or transfer US technology or equipment to 15 "South Sudanese oil-related entities." The names of the companies will be added to a US Commerce Department list on Thursday, but South Sudan's oil is largely exploited though joint...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/18)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday placed sanctions on 15 South Sudanese oil-linked operators it said were substantial sources of revenues for the government, aimed at increasing pressure on President Salva Kiir to end the country’s conflict. “By placing these entities on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List, the United States will impose a license requirement on all exports, re-exports, and transfers of any U.S.-origin items to those entities,” the State Department said in a statement. Those on the list include government, state-linked and private groups in South Sudan that “are involved in activities that are contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States,”...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Refugees seeking safety from the atrocities of South Sudan's unending conflict cross the border only to find themselves in one of Africa's most war-torn and poorest countries. Neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) has been ravaged by armed groups vying to control the vast landlocked nation, trapped in poverty where more than half the population survives on humanitarian aid. In the southeastern town of Obo, some 2,000 South Sudanese have fled to a refugee camp set up by the United Nations...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Nyakol was 15, healthy and strong when South Sudanese soldiers attacked her hometown of Leer, forcing her to flee with her mother into the surrounding swamps. Not for the first time, government troops tore through the northern rebel stronghold, killing, kidnapping and raping, so Nyakol was lucky to escape, but she contracted cerebral malaria while in hiding. Treatment for the disease came too late, leaving her brain-damaged and unable to walk, talk or eat without help. In the nearly three years since, Nyakol's mother, Nyaduol, has carried her to safety numerous times as fighting has continued. Their most recent uprooting was just last month when they managed to cross the shifting front lines...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday renewing for a year its peace mission in South Sudan, while also threatening to later impose an arms embargo if necessary. The strongly-worded US-drafted text is aimed at piling pressure on South Sudan's warring sides as they head into a new round of peace talks in Ethiopia next month to end the four-year war. The measure "expresses the Council's intention to consider all appropriate measures against those who take actions...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
South Sudan this week got yet another finance minister as it struggles to halt the free fall of a war-ravaged economy, but analysts warn prospects are bleak as long as conflict and corruption go unaddressed. President Salva Kiir named Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, a former undersecretary in the finance ministry, to head the portfolio after sacking Stephen Dhieu Dau on Tuesday. "We have lost the value of our currency... this is a challenge that is ahead of you and you must...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
The UN Security Council is expected to adopt on Thursday a US-drafted resolution that threatens to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and sanctions against those blocking efforts to end one of Africa's worst wars. The strongly-worded text is aimed at piling pressure on South Sudan's warring sides as they head into a new round of peace talks in Ethiopia next month to end the four-year war. The council "expresses its intention to consider all measures, including an arms embargo, as appropriate, to deprive the parties of the means to continue fighting," according to a final draft resolution.
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/18)
The United Nations on Friday was in talks with South Sudan's government after it ordered a UN radio broadcaster be shut down. The decision to close Radio Miraya would be another blow for press freedom in South Sudan, where foreign correspondents have been forced to leave and authorities have targeted other media outlets. Radio Miraya was ordered to end its broadcast because of "persistent non-compliance and refusal to be regulated" under domestic laws, said Elijah Alier, who chairs South Sudan's...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
The United States on Wednesday circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution that threatens to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and to take "all appropriate measures" against those blocking peace efforts. The draft text obtained by AFP demands an end to four years of fighting in South Sudan and urges the warring sides to uphold three ceasefire deals agreed since July 2016. The council "expresses its intention to consider all appropriate measures, including an arms embargo, to disable the parties' ability to procure weapons and ammunition so that the peace process can proceed," said the draft resolution.
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Forty-six UN peacekeepers from Ghana have been recalled from their base in northwestern South Sudan following allegations of sexual exploitation of women sheltering at the site, a UN spokesman said Monday. The 46 police were confined to barracks in Juba on Saturday after a preliminary investigation showed that the Ghanaians were "engaging in sexual activity with women" living at a UN site to protect civilians in Wau, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "The information received indicates that some members of the formed police unit allegedly engaged in transactional sex," he added. The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has a "zero tolerance, no excuses, and no second changes approach to sexual...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Nearly half of the population in war-torn South Sudan is experiencing extreme hunger, with many more set to run out of food as famine looms, government and UN agencies said Monday. A year after South Sudan became the first country in six years to experience famine, due to a drawn out civil war, its National Bureau of Statistics warned that 40 percent more people were going hungry this year, even before the lean season sets in. The state bureau said...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
A former South African soldier was sentenced to death in South Sudan on Friday for attempting to overthrow the government. Ex-colonel William Endley, 55, was "sentenced to death by hanging" for espionage and conspiring to overthrow the government, said judge Lado Eriminio Sekwat at a court in the capital Juba. Endley, who can appeal the ruling, was also sentenced to nine years and four months in prison for other related crimes, which must be served before his execution. The South...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
A UN rights commission in South Sudan said Friday there was sufficient evidence to charge at least 41 senior officers and officials with war crimes and crimes against humanity. South Sudan's four-year-old civil war has been characterised by extreme brutality and attacks on civilians. But no high-ranking officials have been held to account, despite African Union (AU) promises to establish a special court to try alleged crimes. "The court could be set up straight away and the prosecutor could begin...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
In at least 60 incidents over the last year and a half journalists in South Sudan were killed, beaten, detained, denied entry or fired for doing their jobs, a UN report said Thursday. State security officers were responsible for the majority of the incidents verified by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and UN Human Rights Office between July 2016 and December 2017. The effect has been a "chilling effect" on freedom of expression, "further shrinking the space for...

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