Sunday 22 April 2018
(Bloomberg 08/31/17)
South Sudan’s government ruled out investigating the killing of a U.S. journalist who it said entered the country illegally to work alongside rebels fighting in the more than three-year civil war. Christopher Allen, a freelance reporter, was killed Aug. 26 in clashes between government forces and insurgents in the country’s far south, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Juba. Allen had been denied legal entry in June because of “hostile reporting” and his illicit crossing meant he was a “criminal,” Lueth said. “Allen died side by side with some of his rebel colleagues,” he said. “This time we will not accept responsibility for this.”
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
International medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on Wednesday denounced attack on its staff in South Sudan which resulted in injuries of two staff members, a loss of medical equipment and assets. MSF said the ambush on Aug. 24 outside the town of Pibor forced the suspension of some of MSF's medical programs in the area. "We simply cannot turn a blind eye to incidents like these or start believing that they are in anyway normal, despite the alarming frequency with which they have occurred," Marie Cleret, MSF Head of Mission said in a statement issued in Juba. The convoy, consisting of an MSF vehicle, a tractor and a team of four staff members, was en route to conduct a...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
South Sudan sought to defend on Wednesday the killing of a US journalist who was shot dead last week while embedded with rebel fighters. Christopher Allen, a 26-year old reporter who had previously worked in Ukraine and Turkey, was shot in the head during a battle between the South Sudanese army and rebels in the southwestern town of Kawa on Saturday. "The killing of Christopher Allen was not targeted," said information minister Michael Makuei, denying reports that government soldiers had deliberately killed him. "But anybody on that side is usually a target," he added. Allen had been embedded with rebels from the SPLA-IO in order to report on South Sudan's civil war, ongoing since late 2013. The government has made...
(The Newdawn Liberia 08/30/17)
Liberia is expected to deploy, in mid-September 2017, its first corrections peacekeepers to South Sudan. The five-member Liberian peacekeepers of three females and two males, will work with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This comes after a competitive vetting process by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) in collaboration with the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR) of the Ministry of Justice, through a recommendation from UNMIL. Those selected are Samuel W. Godoe and Rachel Dewah Nathan, Chief and Deputy Trainer respectively of BCR
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
South Sudan’s parliament has passed its 2017/2018 budget but, after four years of war, acknowledged it does not know where much of the funding will come from. Lawmakers voted to boost spending by more than 30 percent, to 46.5 billion South Sudanese pounds ($300 million) from the 2016/2017 budget of 29.6 billion. Wani Buyu Dyori, undersecretary for planning at the Finance Ministry, told reporters after the approval of the budget on Monday that funding would be “difficult”. As an example, of why he noted that the main road from Uganda, where most of the country’s food is imported from, is currently flooded and impassable. Supplies of fuel and food to the capital, Juba, have halted, he said, risking further food...
(The Associated Press 08/30/17)
"If I'd have refused, my father and brothers would have killed me," Eliza says. Shifting uncomfortably in her plastic chair, the 17-year-old recoils when remembering her wedding day. In 2012, at the age of 13, Eliza was forced by her father to marry a 35-year-old man from their village in the South Sudan town of Rumbek. She was traded for 50 cattle. As her family slaughtered a cow in celebration and sent her away, the girl was unhappy. "I just cried," Eliza said. The Associated Press is using only her first name to protect her identity. Fifty-two percent of girls in South Sudan are married before age 18, according to the United Nations. Seventeen percent marry before they turn 15...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One of the world’s poorest regions is making itself more friendly to new products from Novartis AG, Roche Holding AG and other drugmakers by combining the pharmacy regulators of six countries. The East African Community Medicines Registration Harmonization program allows Bayer AG, Merck KGaA, and rivals to speed products to market, while easing patients’ access to new medicines. Drugmakers would like to see the scope of the project, which started in 2012, widened to more countries. Modeled on the European Medicines Agency, the program is designed to slice through red tape in a region of 160 million people grappling with high rates of malaria, HIV, and other infectious diseases. East Africa is often slow to gain the benefit of new...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
South Sudan's partialement has passed a $300 million (250 million euro) budget despite the war-torn country's government conceding it lacked the funds to pay for it. Nearly four years of civil war, as well as inadequate and decrepit infrastructure, have left the country with few sources of revenue, with oil fields that used to account for 90 percent of government income producing at very low levels and other businesses struggling. Wani Buyu Dyori, undersecretary for economic planning at the finance ministry, said the government can raise around two-thirds of the 46 billion South Sudanese pounds needed for the budget, which was passed on Monday. "The funding comes from oil revenues and non-oil revenues and the development partners -- they always...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
The Ugandan military on Tuesday said it had beefed up security on the border with South Sudan after weekend clashes left over 19 people dead. Brig. Richard Karemire, the Ugandan military spokesperson told Xinhua in an interview that security has been enhanced at Kaya border to ensure the South Sudan warring parties do not cross into Uganda without being detected. "We have intensified our security and intelligence at the border with South Sudan as we continue to follow and monitor the latest clashes in the country," said Karemire. "We shall continue to screen all the people fleeing from South Sudan into Uganda. We are interested in knowing the government and oppositions fighters who might want to cross," he added. According...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
South Sudan is grappling with congestion in prisons and other detention cells caused by a four-month long strike by judges that has paralyzed the judicial system in the civil war-torn East African nation. Speaking during a roundtable discussion on legal aid service in South Sudan, the heads of the prison service and that of the Human Rights Commission said prisons and police cells countrywide have been filled to capacity due to backlog of cases in the courts. Andrew Kuany Aguer, Director General of South Sudan Prison Service said since the judges downed their tools in May, living conditions of prisoners across the country have worsened due to overflow of prisoners on remand, putting huge pressure on the limited food and...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan are moving more aggressively to protect civilians caught in the country’s four-year civil war, after years of criticism for failures that led to the sacking of the mission’s military chief last year. This year, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has rescued aid workers and U.N. staff during attacks, saved civilians from abduction by armed groups, and pushed past roadblocks to a massacre site. “A lot has been done ... to improve UNMISS’ ability to deliver on its protection of civilians mandate,” said Lauren Spink, a South Sudan specialist for the independent U.S.-based advocacy group Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC). South Sudan was the world’s youngest country when it became independent from...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump’s new aid chief, Mark Green, kicked off an African tour in Sudan on Sunday, where he will assess whether Khartoum has done enough to get help into conflict areas to deserve eased sanctions. It is Green’s first trip as administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, a job he began two weeks ago amid talk of budget cuts and a wide-reaching reorganization of the agency by the Trump administration. He is due to visit aid projects in drought-hit zones including neighboring Ethiopia, at a time when Washington is considering an estimated 30-percent cut in the budget of the State Department and USAID. But his priorities will also include weighing whether Washington should reform one of...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
A United States citizen working in South Sudan as a freelance journalist was among 19 people killed on Saturday during fighting between government troops and rebels in Yei River state, the rebels and the military said. Christopher Allen, who worked for various news outlets, was killed in heavy fighting in the town of Kaya. South Sudan has been convulsed by conflict since late 2013, pitting President Salva Kiir’s troops against those of rebel leader Riek Machar. “On the ground, about 16 (bodies) have been found around the defensive position of the SPLA including this white man,” Santo Domic Chol, a military spokesman, told Reuters. Three government soldiers were also killed, he said. The rebels identified him as Allen, who had...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/24/17)
Below a painted scene of African mud huts and a crucified Christ, eight-year-old Juma lies on a blue metal bed, recovering from malaria. The chapel has been home for the past year, even though Juma's old place of residence is just two miles down the road. But it’s not safe for him to go back. Now it lies empty and looted; many of his former neighbors have been killed. Juma is among more than 10,000 people who have found refuge in the backyard of St Mary’s Cathedral in South Sudan’s Wau. It is the country's biggest church, its brick dome rising above the surrounding houses and unpaved roads, the color blending with the local red dust and soil. Once used...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(Bloomberg 08/23/17)
When three rifle-toting men in army uniforms barged into Silvano Pitia’s supplies store this month, he became the latest victim of a crime wave that’s rocking South Sudan’s war-weary, hunger-stricken capital. “They told me that if I didn’t make them happy that night I would visit heaven or hell,” said Pitia, who was charging mobile phones and laptops for customers at his store in Juba, the capital, until the armed men seized the devices and about 200,000 South Sudanese pounds ($1,590) in cash. One gunman said they had the right to take directly from the city’s inhabitants because the government hadn’t paid them, the 43-year-old shopkeeper recalled. The Aug. 12 theft was part of a surge in crime in Juba,...

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