Sunday 25 June 2017
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(AFP (eng) 05/30/17)
A South Sudan military court on Tuesday opened the trial of 13 soldiers accused of raping foreign aid workers and murdering a local journalist during fighting in Juba last July. The chilling attack cast a spotlight on atrocities by government troops but also led to a damning probe into the failure of United Nations peacekeepers to protect civilians, which led to the sacking of the force's commander. The suspects appeared in court in a variety of uniforms indicating attachment to different units, including four in the colours of the "Tiger Division" which guards the president. "There is a crime of murder, we have a crime of raping, we have a crime of looting and we have a crime of damaging...
(Xinhuanet 05/30/17)
The new force commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Frank Mushyo Kamanzi of Rwanda, arrived in the country on Monday to take up his peacekeeping duties. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission, David Shearer, announced the arrival of Kamanzi, who replaces Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki of Kenya, who was sacked in October last year. "He reports directly to the head of the Mission and is responsible for all military activities in support of the Mission's mandate to protect civilians," Shearer said in a statement issued in Juba. Kamanzi, who commands a force with an authorized strength of 17,000 peacekeepers drawn from 55 different countries, brings...
(Sudan Tribune 05/30/17)
South Sudan President Salva Kiir has vowed to prioritise peace in the country and that his administration would silence guns and focus on reconciliation, forgiveness and harmony. The Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs, Daniel Awet Akot said the South Sudanese leader welcomed and lauded efforts made by regional leaders to put the country on the path of peace and tranquillity by exploring all possibilities to end the three-year war in the young nation. "Peace has been the top agenda on the table the president from day one. He talks peace every day and I am glad to reiterate that the president continues to explore other ways and emphasise on the importance of pursuing the peace process with all groups fighting...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and concerns about food shortages are driving up prices as governments scramble to secure imports. “It all comes down to weather,” said Wessel Lemmer, a senior agricultural economist at Barclays Africa Group Ltd.’s Absa unit in Johannesburg. “There’s usually an inverse...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/29/17)
South Sudanese soldiers accused of raping at least five foreign aid workers and killing their local colleague last year are due to stand trial in a military court on Tuesday, a key test of the government's ability to prosecute war crimes. Prosecutor Abubaker Mohammed, an army colonel, told Reuters that between 15 to 20 government soldiers face charges including murder, rape and looting during the attack on the Terrain hotel in the capital Juba on July 11, 2016. U.N. investigators and rights group have frequently accused both the army and rebels of murder, torture and rape since the civil war began in 2013, and say the crimes almost always go unpunished.
(Voice of America 05/27/17)
South Sudanese authorities released a journalist Thursday who had been detained without charges since August 22, 2014. George Livio, who worked for the U.N.-sponsored Miraya FM radio station, had been arrested by national security operatives and detained at an unknown location. The U.N. did not immediately provide a reason for Livio's release, though the U.N. mission in South Sudan had been pushing for his freedom and that of two other staff members. Several rights groups, including Amnesty International, had petitioned President Salva Kiir to intervene and release Livio. VOA's South Sudan in Focus reached Gelego
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(Xinhuanet 05/26/17)
The European Commission (EC) said Friday it has provided 12.9 million U.S. dollars to help save the lives of conflict-affected people in South Sudan. The money, which was channeled through the UN World Food Programme (WFP), is in addition to the 32 million dollars contribution that was already confirmed for 2017. "The country needs continued international support which, combined with unimpeded access to the affected population, will help prevent the unfolding catastrophe from expanding further," WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan, Joyce Luma said in a statement issued in Juba. South Sudan is experiencing the worst levels of food insecurity since independence with up to 5.5 million
(The East African 05/26/17)
South Sudanese authorities have dismissed claims of supporting rebels in Sudan, fighting to oust President Omar al-Bashir. Information minister Michael Makuei said the accusations by President Bashir against Juba and Egypt were completely false. President Bashir on Tuesday claimed that Juba and Cairo were offering military and logistical support to the Sudanese anti-government factions based in Darfur. He told the media in Khartoum that groups battling government forces, entered the Darfur region through South Sudan and Libya and were well armed with Egyptian armoured vehicles for the attacks on two states last Sunday. However, Mr Makuei said South Sudan and Egypt had not offered any support to any Sudanese rebels. "With due respect to their opinion, that is not correct...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
Entrepreneurs from East Africa on Tuesday called for increased investments in the power generation so as to develop a strong value-added manufacturing base in the region. Delegates participating in the second high-level East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition (EAMBS) held in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, said that heavy investments by both private and the public in the energy sector will enhance the production capacity of manufacturing industries in the region. Rwanda hosts the forum from May 23 to 25 dubbed; "Harnessing the Manufacturing Potential for Sustainable Economic Growth". It has brought together top executives in the manufacturing and agri-business sectors, policy and decision makers, as well as key financial institutions from Africa and beyond to dialogue and explore opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(APA 05/23/17)
Members of the steering committee of the South Sudan’s National Dialogue have on Tuesday been sworn in at Freedom Hall in Juba. Abel Alier will lead the National Dialogue Steering Committee as one of the Co-chairs, including Angelo Beda The one hundred and eleven members took the oath before President Salva Kiir. The event which marks the beginning of the process that will set the agenda of the National Dialogue was attended by President Yoweri Museveni and members of the diplomatic corp. Last week, the swearing in ceremony was postponed due to the absence of some members of the committee. Two former government officials, Kosti Manibe and Rebecca Nyandeng who were appointed to the committee turned down the appointment citing...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(The Guardian 05/22/17)
Crimes against humanity. Mass atrocities. Mass displacement. While these terms accurately describe the conflict in Syria, they are equally applicable to South Sudan’s ongoing civil war. Left to its present trajectory of displacement and famine, roughly half of South Sudan’s population will have died of starvation or fled the country by the war’s fourth anniversary in December – an occurrence nearly unprecedented in modern history. In a study conducted by the South Sudan Law Society using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, 41% of South Sudanese exhibited symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rates comparable to those of post-genocide Rwanda and post-genocide Cambodia. That was two years ago. More fundamental to US security interests, however, is that the conflict risks escalating...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
South Sudanese pro-government forces killed at least 114 civilians in and around Yei town from July 2016 to January 2017, the U.N. human rights office said in a report on Friday that the army dismissed as "baseless". The most recent round of fighting in oil-rich South Sudan's civil war flared up last July when the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir chased his rival and former deputy Riek Machar and a small band of followers from the capital Juba southwest through Yei and into neighboring Congo. The SPLA also committed an unknown number of rapes and incidents of torture and looting, the U.N. said in the report. Another 45 people were killed by the SPLA in...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Xinhuanet 05/19/17)
South Sudanese president Salva Kiir said Thursday that ceasefire remains difficult to enforce due to constant violations by rebels following renewed clashes on Tuesday in the border town of Yei that left four soldiers dead. "Even if we were to declare a unilateral ceasefire which people are talking about that you declare ceasefire. You cannot declare a ceasefire for yourself. You declare ceasefire, so that two sides respect it all, and that the unilateral cease fire is not binding on the other side people must understand this," he said Juba. President Kiir directed the South Sudan army (SPLA) to be ready to defend their positions when faced with aggression from the rebels. "I make sure that I don't violate my...

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