| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(Agence Ecofin 03/10/17)
Last Wednesday, the World Bank announced it would provide more than $1.6 billion to Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Yemen to fight hunger. More than 20 million people are to benefit from the facility. “Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water. We are working towards a financial package of more than $1.6 billion to build social protection systems, strengthen economic reliance, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable,” said World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim. “This package includes over $870 million worth of existing projects which will help fight hunger. I am also working with the bank’s board of directors to secure the approval of...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/09/17)
War-ravaged South Sudan has hiked work permit fees 100-fold for foreign aid workers to $10,000, officials said, despite suffering from famine. The world's youngest nation has been mired in civil war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, sparking a conflict that has increasingly split the country along ethnic lines. Last month, the United Nations declared that parts of the country are experiencing famine, the first time the world has faced such a catastrophe in six years. Nearly half the population, or about 5.5 million people, is expected to lack a reliable source of food by July. Despite the catastrophe, Juba will now charge $10,000 for foreigners working in a "professional" capacity, $2,000 for "blue collar"...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Since South Sudan’s war erupted, Mary Nyal’s husband has vanished and she narrowly escaped being raped by armed men. But it was looming famine that finally forced her to flee her home county and live hand-to-mouth in the capital. “I had no way of getting food to eat,” the 33-year-old mother of three said as she clutched her baby to her chest and asked passers-by for change in a market in central Juba. “The last time I reached my field to harvest was in 2015.” Nyal’s home area of Mayendit county in Unity state, about 400 kilometers (249 miles) north of Juba, was one of two South Sudanese areas where the United Nations last month made the world’s first official...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that East Africans are facing starvation and that the situation might worsen if nothing is done to avert the crisis. The United Nations estimates more than 17 million people are facing hunger in nine countries. Somalia is facing its second famine in less than six years, South Sudan has declared some parts of the country in famine, and Kenya's government declared the drought there a national disaster. More than 10 million people are going to bed hungry in Ethiopia alone. Guterres, ending a visit to Kenya on Wednesday, discussed the South Sudan political and humanitarian crisis with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. "We had the opportunity to discuss, to find, identify [a] point of view...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Xinhuanet 03/08/17)
South Sudan on Wednesday said it granted cash grants for education of 150,000 girls in 2017 in a bid to prevent them from early child marriage that has kept majority girls out of school, its official said. The minister of General Education Deng Hoc revealed in the capital of Juba that they are working toward making education free for all South Sudanese children, with majority out of school due to poverty and conflict. "We have worked together with British government on supporting girl education of 150,000 girls. These girls will receive cash transfer from Girl Education South Sudan (GESS)," he revealed.
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
A former South Sudanese general has announced the formation of a new rebel group aimed at overthrowing the government after more than three years of civil war. Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka quit last month issuing a stinging indictment of President Salva Kiir's regime, accusing it of carrying out a "tribally engineered war". On Monday Swaka declared the creation of his National Salvation Front, abbreviated as NAS, and called on the people of South Sudan "to rise up and topple the Kiir regime". "The National Salvation Front is convinced that to restore sanity and normalcy in our country, Kiir must go; he must vacate office without further bloodshed," his statement said.
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
UN human rights experts called on Monday for an international investigation into horrific abuses committed in South Sudan, reiterating warnings of "ethnic cleansing" in the war-ravaged country. In a report, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan voiced alarm at the "massive increase in gross human rights violations and abuses" in recent months. The three commission members warned that the actions of the South Sudanese government and other parties to the conflict suggest "the deliberate targeting of civilian populations on the basis of their ethnic identity by means of killings, abductions, ... rape and the burning of villages."
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
South Sudan on Monday issued exploration and production rights in its hitherto dormant Block B3 oil field to Nigeria-based Oranto Petroleum Limited. The oil field that straddles across northern region of Jonglei, Lakes and Central Equatoria will cost about 3 billion U.S. dollars within four years of exploration leading to drilling. "What we have just signed is an Exploration Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for Block B3. This Block (B3) is awarded today to Oranto Petroleum Limited," The minister of petroleum Ezekiel Gatkuoth told journalists in Juba. "They (Oranto) will immediately start exploring this Block. They are sharing this Block with our Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilpet) and the distribution of the shares of this Block, 90 percent will go to Oranto...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/17)
A disaffected South Sudanese army general who quit his position last month announced on Monday that he had formed a new anti-government rebel group, underscoring mounting resistance to the rule of incumbent president Salva Kiir Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, formerly deputy head of logistics, resigned after he accused Kiir of turning the country's military into a "tribal army." The military, police and other security branches, he said, heavily recruited from among the Dinka, Kiir's tribe. Swaka was one of three top military officials who quit in February amid accusations of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and other abuses leveled against Kiir's government. In a statement on Monday, Swaka said his new rebel group, The National Salvation Front (NSF) "is convinced that...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
A senior South Sudanese official who resigned from the country's army (SPLA) in February has formed a new rebel movement, vowing to overthrow the current administration of President Salva Kiir. Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, former deputy chief of logistics, resigned from the SPLA accusing the army of turning into a tribal army dominated by ethnic Dinka. Swaka said in statement on Tuesday that his rebel group, the National Salvation Front (NAS) would use all avenues to fight the current government. "The National Salvation Front (NAS) is convinced that to restore sanity and normalcy in our country, Kiir must go. He must vacate the office without further bloodshed, with a clear conscience and with determination, we declare the birth of...
(Xinhuanet 03/06/17)
UN top relief official on Sunday called for immediate and unhindered access to South Sudanese in need of aid and urgent funding for the humanitarian appeal. Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said the UN urgently need additional funding to scale up, sustain and expand life-saving assistance and protection across all of South Sudan. "We desperately need the fighting to stop. We need calm to prevail now so that we can consistently reach people in dire need, and prevent further catastrophe," O'Brien said in a statement issued in Juba after ending a two-day visit to South Sudan, two weeks after localized famine was declared in Mayendit and Leer counties. He demanded immediate full and unimpeded humanitarian...
(Radio Tamazuj 03/06/17)
A South Sudanese think-tank has warned against deteriorating climate changes and poor land use practices in the country. In a statement seen by Radio Tamazuj, the local think-tank, the Sudd Institute, attributed the increase in natural disasters in South Sudan, to a lack of proper land use policies. The statement added that the huge rural-urban migration and increased poverty are contributing factors to climate change. Experts at the institute urged the government of South Sudan to formulate a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. They also urged the government to open up dialogue with communities, demarcate borders and enact laws that govern rural and urban land usage. The Sudd Institute is an independent research organization that was founded with the...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/04/17)
South Sudan has arrested four soldiers after residents accused the army of beating and raping civilians in a small village near the capital last month, a military spokesman said on Friday, in a case that became a symbol of spiraling military abuses. The military launched an investigation after a local bishop brought five victims, including young girls, from Kubi village for medical treatment in the capital. Three men will be charged with rape and one with dereliction of duty after a fourth suspect escaped, said Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang. "It is a crime to commit a rape; they have done it and they will be held accountable," he said. The men's trial will be open to the media, he...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Four South Sudanese soldiers have been arrested over the mass rape of about a dozen women and girls in one village last month, the army spokesman said Friday. The incident took place in Kubi some 40 kilometres (24 miles) south of Juba as soldiers raided the village looking for suspects in the killing of an army general by unidentified gunmen. Local media reported the soldiers had gone on a rampage, raping and torturing at least 11 women, including a 13-year-old girl. "Investigations were carried out and four SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) officers were arrested," said spokesman Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang. One of those detained is the commander of the men accused of carrying out the sexual assaults, and...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/03/17)
Some 1.5 million refugees have fled fighting and famine in South Sudan to neighboring countries, half of them to Uganda, and thousands more are leaving daily, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday. Political rivalry between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar ignited a civil war in 2013 that has often followed ethnic lines. The two signed a shaky peace deal in 2015, but fighting has continued and Machar fled in July after days of clashes between soldiers loyal to him and Kiir's forces in the capital Juba. He is now in South Africa. Charlie Yaxley, spokesman for the UNHCR in Uganda, said the agency estimated the total number of South Sudanese who have gone...
(AL Jazeera 03/03/17)
t least 57 al-Shabab fighters were killed after African Union (AU) and Somali forces attacked one of the armed group's camps in the southern region of Juba, according to the AU's peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In a post on Twitter, AMISOM said that vehicles and equipment were destroyed in Thursday's morning assault on the al-Shabab base outside Afmadow, a town about 100km inland from the Somali port of Kismayo. The AU force said "a large cache of weapons" had also been captured in the operation, which was backed by helicopter gunships. A separate statement by Kenya's defence ministry said an unknown number of fighters were injured. There was no immediate word of casualties among the AU or Somali forces...

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