Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/24/17)
A ceasefire between South Sudan's warring parties went into effect just after midnight Sunday, in what is the latest bid to end a devastating four year war. Government and several armed groups signed a ceasefire deal Thursday during peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, to begin from 00:01 hours (South Sudan local time) on December 24. The agreement says all forces should "immediately freeze in their locations", halt actions that could lead to confrontation and release political detainees as well as abducted women and children.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
As South Sudan's warring parties haggled over a ceasefire deal this week, dozens of refugees streamed into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, fleeing what they said was a fresh government offensive. The apparent push to recapture the key rebel stronghold of Lasu came as mediators tabled a ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, which was signed by major parties to the four year conflict on Thursday and is to go into force on December 24. However with South Sudanese rebel forces vowing to take back their stronghold of Lasu in Central Equatoria State -- regardless of the ceasefire -- the fragility of the deal was thrown into stark relief.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
A team of UN rights experts said Friday they were "deeply disturbed" by atrocities committed by all warring parties in South Sudan and called for perpetrators to be brought to justice. During a 12-day visit to the country, which this month entered its fifth year of a devastating conflict, the team encountered harrowing tales of torture, revenge killings, abduction of women and children and sexual violence. "We are deeply disturbed by what we witnessed and heard throughout our visit. The deprivation and range of sexual violence are hard to describe, people are targeted and suffering just for being who they are," one of the rights commissioners, Andrew Clapham, said in a statement. The statement came a day after main warring...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/17)
As South Sudan's warring parties met for peace talks this week, dozens of refugees streamed into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, fleeing what they said was a fresh government offensive. The push to recapture a key rebel stronghold came shortly before mediators tabled a ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, raising serious doubts over the government's commitment to talks seen as a last-ditch chance to end the country's four-year war. On Sunday, President Salva Kiir's troops attacked the town of Lasu in Central Equatoria State, which has served as the headquarters for Riek Machar's SPLA-IO, the main opposition movement in South Sudan.
(AFP (eng) 12/21/17)
The UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan said Wednesday that six aid workers who went missing four days ago in the northwest of the country had made a "safe return". The employees of two foreign and one local organisation disappeared during clashes between government and rebel forces in the Bahr el-Ghazal region, with both sides accusing the other of having attacked the aid workers. Government officials said rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar had kidnapped the workers during clashes, while the rebels said they had "rescued" the workers from government forces. A statement from the rebel SPLA-IO said they had made contact with the UN humanitarian agency and handed the aid workers over, accusing government forces of trying to...
(The Associated Press 12/20/17)
The United Nations says it has closed the first of seven protection camps that have sheltered more than 200,000 civilians during South Sudan’s civil war. More than 560 people are being voluntarily relocated from the camp in Melut in Upper Nile State, with some moving to another camp in Malakal. The unprecedented move by the U.N. to open its doors to civilians has been controversial since the conflict began four years ago, with government officials worrying that citizens have become reliant on handouts. U.N. mission chief David Shearer says further camp closures will depend on the local situation. Most residents say they’re too terrified to leave and will remain until the fighting is over. The camp’s closure comes as high-level...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
The United Nations' humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan called Tuesday for the "swift and safe" return of six aid workers who have disappeared in the northwest of the country. The co-ordinator, Alain Noudehou, said in a statement that one international and five national aid workers had gone missing on Sunday while travelling between the towns of Raga and Wau, where they were working on food security. The six were employed by two foreign organisations, and one national organisation. On Monday, France-based NGO Solidarites International said it had "lost contact" with three of its workers, but said it could not be confirmed whether they had been kidnapped. The South Sudanese government, and rebels led by exiled former vice-president Riek Machar, accused...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
The UN Security Council warned Thursday of "cost and consequences" for any side in South Sudan that blocks a new regional peace initiative set to open next week in Ethiopia. In a unanimous statement, the council said a high-level forum organized by the IGAD East African group "is a unique window of opportunity, but equally a last chance for the parties to achieve sustainable peace and stability in South Sudan." The so-called high-level revitalization forum will open in Addis Ababa on Monday, although it remains unclear who will attend. The council "strongly urges all parties to engage constructively in the process" and underlines that "there must be cost and consequences for those who undermine" the forum, said the statement. British...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/15/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - South Sudan‘s president has given top jobs to three generals facing U.N. sanctions over alleged violations during a four-year-old civil war. Campaign group Human Rights Watch called the promotions “a slap in the face of justice” - but the presidency said the three men were good officers who had been falsely accused. In a decree read out on state radio late on Thursday, President Salva Kiir appointed Marial Chanuong as his new head of army operations, training and intelligence, and Santino Deng Wol as the head of ground forces. Gabriel Jok Riak was named deputy chief of defense. The U.N. Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on the three and others in 2015. It accused...
(APA 12/15/17)
Sustained international action is urgently needed to end the horrific human rights violations taking place in South Sudan, Amnesty International said on Friday as the country’s armed conflict entered its fifth year. Tens of thousands of people have been killed; thousands more subjected to sexual violence, and close to four million displaced since the conflict began on 15 December 2013. “Coordinated and sustained international action is needed now more than ever to end the suffering in South Sudan, especially as the rainy season ends and the dry season begins, heralding an escalation in fighting,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. “Regional states and the international community must work together...
(APA 12/15/17)
South Sudan will soon form guidelines to regulate those who are supposed to acquire work permit, said Hussein Maar Nyuot, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs. According to Nyuot, there has been confusion on those who come to work on short and long term bases in South Sudan. He said those who work for lesser periods should only acquire a visa. “We are going to organize together a workshop because our understanding of a work permit is that those who are residents here,” he said. “Those who are coming to oversee some projects say a medical person or a doctor that is coming for one week; you don’t require a work permit. What you require is an entry visa.” Mr. Maar said...
(Xinhuanet 12/14/17)
South Sudan on Wednesday said it will dialogue with humanitarian agencies to achieve flexible ground on hiked work permit fees that threaten to affect humanitarian work in the war-torn country. Hussein Mar Nyuot, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, admitted there is confusion within the government on how to implement the work permit fees, adding that development partners visiting the country for short periods will be exempted from paying for work permit. "Our understanding of work permit is that those who are resident here, who are working on some programs, indeed you apply for work permit," Nyuot said during the launch of the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) totaling 1.72 billion U.S. dollars. "Those who are coming to oversee some projects, say...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
More than 170 people have been killed in fighting between rival cattle herders in central South Sudan in the past week, a lawmaker said on Tuesday. "When it comes to those who are wounded, it is almost 200," added Dharuai Mabor Teny, a member of parliament from the Western Lakes area, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of the capital Juba. It more than doubles a previous toll issued late last week, since fighting between rival factions of the Dinka people, the Rup and Pakam clans, broke out on December 6. The government has declared the fighting a state of emergency, meaning that soldiers have been deployed...
(Xinhua 12/12/17)
The number of people killed in clashes between rival Dinka tribe clans in central South Sudan has risen to 60, a local official said on Monday. "The fighting stopped on Friday but the number of dead is around 60," Western Lakes Minister of Information Shadrack Bol told Xinhua. "There is now calm in the area and no more confrontation." Earlier reports put the toll of the clashes, which started on Dec. 6, between the Rup and Pakam clans, at 45. The fighting was ignited by the Rup clan, which attacked the Pakam tribesmen who they blame for displacing them from their land located in Malek County, Bol said. This came after another recent bout of deadly clashes in northern Jonglei...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP (eng) 12/08/17)
At least 60 people have been killed and dozens wounded in battles over livestock in South Sudan, local officials said Friday, the latest in a series of attacks between rival communities. Battles over cattle between rival factions of the Dinka people, the Rup and Pakam clans, broke out on December 6 in the central area of Western Lakes, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of the capital Juba. "More than 60 people were killed, and dozens wounded," Akol Paul Kordit, a local MP who also serves as the country's deputy information minister, wrote in a statement.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/06/17)
JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan still owes neighboring Sudan $1.3 billion from a 2012 deal that ended a dispute over oil payments between the two nations, the deputy finance minister told Reuters before he was sacked last week. The previously undisclosed amount is equivalent to eight years worth of oil revenues for South Sudan at current prices, according to former deputy minister Mou Ambrose Thiik. He spoke to Reuters on Friday and was removed from his post by President Salva Kiir later that day. Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau did not answer calls or text messages.
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...

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