Saturday 24 June 2017
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
A former general in South Sudan’s army said he commands a new rebel movement of at least 30,000 fighters that will seek to overthrow President Salva Kiir, threatening to deepen the three-year civil war in Africa’s newest nation. Thomas Cirillo, a former lieutenant general, resigned as deputy chief for logistics in South Sudan’s army in February, accusing Kiir of waging a “tribally engineered war” and turning the military into a force dominated by the Dinka, the president’s ethnic group. Now, Cirillo says his National Salvation Front includes four rebel groups and is prepared to challenge his one-time colleagues.
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
War has now forced more than one million children to flee South Sudan and uprooted 1.4 million others within the country, the United Nations said on Monday. Children make up 62 percent of the 1.8 million people who have fled South Sudan for refugee camps in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda since civil war began in 2013, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, and refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a joint press release. Another 1.4 million children are living in camps inside South Sudan. "The future of a generation is truly on the brink," said UNICEF's Leila Pakkala. "The horrifying fact that nearly one in five children in South Sudan has been forced to flee their home illustrates how devastating this...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/08/17)
War and famine have forced more than 2 million children in South Sudan to flee their homes, creating the most worrying refugee crisis in the world, the United Nations said on Monday. The civil war in the oil-producing country began two years after it won independence from neighboring Sudan, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy in 2013. The fighting that followed split the country along ethnic lines, spurred hyperinflation and plunged parts of the nation into famine, creating Africa's biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. "No refugee crisis today worries me more than South Sudan,” Valentin Tapsoba, the Africa chief for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, said in a statement. In a country of 12 million...
(Xinhuanet 05/08/17)
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Sunday it has deployed peacekeeping troops to Aburoc in the Upper Nile region to help enable the delivery of much needed humanitarian assistance. Head of UNMISS David Shearer said the peacekeeping troops' immediate focus will be on securing the roads to provide safe passage for the delivery and collection of water and other assistance by humanitarian groups. "The aim is to provide humanitarian groups with the confidence they need to resume the provision of urgent assistance to tens of thousands of people in Aburoc who are fleeing the ongoing violence," Shearer said in a statement issued in Juba. South Sudan slipped back into conflict due to renewed clashes between rival forces...
(APA 05/08/17)
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) began the transfer of South Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia’s Pagak border entry point in Gambella to the Gore-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul Gumuz Regional States, approximately 835 km away. IOM in a statement on Monday said that with recent fighting and severe food insecurity further worsening the already dismal humanitarian situation in South Sudan, an additional 30,000 refugees are expected to enter Gambella over the coming months. Refugee camps in Gambella, one of Ethiopia’s least developed regions, are currently at maximum capacity with the total number of South Sudanese refugees surpassing that of the local population. Prior to relocation, IOM provided per-departure medical screenings to ensure refugees are fit for travel, referring those who present...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
The famine ravaging South Sudan and its neighbours could claim six million lives, a charity warned Friday, as the international community struggles to raise the $4.4 billion needed to avert a full-blown disaster. The food crisis in the world's youngest country is one of the key issues being discussed at this week's World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, which has brought together the continent's business and political elite. Saira Khan, the chief executive of the charity Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, warned that a chaotic international response to the situation in South Sudan was threatening the lives of millions. "It's pretty gloomy. We're seeing a lot of confusion amongst the NGOs and governments in terms of what needs to...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
The UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan said Thursday it had repelled a "callous" attack by armed assailants on a base in the north of the country. The attackers struck late Wednesday on a temporary base operated by Ghanian forces for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), next to a camp for people displaced by the country's civil war. UNMISS said in a statement the attack had been "carried out with callous disregard for the lives of civilians as well as UN and humanitarian workers". It said it had not identified the attackers, but that they fired from the direction of the nearby town of Leer, which is held by the government. There were no reported victims. "We...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/05/17)
Unknown assailants attacked a U.N. operating base in northern South Sudan overnight, showing "callous disregard" for civilians and aid workers, the head of the U.N. mission said. The assault in the town of Leer, which lies in an oil-producing region, was repelled by Ghanaian peacekeepers. There were no reported injuries. The assailants' identity was not clear. David Shearer, head of the U.N. mission, said the attack overnight from Wednesday into Thursday was launched from the direction of a nearby government-held town. "We call on all parties to the conflict to respect the sanctity of U.N. premises," Shearer said in a statement. "We are here to protect and support the people of South Sudan," he added. "It is clear the attackers...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
Wednesday was World Press Freedom Day, but in South Sudan, journalists say freedom to do their work has all but disappeared. Alfred Taban, editor in chief of the independent Juba Monitor, says his English-language newspaper is routinely censored by security agents prior to publishing. Taban was arrested last year for writing an editorial calling for South Sudan’s leaders to step down. “In July when I wrote that President Kiir and the then-First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar should be removed because they have failed to bring peace to this country, on that same day I was arrested. And I stayed in detention for close to two weeks," he tells VOA's South Sudan in Focus. Freelance journalist Gale Julius, who writes...
(Radio Dabanga 05/05/17)
Hundreds of South Sudanese refugees have been pouring into a new administrative camp on the border with South Kordofan - latest counts reflect 20,000 people. Gadim Babakir Adam, the Commissioner of Abu Jubeiha locality in South Kordofan gave reporters this figure yesterday, and described the humanitarian situation of refugees fleeing famine from South Sudan as difficult. He called for urgent and emergency humanitarian interventions. He urged the international and national organisations working in the field of voluntary and humanitarian work, HAC and UNHCR to play their full role towards the refugees. Commissioner Adam praised their good reception and hosting of the new refugees. Last week, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, welcomed the decision by...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Judges in South Sudan began a threatened strike demanding higher wages and the resignation of the chief justice this week, a senior judge told AFP on Wednesday. The strike marks the failure of talks between judges and the government of President Salva Kiir who last month set up a committee to hear their grievances. "Since no progress has been made, we have started our strike since yesterday and we are continuing until the chief justice has resigned from his office," Geri Raymondo, a senior appeal court judge told AFP on Wednesday. The judges' demands include increased salaries and better working conditions as well as the resignation of chief justice Chan Reec Madut who they accuse of poor leadership. The strike...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
South Sudan's government has banned Al Jazeera English staff from working in the country, press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday in a statement condemning the move. The government's Media Authority decided on 1 May "to suspend the activities of the Al-Jazeera English bureau in Juba until further notice", the organisation, known by its French acronym RSF, said in a press release condemning the decision and issued on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May. However, Elijah Alier Kuai, managing director of the Media Authority, denied the Qatari state broadcaster had been suspended saying there was simply "an administrative issue" but did not explain what he meant. "Al Jazeera is not closed. It is only the English office where we...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
Authorities in South Sudan on Wednesday hailed China's continued efforts to support the country' health sector by contributing at least 15 Chinese medical specialists annually to various health units for the past six years. Since independence of South Sudan in 2011, Beijing has dispatched five medical teams with a total of 66 members who offered specialized medical care and surgeries for more than 50,000 patients across South Sudan. Speaking during a farewell ceremony for Chinese doctors who ended their one-year mission in April, Health Minister Riek Gai Kok said there is no doubt that the health sector in South Sudan needs the technical and material support of China, now more than any time. "I appeal and would like to repeat...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
Several dozen British troops on Tuesday arrived in Juba, capital of South Sudan, to provide engineering and medical support to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and to help ease the delivery of humanitarian aid, the mission said. "The Royal Engineers will conduct tasks at the U.N. Camps to improve accommodation, routes, security and drainage, as well as the construction of a jetty on the River Nile and a helicopter landing site," UNMISS said in a statement. South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, plunged into civil war in 2013, just two years after independence from neighboring Sudan, after President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar. Britain's Ministry of Defence said 35 troops had landed to bolster a...
(Xinhuanet 05/03/17)
The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that it has secured 10.7 million U.S. dollars to help roll back famine in South Sudan and to assist hungry people in Horn of Africa countries hit by drought. WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa, Valerie Guarnieri said the funds from the Danish government will assist people in South Sudan and support the drought response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. WFP said the contribution will also feed South Sudanese refugees who have fled into Uganda. Some of the contribution will help build longer-term food security and resilience. The funds will help to rehabilitate a key supply road in Sudan along the northern corridor into South Sudan to supply assistance to...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
The African Union (AU) on Sunday invited Sudan and South Sudan for a meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to discuss outstanding security issues between them. Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, said the joint political and security committee between Sudan and South Sudan received an invitation from the head of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki, to meet again to discuss the outstanding issues between them. He said the AUHIP would hold the meeting in Addis Ababa on May 8-9 to discuss files relating to "implementation of joint cooperation agreements in the security field including border demarcation, the demilitarized zone and the file of sheltering and supporting the armed
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
The South Sudan Workers and Trade Union on Monday called on the government to implement a pledge to increase salaries for all civil servants by threefold and improve working conditions for employees in the public and private sectors. George Paul Baya, Secretary for External Relations at the Labour Union said the government failed to fully implement its promise as only civil servants working for the central government got the salary hike while those in the local governments and private sector still remain unchanged despite worsening economic crisis. Baya also accuses the government of failing to regulate the private sector, which he says is found of exploiting its employees in different forms. "These days or this year, our employees are suffering...

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