Wednesday 23 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Four South Sudanese news websites and blogs have been partially blocked, internet users and a broadcaster said on Monday, blaming it on a government crackdown on independent media. Radio Tamazuj, a Dutch-backed radio station and website, announced on its Twitter account that it had been blocked in South Sudan. Some internet users told Reuters that the Paris-based Sudan Tribune news website was also affected on some mobile phone and Wi-Fi networks. "This site has been blocked by South Sudan National Communication Authority," read an image forwarded to Reuters by two separate local internet users, which popped up when they tried to access the Sudan Tribune.
(AfricaNews 07/18/17)
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has declared a three-month state emergency in the northwestern part of the country after intensified inter-ethnic clashes. The president invoked the state of emergency in a decree read on the state-run SSBC TV evening news on Monday, July 17, 2017, declaring Gogrial State, part of Tonj, Wau and Awiel States respectively under lock down. Several civilians have been reportedly killed in the Greater Bahr el Ghazel region where the inter-ethnic clashes intensified. The world’s youngest country plunged into civil war in 2013 just two years after gaining independence after Kiir fired his deputy, triggering a conflict fought largely along ethnic lines. The conflict has slashed oil revenues and paralyzed agriculture. Ismail Akwei with Deng Machol
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
South Sudan’s government said it blocked access to Sudan Tribune and Radio Tamazuj, popular websites for news on the war-torn country, accusing them of “hostile” reporting. The block went into effect Monday, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said by phone from the capital, Juba. “If they have been disseminating hostile messages towards us then we have the authority to close them,” he said. “So many countries have been closing down, even giving total blackout to such media houses which create hostility.” Paris-based Sudan Tribune didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment sent to its general inquiries address. Radio Tamazuj, which acknowledged it was blocked on its Facebook page, didn’t immediately reply to a message sent on the social-media...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
An invasion of fall armyworms may further damage South Sudanese farming, worsening shortages in the war-torn country where half the population is already facing hunger, a Food and Agriculture Organization official said. The pest that’s ravaged crops from Ghana to South Africa since arriving on the continent from the Americas last year has destroyed corn, sorghum and pasture in South Sudan, according to Felix Dzvurumi, the head of the FAO’s agriculture department in the country. The government and the United Nations agency are seeking $1 million from donors to investigate the effects of the South Sudanese outbreak that started in June, he said. “It has quite a big potential impact on the food security of the country,” Dzvurumi said by...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(APA 07/17/17)
The medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says it is evacuating some of its staff from the town of Pibor, Buma State, South Sudan after a robbery incident at its clinic. In a statement seen by APA on Sunday, the charity says two of its workers were injured when a group of between six and ten unidentified gunmen entered the facility and stole office equipment, including phones and computers on Saturday. South Sudan gripped by a four-year civil war has witnessed the marauding activities of armed gangs taking advantage of the state of insecurity in many parts of the country. The MSF clinic in Pibor is a 37-bed medical facility where the charity manages an outpatient department, an inpatient ward,...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(The Associated Press 07/14/17)
The United Nations on Thursday said it is considering putting a peacekeeping base in South Sudan’s troubled Yei region, saying the city has “gone through a nightmare” in recent months. It would be the first such expansion since civil war began in 2013. “I can see the prosperity that was once here,” the peacekeeping mission’s chief, David Shearer, told residents on his first visit. But stories of rape, killings and abductions are common in what has become one of South Sudan’s most volatile cities. Growing ethnic violence The U.N. warned of growing ethnic violence there after bodies with bound hands were found late last year. In May, a U.N. report said pro-government forces killed 114 civilians in Yei between July...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
South Sudan's government sacked a dozen judges who had been on strike for the past two months, the country's information minister told AFP on Thursday. "The president yesterday issued an order relieving some of the judges," Michael Makuei said, without explaining the reasons for the layoffs. More than 270 justices put down their gavels in May after President Salva Kiir refused to act on their ultimatum to fire the country's chief justice, whom the judges claimed ignored their demands for better working conditions and pay. The strike paralysed the justice system of the east African nation, which has been mired in a ruinous civil war for nearly four years. Most of the 12 judges fired had been members of a...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/13/17)
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has sacked several judges who had been on strike over poor pay and living conditions for the last two months, officials said on Thursday. The world's youngest country plunged into civil war in 2013 just two years after gaining independence after Kiir fired his deputy, triggering a conflict fought largely along ethnic lines. The conflict has slashed oil revenues and paralyzed agriculture. Civil servants and soldiers go unpaid for months and hyperinflation renders money almost worthless. On Wednesday evening, Kiir issued a decree that dismissed a group of 12 judges who went on strike in a bid to force reform in the judicial system, Deputy Information Minister Akol Paul Kordit told Reuters. "These judges who...
(The East African 07/13/17)
South Sudan peace monitors have urged the Juba administration to promptly embark on making a permanent Constitution to guide the elections at the end of the transitional period in 2018. The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission chairman, Mr Festus Mogae, Wednesday expressed fears that the transitional government was not making progress on constitution making, as stipulated in the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan. The agreement was signed between the warring factions in 2015. According to the agreement, the Transitional National Legislative Assembly was to, within the first six months of the interim period, enact a legislation to govern the constitutional making. However, Mr Mogae said the failure to start the process on time could signify a...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
South Sudan government forces have launched an offensive against a rebel stronghold in the north of the country, the UN said Wednesday. David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), described "heavy fighting" and an "extremely worrying" situation around the town of Pagak, in Upper Nile region, over the past week, forcing civilians and aid workers to flee. Speaking in the capital, Juba, Shearer said 5,000 civilians "from the area north of Pagak" have so far crossed the border into Ethiopia to escape the government offensive while "at least 25 aid workers have been forced to relocate from Pagak and surrounding areas...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has said the lack of funding and attacks by armed groups have delayed the implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Security Arrangement of the 2015 peace accord. The agreement is aimed at ending the conflict which began in 2013. The second chapter of the peace agreement provides details on security arrangements including the formation of cantonment sites and the declaration of ceasefire by all armed groups. Speaking in Juba on Monday to mark South Sudan’s sixth independence anniversary President Kiir said the establishment of cantonment areas has been affected by groups attacking those willing to venture to the sites.
(APA 07/12/17)
The Minister of Information in Fashoda State, South Sudan has said river transport routes have re-opened to allow traders move goods to the towns of Kaka, Kodok and Malakal. The routes were closed following the outbreak of civil war in 2013. Speaking on Tuesday Mr. Othor Akouj said the state government resolved to re-open the river transport after they provided security. “The river transport routes have been re-opened, and boats are now moving from Kodok to Malakal and from Malakal to Kodok and from Kodok to Renk,” he said. He said the routes will allow the traders to transport goods especially the ones that have been imported from Sudan to Upper Nile region. According to Mr. Akouj there were fewer...
(Bloomberg 07/12/17)
A South Sudanese army offensive on a rebel stronghold has forced about 5,000 civilians to seek shelter in neighboring Ethiopia, adding to the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, a United Nations official said. The people have fled their homes since about July 2 as troops advance toward Pagak town in the country’s northeastern Upper Nile region, David Shearer, head of the UN mission in South Sudan, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Juba. He reported heavy fighting north of Pagak in the past week and said the offensive “is not in the spirit” of a unilateral cease-fire declared by the government in May. The civil war that began in the world’s newest nation in December 2013 has claimed tens of thousands...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Wednesday that the latest fierce fighting between government troops and rebels has forced 5,000 people from north Pagak area of Upper Nile to flee to Ethiopia. UNMISS head David Shearer told journalist that reports of government forces (SPLA) moving towards the town of Maiwut, some 25 km northwest of the rebel headquarters of Pagak near the Ethiopian border, have forced relocation of 25 aid workers, hence worsening the humanitarian situation. "At least 25 aid workers have been forced to relocate from Pagak and the surrounding areas due to the growing insecurity in the (Upper Nile) region," Shearer said. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) disclosed that 5,000 people from the area north...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
The U.N. children's agency UNICEF said on Tuesday three South Sudanese working for its contractor were detained last week, as aid workers are increasingly targeted in the four-year civil war. Tim Irwin, UNICEF's chief communications officer in South Sudan, said the three were working for Montrose, a firm contracted by UNICEF to conduct education surveys in Mathiang, a village in Pagak in the northeast. He said on July 6 heavy fighting erupted in the area. "The three fled Mathiang along with other humanitarian actors and were detained in Pagak upon arrival," he said. Last month South Sudan's government said it may prevent aid workers from traveling to some rebel-held areas on security grounds. Irwin did not say who the agency...
(APA 07/11/17)
The South South governors’ forum’s appointment of the chairman, the pull out of Eitsalat from Nigeria and court’s judgment on governor dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday. The Sun newspaper said that the governors of the South-South geopolitical zone have unanimously appointed Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State as Chairman of their Forum. The Leadership newspaper said that Etisalat International Limited, the Abu Dhabi telecommunications conglomerate, which came to Nigeria as the fourth mobile network operator in 2008, announced that it has finally pulled out of the Nigerian market. The Punch newspaper said amidst the brouhaha at the Nigerian seat of power in the wake of president’s protracted ailment, the wife of the President Aisha Buhari has said...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...

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