Wednesday 23 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
South Sudan on Sunday marked its sixth independence anniversary in muted fashion, with no official celebration as the world's newest nation reels from a brutal and destructive ongoing civil war. A third of the population has been forced from their homes creating one of the world's worst refugee crises, tens of thousands have been killed and a famine and food shortages have threatened the lives of millions more. "Today I have nothing to celebrate," said 34-year-old father of three Ariik Majok, who works as a night watchman in the capital. On July 9, 2011, dignitaries from around the world joined crowds of South Sudanese to celebrate the country's independence from Sudan, to the north, after decades of civil war. But...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
Witnesses described looting and finding a dead body, but the trial of 12 soldiers accused of raping foreign aid workers in Juba proceeded Thursday in the absence of the victims. The chilling attack on a hotel compound during fierce fighting in the South Sudanese capital a year ago cast a spotlight on atrocities by government troops in the country's three-year civil war. And the military trial, now in its sixth week, has highlighted the difficulty in bringing perpetrators to book. First there were 22 suspects, then 13, now 12 as the accused were dismissed one after another for lack of evidence. Witnesses have only identified three of them. They are charged with looting and raping at least five foreign aid...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Her feet bare and her hometown in flames, Nyadet walked east alone, eating food given to her by strangers and following trails left by others escaping war in South Sudan. She is 12 years old. Nine days after she fled bloodshed in the flashpoint town of Malakal last November, Nyadet reached the country's border with Ethiopia, and crossed over to safety. "Maybe they are safe," is all she can say of her mother, father, sister and two brothers, whom she lost track of when the streets of her hometown transformed into a war zone. South Sudan's civil...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
Men wearing South Sudanese military uniforms have launched two raids on a hamlet over the border in Uganda in recent weeks, residents said, stealing cattle and raising fears that a near four-year-old conflict is spreading. The gunmen also tried to seize refugees from Gbari in the first reported attacks on Ugandan soil since the start of South Sudan's civil war, locals told Reuters. "I am afraid, they may come ... and burn all the houses," said Martin Koma, 44, from the village. South Sudan's army denied any involvement. But the reports will alarm regional and world powers, struggling to contain ethnically-charged killings and atrocities that the U.N. has warned could lead to genocide. South Sudanese gunmen have already killed and...
(APA 07/03/17)
Meetings of the Joint Political and Security Committee (JPSC) between South Sudan and Sudan scheduled to be held in Juba shortly after Eid Al Fitr, was postponed due to logistical reasons, a South Sudanese official said. Mawien Makol Ariik, the foreign affairs ministry spokesman, on Monday announced for the second time the delay of security meetings to discuss pending issues between the two countries and allegations of rebel support on both sides, rather than using the media to blame each other. Mr Mawien told reporter that a new date will be fixed for the talks later on. South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July, 2011, following a referendum held in January of that year.
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The EU pledged 85 million euros ($95 million) to Uganda on Thursday as UN chief Antonio Guterres urged donors to give 20 times that amount to help the country deal with nearly one million refugees from South Sudan. Guterres visited a refugee camp in Uganda's remote north where he met with South Sudanese who fled civil war in their country, a day before a summit in Kampala aimed at raising at least $2 billion to deal with the world's fastest growing refugee crisis. "In a world in which so many people are selfishly closing their doors, closing their borders not allowing refugees to come (Uganda) deserves praise and admiration from the whole of the international community," he said. He urged...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
South Sudan's media authority will lift a ban on around 20 foreign journalists who had been refused access to the country, a top media official said Thursday. Earlier this month the government's media regulatory authority said it had banned the journalists over "unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories". The National Dialogue Steering Committee -- tasked with leading consultations to restore peace in the country -- put pressure on the Media Authority to lift the ban. "They are going to allow any journalists to come. They were preventing some journalists because they said some journalists are fond of criticism of what is happening in the country," said Alfred Taban, the committee's chief of media affairs. "They were in other words skeptics. I said...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Together with her husband and seven children, a hungry and thirsty Shadiya Ibrahim fled war and famine in South Sudan and says she has found safety in Sudan's conflict-ravaged Darfur. "This was the only place we knew we could come to," Ibrahim said at El Nimir camp in East Darfur, a newly opened facility for refugees crossing into Sudan by the hundreds each day. Ibrahim, 40, was among a crowd gathered on Tuesday to mark World Refugee Day at the camp in the presence of US charge d'affaires Steven Koutsis, making a visit to Darfur. Koutsis travelled across vast stretches of Darfur -- a region the size of France ...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A famine that was declared in parts of South Sudan four months ago is over, UN aid agencies said Wednesday, but extreme hunger has increased to its highest levels ever across the war-torn country. "The accepted technical definition of famine no longer applies in former Unity State's Leer and Mayandit counties where famine was declared in February," according to a joint statement from the UN children's agency UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The manmade famine, due to three years of conflict, has affected 100,000 people. The term famine is used according to a globally agreed scale determined by levels of access to food, acute malnutrition and daily deaths due to hunger. But...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
What was once Bentiu, the gateway to South Sudan's oil fields, is now a cluster of bullet-riddled buildings and piles of scrap metal, its ghostly avenues abandoned. Residents of the town have long since decamped to a well-ordered grid of mud dwellings ringed by sewage, where they live in wretched limbo after three years of war, too scared to leave. Some 120,000 people living in the camp fear that if they leave their ethnicity would make them a target for government soldiers. After years of fighting and atrocities, control by government forces has brought a fragile peace to Bentiu, but many of the town's displaced say they have nowhere to go and still rely on UN peacekeepers for protection. "What...
(The Associated Press 06/19/17)
South Sudan has the world's fastest growing displaced population and more needs to be done to help them, says the director of the United Nations refugee agency. More than 4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes, nearly 2 million of whom went to neighboring countries, said U.N. and other organizations. The international community should do more to help South Sudan, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, said after visiting a camp for the displaced. "The international neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world," Grandi told The Associated Press. "Wherever you look there are dead ends." Grandi on Sunday visited South Sudan's largest camp for internally displaced people in the town of Bentiu. It's...
(The Associated Press 06/16/17)
Bakita Juma doesn't like to think about her dead parents because it makes her cry. The slender teenager would rather focus on the woman whom aid officials recently chose to raise her and her siblings on a small piece of earth in what has become the world's largest refugee settlement. Bakita says she likes her new mother. As for her two younger siblings, it is impossible to tell. One of the consequences of South Sudan's civil war has been the thousands of children fleeing without parents or guardians, without documentation...

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