Wednesday 13 December 2017
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The Red Cross has halted operations across a third of South Sudan after gunmen shot dead a staff member, in what the U.N. said on Wednesday was the biggest such suspension during the country’s four-year civil war. Kennedy Laki Emmanuel, a driver for the Red Cross, died on Sept. 8 when gunmen fired on a 10-vehicle convoy delivering aid in South Sudan’s restive Western Equatoria state. In response, the International Committee of the Red Cross shut down activities across Equatoria, a region roughly the size of Britain that borders Congo and Uganda and has seen some of the heaviest fighting over the last year. The suspension affected more than 22,000 people about to get aid deliveries...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
South Sudan's armed opposition has accused government troops of attacking a town that has sheltered thousands of displaced people near the Sudan border and sending them fleeing again. Opposition spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel calls this week's alleged offensive on Aburoc an "act of terror against innocent civilians." The town had been one of the few remaining rebel strongholds in the region. Aburoc had been sheltering roughly 10,000 people. Many had been displaced several times by South Sudan's civil war. Government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny says South Sudan's troops wouldn't attack unless in self-defense. Aid group Doctors Without Borders says it has temporarily relocated its teams from Aburoc after tensions
(Sudan Tribune 09/13/17)
The former South Sudanese army chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan said Tuesday he has no regrets for the role he played in the four-year conflict resulting in him being put on a watch list by the United States, saying he was defending the Constitution and the interest of the country. On the 6 September, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)of the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Awan and two other government officials for their alleged role in undermining peace and stability in South Sudan. General Awan, a former ally of President Salva Kiir told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday he was executing his duties in accordance with the Constitution and the will of the people of South Sudan. “Yes,...
(Sudan Tribune 09/13/17)
Floods caused by rain have displaced more than 100,000 people in South Sudan, an official said, raising fears about the devastating impact this could have on food security in the war-torn nation. "We are talking of over 70,000 individuals and 1,590 households affected in Awiel and 40,000 others in Maban county. Other regions like Jonglei and Lol have also reported high figures," Gatwech Peter Kulang, the undersecretary for the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Risk Management told Xinhua Tuesday. "The situation is alarming which demands urgent intervention,” he added. The official expressed concerns that the floods could worsen the already dire humanitarian situation across the country, including the spread of cholera, which has killed over 300 people and infected...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
War-ravaged South Sudan is considering scrapping state subsidies on oil because it hasn’t been able to pay civil servants for four months and diplomatic staff abroad are being evicted over unpaid rent, the deputy finance minister said. Ending the subsidies would free up desperately needed cash, Mou Ambrose Thiik told Reuters in an interview. Nearly four years of civil war have destroyed South Sudan’s economy. Inflation was at 165 percent in August, the 21st consecutive month of triple-digit growth. The government depends on oil revenues, but attacks have slashed production to less than a third of pre-war levels. The government expects to receive $820 million from oil this year. Out of that, $453 million will go to neighboring Sudan as...
(Xinhuanet 09/12/17)
South Sudan on Monday summoned a senior United States diplomat to protest the recent sanctions imposed on three former and current senior government officials. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bak Valentino Akol, said that they met with Michael Morrow, the Charge de Affaires at the U.S embassy in Juba, to explain the reasons behind the sanctions which he called unjust as members of the armed opposition were left out. "A few moments ago we summoned Morrow to come and explain the reasons behind the recent sanctions imposed on three of our senior members of the government," Akol revealed, adding he presented the government's protest letter to the diplomat. The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Sept. 6...
(Xinhuanet 09/12/17)
The Chinese embassy in South Sudan on Monday handed over 1,250 tonnes of rice as emergency food aid to the hunger-stricken East African country. The donation is part of 8,800 tonnes of rice pledged by China in April to help war-torn South Sudan nation fight severe food shortage. Zhang Yi, Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan, while delivering the rice said a total of 2,750 tonnes have already been handed over to the South Sudanese government and another consignment of 1,500 tonnes have already reached neighboring Kenya, with the remaining batches expected to be completed before the end of the year. Zhang said China will continue, within its capacity to provide strong support to South...
(Voice of America 09/12/17)
A worker with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was shot and killed over the weekend when a convoy of their vehicles traveling in former Western Equatoria was ambushed. ICRC driver Lukudu Kennedy Laki Emmanuel was killed when nine trucks and a four-wheel-drive vehicle were shot at by unknown assailants when returning from Western Equatoria Friday. When Emmanuel was shot, his vehicle spun out of control and crashed. “We are shaken and distraught by the killing of our colleague who was traveling in a convoy of vehicles,” Francois Stamm, ICRC's head of delegation in Juba, said in a statement. The ICRC condemned the attack and suspended all operations in the area indefinitely. ICRC spokesperson in Juba Mari Aftret...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(APA 09/11/17)
Companies in South Sudan have been contracted to import food, using the money that was collected from the Great South Sudan Run, the spokesperson of the marathon’s organizing committee has announced. Last month the committee said it had collected more than 10 million pounds from the race. The Great South Sudan Run was an initiative pioneered by an Ethiopian businessman, AyesheshimTeka, intended to raise some funds to help people who have been affected by famine in South Sudan. In April, President Salva Kiir called upon all South Sudanese to join a marathon to raise funds to address famine. “I passionately desire to share with each and every one of you once more [that] our country is struck yet again by...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
Competing efforts to end South Sudan’s civil war allow the government to exploit divisions among international brokers and are unlikely to halt the fighting, a confidential U.N. report said. South Sudan became the world’s newest nation when it gained independence from Sudan in 2011. War broke out in late 2013 and has forced more than a quarter of its 12 million population have fled their homes. “The hostilities in South Sudan continue against a complex backdrop of competing regional and bilateral initiatives to resolve the conflict,” U.N. sanctions monitors said in a report to the Security Council seen by Reuters on Friday. “These efforts suffer from several defects, including inadequate oversight, lack of enforcement and the absence of an integrated,...
(Xinhuanet 09/09/17)
South Sudan said Friday it was making progress on the East African Community (EAC) rules after the regional trade bloc called on the war-torn country to waive visa requirements and offer duty-free market for all goods originating from the region. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol told Xinhua that these EAC requirements have been delayed due to technical reasons, but they remain ready to implement them. "These things were delayed by technical issues, including our share payment to the EAC budget. South Sudan is ready to implement what is required of it," Makol said. Makol's remarks came after the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers meeting in Arusha late August requested South Sudan to meet the compulsory integration requirements of...
(Voice of America 09/08/17)
South Sudan says the United States should rethink its decision to impose sanctions on two top government officials and a former army chief accused of obstructing peace in the country. Washington imposed sanctions on Information Minister Michael Makuei, high-ranking military official Malek Reuben and former army chief General Paul Malong on Wednesday, saying they have taken actions that expanded South Sudan’s internal conflict and blocked efforts to establish peace. Speaking to VOA’s South Sudan in Focus on Thursday, Maiwen Makol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, called the sanctions unfortunate. “Sanctions will not bring help. What we think is the best option for the U.S. government is to support us do what we are doing, bring the peace in the country,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/08/17)
JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudanese judges ended a five-month strike without a pay deal on Thursday, saying they had to clear a massive backlog of cases. President Salva Kiir, who in July sacked several striking judges, has told union representatives he would resolve their demands in the near future, Arop Malueth of the Judges and Justice Union said. The strike was over salaries that the judges say have been rendered practically worthless by hyperinflation in a country in civil war since 2013. Courts already faced a huge backlog as the nation of 12 million people only had 274 judges on the payroll in the last government budget. Some have since resigned, some are off sick and others are on leave,...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/07/17)
South Sudan President Salva Kiir has sacked the head of national oil company Nilepet, according to a government decree. Managing Director James Thelweng Mathiang Rok was relieved of his duties, according to a decree broadcast on state television. Rok had been in the job since February. Chol Deng Thon Abel was named as new managing director, it said. The world’s newest nation has 7 billion barrels of oil in proven reserves. But it has been mired in civil war since the end of 2013, less than two years after it gained independence from Sudan -- and autonomy over its petroleum reserves. Oil accounts for almost 100 percent of the country’s export revenue but hard currency reserves have been slashed by...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/07/17)
The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions against two senior South Sudanese officials and the country’s former army chief in a warning to the government of President Salva Kiir over increasing attacks on civilians in the country’s four-year civil war. The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement on its website said it had blacklisted Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, deputy chief of defense for logistics in South Sudan’s army; Paul Malong, former army chief sacked by Kiir in May; and Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth for their roles in destabilizing South Sudan. The measures freeze any assets in the United States or tied to the U.S. financial system belonging to the three men. Mawien Makol, spokesman at South Sudan’s foreign...

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