| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
South Sudan’s army said it arrested three soldiers accused of participating in the mass rape of women and girls in a village south of the capital last month. The soldiers are in custody after being identified by four victims of the assault, which occurred in Kubi, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Juba, military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang told reporters on Friday. The army made the arrests after community leaders reported at least 11 people were raped, he said. South Sudan’s three-year civil war has claimed tens of thousands of lives, with both government and rebel forces accused of atrocities, including rape. While President Salva Kiir’s administration has vowed to punish perpetrators, the United Nations said Jan. 16 that there’s...
(Xinhuanet 03/03/17)
A prolonged drought across the East African region and heavy flooding in some southern African countries are compounding the effects of conflicts to make people's lives difficult. Against the global trend of good harvests, Africa, especially its eastern part, faces the challenge of worsening food security due to drought and conflicts. Some 37 countries require external assistance for food, including 28 African countries, as a result of lingering effects of last year's El Nino-triggered drought on harvests, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In South Sudan, nearly half of the population of 11.3 million are in urgent need of food aid as the UN declared famine in the East African nation last week. Tens of thousands of people...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(Radio Tamazuj 03/02/17)
South Sudan’s government said it will appoint six members of its parliament as representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly in an attempt to fulfil its obligations of becoming a full member of the regional bloc. South Sudan foreign affairs spokesman Mawien Makol Ariik, told Radio Tamazuj that once a membership fee of one million dollars is paid, the representatives will be sent to represent South Sudan at the regional parliament. “South Sudan government is almost becoming a full member in the East African Community and we just need to pay our membership fee. This month, we are expected to choose six members to represent South Sudan to East African parliament,” he said.
(Sudan Tribune 03/02/17)
U.S United States Congressmen including senators and representatives have called on President Donald Trump to appoint a special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan to back the regional efforts for peace in the two countries. With the end of President Barack Obama’s second term, the former U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth stepped down, leaving hot files on the crises in the two countries waiting for his successor who will be the sixth special envoy for Sudan. “We write to urge you to appoint a high-level special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan with the international stature to bring urgently needed diplomatic leadership to international efforts to achieve a sustainable peace in and between the two countries”, reads a letter signed...
(Radio Tamazuj 03/02/17)
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir called on all citizens to turn out in large numbers on a National Day of Prayer for peace, reconciliation and forgiveness next week. Addressing the public on Wednesday on the state-owned media, Kiir said the National Prayer Day on 10 March will be an opportunity for all South Sudanese to repent, forgive and make amends with each other for what he called ‘mistakes’ that they may have committed against each other in the last four years. “Our time as people who aspire for a common destiny is now ripe to turn to God and ask him for forgiveness and blessings. We have not been that perfect and we need to submit ourselves to the Almighty...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(Xinhuanet 03/01/17)
South Sudan has set an ambitious target of planting 20 million trees in ten years in a bid to mitigate negative impacts of climate change, a senior official said Wednesday. Joseph Africano Bartel, undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said deforestation in the country has reached alarming levels due to charcoal burning and illegal timber trade. He said under the new guidelines, regional provinces would be asked to plant 2 million trees each and residents in urban required to plant five trees in their residential plots. "In our environment management plan, we are going to plant 20 million trees in ten years and each of the ten former states are going to plant 2 million different species of...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
More than 31,000 South Sudanese refugees - mostly women and children - have crossed the border into Sudan this year, fleeing famine and conflict, the United Nations refugee agency said on Monday. The United Nations declared famine last week in parts of South Sudan's Unity State, with about 5.5 million people expected to have no reliable source of food by July. "Initial expectations were that 60,000 refugees may arrive through 2017, but in the first two months alone, over 31,000 refugees arrived," a statement from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Khartoum said. More than a million people have fled South Sudan since a civil war erupted in 2013 after President Salva Kiir' fired...
(Bloomberg 02/28/17)
If South Sudan’s famine is “man-made,” and it is, then maybe man can also unmake it. Given the country’s unstable government and the U.S.’s uncertain global leadership, however, most of the effort will have to come from China. More than 40 percent of South Sudan’s 11 million people don’t have enough to eat not because of drought or other natural causes but because of their country’s civil war, which started in 2013. Mayhem and disorder have taken tens of thousands of lives and forced more than 1.5 million to flee. Meanwhile, corruption and mismanagement have contributed to a shrinking economy (by 13 percent last year) and high inflation (near 500 percent). The U.S. has been the biggest provider of assistance...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
About 32,000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan since the start of the year, with tens of thousands more expected to arrive fleeing a famine in their country, the UN refugee agency said Sunday. On Monday, South Sudan, the world's youngest nation formed after splitting from the north in 2011, declared famine in some regions, saying 100,000 people faced starvation and another million were on the brink of famine. The UN refugee agency UNHCR said it was initially expecting up to 60,000 South Sudanese to arrive in Sudan in the whole of 2017, but "the level of new arrivals has thus far surpassed initial expectations". "So far, nearly 32,000 refugees are estimated to have arrived in Sudan in 2017," UNHCR said...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/17)
Like thousands of other South Sudanese families caught up in famine, Sara Dit and her 10 children are hiding from marauding gunmen in the swamps and islands of the river Nile. The refuge has a steep price: families cannot farm crops or earn money to buy food. They eat water lily roots and the occasional fish. Dit's family have not eaten for days. Last week the United Nations declared that parts of South Sudan are experiencing famine, the first time the world has faced such a catastrophe in six years. Some 5.5 million people, nearly half the population, will not have a reliable source of food by July. The disaster is largely man-made. Oil-rich South Sudan, the world's youngest nation,...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/17)
Pope Francis said on Sunday he wants to make a trip to South Sudan together with the head of the Anglican Church to bring attention to the suffering of people stricken by civil war and famine. Francis made the disclosure in impromptu comments during a visit to Rome's Anglican church, the first to the parish by a pope, to mark the 200th anniversary of its opening. "My aides and I are studying the possibility of a trip to South Sudan," the pope said in response to a question about Christian Churches in Africa. He recalled that last October the Catholic, Episcopalian and Presbyterian bishops came to Rome to discuss the situation in their country and invited him to visit. Francis...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(Xinhuanet 02/26/17)
Seven Chinese peacekeeping police officers departed Beijing for South Sudan on a one-year mission early Sunday, according the Ministry of Public Security. The sixth team of Chinese peacekeeping police to South Sudan were selected by police authority in east China's Zhejiang province. They have all attended peacekeeping training including the situation in mission zone, international law, first aid, driving, English and shooting, and have passed UN examinations, the ministry said. The Ministry has since 2000 sent 2,458 police officers to nine UN peacekeeping mission zones in Timor Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,Liberia, Afghanistan
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
Ethiopia and South Sudan on Friday signed eight agreements aimed at further strengthening bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries. The agreements are part of South Sudan president Salva Kiir's official visit to Ethiopia from February 23 to 25. The agreements include Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on the construction of roads, cooperation of health, energy and diesel offtake agreement. Border trade protocol and preferential trade agreement are also included in the agreements. Construction of two road projects, which will be funded by the Ethiopian government
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
East African Community (EAC) member states are fast tracking a comprehensive review of the Common External Tariff (CET) in order to protect infant industries, officials said on Friday. Kenya's Ministry of EAC Affairs, Labour and Social Protection Permanent Secretary Betty Maina said the EAC will review the criteria used in classifying goods that enter the EAC. "The intention of the review is to make the rules of trade facility as well as attract investments into the region," Maina said during the third EAC manufacturers' network meeting. "The review will also include reforms of duty remissions and exemptions schemes in order to create a fair play ground for manufacturers in the EAC partner states," she added. The two-day event brought together...
(Bloomberg 02/23/17)
Ethiopia may finance a road linking it with South Sudan’s largest oilfields, allowing the war-torn country to sell its neighbor fuel produced at a planned new refinery, a South Sudanese official said. The plan for a road linking the Paloch oilfields in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region with Malakal city and western Ethiopia is among the memoranda of understanding President Salva Kiir is due to sign this week during a visit to Ethiopia, according to Mayik Ayii Deng, a minister in Kiir’s office. South Sudan, in turn, will build a refinery in Upper Nile with the capacity to process as much as 100,000 barrels of oil per day, and has secured financing from a Swiss and a U.S. company, he...
(Xinhuanet 02/23/17)
A Sudanese official on Thursday announced that the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan so far has reached 495,000. "Presently we have 495,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan, where they are distributed in Khartoum, White Nile, East Darfur, West Kordofan and South Kordofan states, and in less figures in South and North Darfur States," Hamad Al-Jizouli, Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua Thursday. He expected the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan to increase due to the security tension in the south together with the South Sudan government's declaration of famine in some parts of the country. "The influxes of refugees are still continuing as they are related to the current reality of...

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