Tuesday 20 February 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
South Sudan’s hellish war will get worse if its neighbors let President Salva Kiir hold an election before he accepts peacekeepers, a ceasefire and political opposition, U.N. investigators said on Wednesday. South Sudan was plunged into civil war in 2013 when Kiir fell out with his deputy, Riek Machar. Since then 50,000-300,000 people have died, according to the African Union (AU), and millions have been displaced or pushed to the brink of famine. “It’s just a story of absolutely unimaginable cruelty,” Yasmin Sooka, head of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, told a news conference in Geneva. Last year Machar fled, but during his retreat Kiir’s forces sparked a new conflict in the Equatorias region, boosting opposition...
(Voice of America 09/21/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump has told African leaders he will send his U.N. envoy Nikki Haley to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "We're closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo," Trump said in a lunch meeting Wednesday with African leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. "Millions of lives are at risk and we continue to provide humanitarian assistance, but real results in halting this catastrophe will require an African-led peace process, and a sincere — really sincere — commitment of all parties involved." The president said Haley would "discuss avenues of conflict and resolution and, most importantly, prevention." South Sudan is mired in the fourth...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
An outbreak of fighting between government and rebel forces in South Sudan's oil-producing north left at least 25 people dead, a state official said Tuesday. The clash between rebels loyal to exiled former deputy president Riek Machar and government forces occurred early Monday in Nhialdiu, a village close to the town of Bentiu which has changed hands repeatedly since civil war began nearly four years ago. "The number of the bodies that were found on the ground were 25," said Lam Tungwar, information minister for Northern Liech State, adding the rebel attack was "repulsed". Lam Paul Gabriel, a spokesman for the SPLA-IO rebels confirmed the clash claiming "a successful operation" in which "the gallant SPLA-IO forces took control of Nhialdiu",...
(Sudan Tribune 09/19/17)
South Sudan president, Salva Kiir has removed the Gogrial state governor, Gregory Deng Kuac. Kuac, an ally of the ex-army chief of staff Paul Malong Awan was succeeded by Victor Atem Atem, a former education minister. Monday’s order, announced on the state-owned television (SSBC) gave no reasons for the South Sudanese leader’s surprise move. However, observers have attributed the governor’s sacking to the ongoing communal feuds and his continued association with Awan. Last week, Kiir issued a similar directive for the removal of Wau state governor Andrea Mayar Achor who was replaced by Angelo Taban. In June last year, Mayar was appointed governor of Wau on Awan’s recommendation to replace Elias Wayo with whom the ex-army chief differed in opinion...
(Sudan Tribune 09/19/17)
South Sudanese army on Monday downplayed capability of the armed opposition forces in unity region to regain strong foothold to disrupt oil production in the region The deputy spokesperson for the government forces Col. Santo Domic told Sudan Tribune that the security situation in the region was now calm and under control, though the anti-peace elements have been attempting to interfere with the life of the civil population from attending to economic activities. “There is no threat to oil fields. There are enough forces to provide protection for production," said Col. Domic when reached on Monday. For his part, Col.Dickson Gatluak Jock, spokesman of SPLA-IO faction under the leadership of the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said in a...
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
Located a stone throw away from South Sudan's Juba airport is the China Friendship Hospital, one of the remaining three medical complexes in operation after the renewed clash last July. Many South Sudanese have chosen to visit the private hospital manned by Chinese medical experts, South Sudanese and some experienced doctors from the East African region for both non-communicable diseases and complex medical cases. According to Ma Ning, the director of the hospital, they handle mostly typhoid and malaria cases, but he also takes pride in having conducted in September the first eye operation in South Sudan. He added that during the violence in 2016, they treated for free many bullet wound cases involving soldiers and civilians caught up in...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
The rising levels of crime involving armed robbery, house break in and petty theft in South Sudan's capital Juba and along major highways is driven by high levels of poverty and laxity within the law enforcement agencies, experts said on Sunday. Since the renewed clashes in Juba last year, there has been increasing levels of crime hugely driven by worsening economic crisis amid hyper inflation, leaving most civil servants, law enforcement agencies without salaries for the past four months. Edmund Yakani, the executive director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) which has been monitoring crime, blamed the worsening economic situation which has led to high prices of food and social
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Xinhuanet 09/15/17)
A team of Chinese doctors working in South Sudan on Thursday offered free medical services for students and staff members at the University of Juba. The team of specialist doctors provided specialized medical services focusing on diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases to more than 100 students and staff members at the University of Juba Health Center. The 15-member Chinese medical team from China's Anhui Province came to South Sudan in February, and they have been providing free medical services in the country's main referral hospital, Juba Teaching Hospital and other health centers across South Sudan. For the past six years running, China has dispatched five medical teams with a total of 66 members who offered specialized medical care and surgeries...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
South Sudan should delay elections until the almost four-year civil war ends, the United Nations mission head said, about two weeks after the government indicated it may go ahead with a vote in 2018. “It’s important that we work through the peace process so that we have good conditions on the ground to enable elections to go ahead that can be seen to be free and fair and people can have confidence in them,” David Shearer, who leads the UN mission in the African country, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Juba. The conflict in the oil-producing nation has claimed tens of thousands of lives since December 2013, with fighters loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar...
(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...

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