Wednesday 23 August 2017
(Voice of America 06/03/17)
The world is watching closely as food shortages grip parts of Africa and the Middle East. As humanitarian groups respond to the crisis, they have to solve a major problem: how to track food security in areas that are simply too remote or too dangerous to access. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) has come up with an innovative answer. The U.S.-funded organization is working with DigitalGlobe, a Colorado satellite company, to crowdsource analysis of satellite imagery of South Sudan. The effort will rely on thousands of volunteers — normal people with no subject matter expertise
(AFP (eng) 06/02/17)
Fifteen children died in South Sudan after receiving contaminated measles vaccines that had not been properly refrigerated, and were mixed using the same syringe for four days. In addition to the blunders handling the vaccine, Health Minister Riek Gai Kok said that two children, aged 12 and 13, had been recruited to administer it. An investigation showed that local officials failed to follow immunisation guidelines during a four-day campaign to vaccinate around 300 people in the southeastern state of Kapoeta in May, Kok said. "The team that vaccinated the children in this tragic event were neither qualified not trained for the immunisation," he added. The campaign came amid a measles outbreak that has killed 70 children this year, the latest...
(The Associated Press 06/02/17)
Fifteen young children have died in a botched measles vaccination campaign that saw people as young as 12 years old administering the vaccines, South Sudan’s government said Friday. The health ministry blamed the deaths on human error. One syringe was used for all the children, and the vaccine was not stored properly. The government said all of the children who died were younger than 5. It is setting up a commission to determine who is responsible and whether victims’ families will be compensated. Vaccinations continue Measles is yet another challenge facing the desperately poor country that has been
(News24 06/02/17)
South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar, who has been in South Africa since last year, has told the United Nations that the country's government has been "hospitable", but he wishes to be released "from confinement and detention". "My host here South Africa has been hospitable," Machar said in a statement released on Wednesday after a teleconference with the UN security council. According to reports the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), arrived in South Africa late last year without the government's knowledge - after fleeing the capital Juba, claiming that President Salva Kiir wanted to assassinate him. Reports said at the time that he was "basically under house arrest" near Pretoria, with his movements "restricted and phone calls...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
At least 15 children died in South Sudan in early May after health workers vaccinating them against measles used the same syringe without sterilizing it, the health minister said on Friday. About 300 children were vaccinated on May 2-5 in Nacholdokopele village in Eastern Equatoria state, another 32 of whom have recovered after falling ill with symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhea, Health Minister Riek Gai Kok said. "The team that vaccinated the children in this tragic event were neither qualified nor trained for the immunization campaign," Kok told a news conference. A report prepared by a committee of specialists found the children had died from severe sepsis toxicity as a result of the vaccine's contamination, caused by repeated use...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(The Associated Press 05/31/17)
"He told me not to be afraid," Evelyn Juma says, remembering her husband. Tears stream down the young woman's face as she sits on her unmade bed, her newborn nursing at her chest. "That's the last thing he ever said to me." On the morning of April 10, when South Sudan government soldiers broke into Juma's house in the northwestern town of Wau, the 24-year-old never dreamed it would be the last time she'd see her husband alive. "They kept asking him if our neighbors were Nuer and which tribe we were from," she says. When her husband refused to turn over their friends, the soldiers forced him outside and shot him in the head. "I heard the gunshot," Juma...
(Voice of America 05/31/17)
A top South Sudan army official has used his position to accumulate millions of dollars through his personal business, while helping to orchestrate a conflict that has resulted in famine, according to a new report by a Washington-based human rights group. Lt. Gen. Malek Reuben Riak, the SPLA’s deputy chief of defense force for operations, accumulated more than $3 million in his personal account between January 2012 and early 2016, according to the Sentry. It says Reuben made millions more than what a general in his rank earned during the 2014-2015 budget cycle — about $40,000. J.R. Mailey, the Sentry's senior investigations manager, says the report uncovers conflicts of interest and potential wrongdoing by Reuben in his roles at Mak...
(The Guardian 05/31/17)
Men appear before military court in Juba over alleged involvement in hotel attack in which five aid workers were raped and one man murdered. South Sudanese soldiers accused of raping five foreign aid workers and killing their local colleague have appeared before a military court in Juba, in a case seen as a test of the government’s ability to try war crimes. The attack, one of the worst on aid workers since civil war erupted in South Sudan three and a half years ago, occurred on 11 July 2016, as President Salva Kiir’s troops won a three-day battle in the country’s capital against opposition forces loyal to Riek Machar, the former vice-president. Witnesses said armed men attacked the Terrain hotel...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/31/17)
The Vatican said on Tuesday it had scrapped tentative plans for Pope Francis to make a visit this year to South Sudan, which has been hit by civil war, famine and a refugee crisis. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the trip "was not for this year" but did not say when it might now take place. Church leaders in the country said they had expected the pope would visit the capital, Juba, probably in October, but the Vatican had never announced the trip officially. Burke did not give a reason for the cancellation of the plans but Vatican and Church sources said it was a combination of security concerns and logistics. The trip was to have lasted only one day...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(AFP (eng) 05/30/17)
A South Sudan military court on Tuesday opened the trial of 13 soldiers accused of raping foreign aid workers and murdering a local journalist during fighting in Juba last July. The chilling attack cast a spotlight on atrocities by government troops but also led to a damning probe into the failure of United Nations peacekeepers to protect civilians, which led to the sacking of the force's commander. The suspects appeared in court in a variety of uniforms indicating attachment to different units, including four in the colours of the "Tiger Division" which guards the president. "There is a crime of murder, we have a crime of raping, we have a crime of looting and we have a crime of damaging...
(Xinhuanet 05/30/17)
The new force commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Frank Mushyo Kamanzi of Rwanda, arrived in the country on Monday to take up his peacekeeping duties. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission, David Shearer, announced the arrival of Kamanzi, who replaces Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki of Kenya, who was sacked in October last year. "He reports directly to the head of the Mission and is responsible for all military activities in support of the Mission's mandate to protect civilians," Shearer said in a statement issued in Juba. Kamanzi, who commands a force with an authorized strength of 17,000 peacekeepers drawn from 55 different countries, brings...
(Sudan Tribune 05/30/17)
South Sudan President Salva Kiir has vowed to prioritise peace in the country and that his administration would silence guns and focus on reconciliation, forgiveness and harmony. The Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs, Daniel Awet Akot said the South Sudanese leader welcomed and lauded efforts made by regional leaders to put the country on the path of peace and tranquillity by exploring all possibilities to end the three-year war in the young nation. "Peace has been the top agenda on the table the president from day one. He talks peace every day and I am glad to reiterate that the president continues to explore other ways and emphasise on the importance of pursuing the peace process with all groups fighting...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and concerns about food shortages are driving up prices as governments scramble to secure imports. “It all comes down to weather,” said Wessel Lemmer, a senior agricultural economist at Barclays Africa Group Ltd.’s Absa unit in Johannesburg. “There’s usually an inverse...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/29/17)
South Sudanese soldiers accused of raping at least five foreign aid workers and killing their local colleague last year are due to stand trial in a military court on Tuesday, a key test of the government's ability to prosecute war crimes. Prosecutor Abubaker Mohammed, an army colonel, told Reuters that between 15 to 20 government soldiers face charges including murder, rape and looting during the attack on the Terrain hotel in the capital Juba on July 11, 2016. U.N. investigators and rights group have frequently accused both the army and rebels of murder, torture and rape since the civil war began in 2013, and say the crimes almost always go unpunished.
(Voice of America 05/27/17)
South Sudanese authorities released a journalist Thursday who had been detained without charges since August 22, 2014. George Livio, who worked for the U.N.-sponsored Miraya FM radio station, had been arrested by national security operatives and detained at an unknown location. The U.N. did not immediately provide a reason for Livio's release, though the U.N. mission in South Sudan had been pushing for his freedom and that of two other staff members. Several rights groups, including Amnesty International, had petitioned President Salva Kiir to intervene and release Livio. VOA's South Sudan in Focus reached Gelego
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(Xinhuanet 05/26/17)
The European Commission (EC) said Friday it has provided 12.9 million U.S. dollars to help save the lives of conflict-affected people in South Sudan. The money, which was channeled through the UN World Food Programme (WFP), is in addition to the 32 million dollars contribution that was already confirmed for 2017. "The country needs continued international support which, combined with unimpeded access to the affected population, will help prevent the unfolding catastrophe from expanding further," WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan, Joyce Luma said in a statement issued in Juba. South Sudan is experiencing the worst levels of food insecurity since independence with up to 5.5 million

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