Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
Six aid workers have been killed in an ambush in South Sudan, the UN said Sunday, in another blow to humanitarian efforts a country suffering from war-induced famine. A humanitarian source told AFP the victims -- three Kenyans and three South Sudanese working for a local aid group -- were killed on Saturday as they travelled in convoy from the capital Juba to the eastern town of Pibor. Unknown assailants stopped the car, forced them out and then they were "shot and killed," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Three years of civil war in South Sudan have seen warring parties deny access to aid, attack humanitarian workers and loot relief supplies. It has also displaced about 2.5...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
The African Union (AU) on Monday condemned the ambush and killing of six aid workers in South Sudan, urging the armed actors in the conflict-hit nation to respect international humanitarian laws and give unconditional protection to aid workers. "We strongly condemn and denounce the killing of the six humanitarian actors who have come here to help the people and yet they have been killed," Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat told reporters in Juba. The UN said Sunday that six aid workers were ambushed and killed over the weekend on a road linking the capital Juba to Pibor town in Boma State. Mahamat concluded a two-day visit to South Sudan on Monday, his first visit to South Sudan...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
Sudan said Sunday it will open a "humanitarian corridor" for delivering food aid to thousands of people suffering from famine in South Sudan, which split from the north in 2011. South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, has declared famine in parts of Unity State, saying 100,000 people face starvation and another million are on the brink of famine. "The government of Sudan has agreed to open a humanitarian corridor for delivering aid to people affected by famine in Unity State and Bahr El Ghazal," the Sudanese Humanitarian Commission said in a statement. The corridor will be used to deliver aid from the town of El-Obeid in central Sudan to Bentiu, a town in famine-struck Unity State, it said, adding that...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
The first soldiers of a United Nations-mandated regional military force are set to be deployed to South Sudan within about a month, the outgoing UN official in charge of peacekeeping said Friday. "The vanguard element of the force will be deployed between end of April, beginning of May," Herve Ladsous, the UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, told reporters. The first contingent of soldiers to the African country will come from Bangladesh and Nepal, Ladsous said, adding the deployment will include a helicopter unit. Other troops, notably Ethiopians, are expected to arrive in late May or early June.
(Voice of America 03/25/17)
United Nations Security Council members have unanimously called on South Sudan's leaders to prioritize the needs of the South Sudanese people, but disagree over the main causes of the famine in parts of the country. At a Thursday briefing in New York, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Security Council members that the humanitarian crisis "continues to deepen." The U.N. chief told the council 100,000 South Sudanese are affected by famine, another one million are on the verge of famine, and more than 5 million may be severely food insecure by this summer. "Yet despite the alarm sounded by the United Nations and the international community over this crisis, the government has yet to express any meaningful concern or take...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
South Sudan's famine is a disaster created by its leaders, say analysts who argue that while food may save some lives now it is only peace that can bring lasting relief. But peace is as distant as ever with an international community that appears paralysed, while the men ruling over the country's misery are unmoved by pleas for them to lay down their weapons. There is no catastrophic drought in South Sudan, no natural driver for the famine afflicting 100,000 and threatening a million others. Rather there is a nasty, stop-start three-year civil war in which starvation has become a battlefield tactic. "Only a political plan to end South Sudan's national crisis, not food aid, can bring actual famine relief...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and South Sudan Ambassador in Khartoum Mayan Dot on Thursday reviewed arrangements relating to visit of South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit to Sudan. "Foreign Minister Ghandour and Ambassador Mayan reviewed arrangements relating to visit of President Salva Kiir to Khartoum," said Sudan's Foreign Ministry in a press release Thursday, without fixing a date for the visit. The meeting also reviewed cooperation between the two countries and speeding up implementation of outcome of recent meetings of the joint political and security committee besides the communication program between the two countries' oil ministries, it said.
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
The UN Security Council voiced alarm Thursday about the deepening humanitarian crisis and famine in South Sudan, with the United States, Britain and France raising anew the idea of sanctions and a weapons embargo. Attacks on humanitarian and UN missions, serial rapes, recruitment of child soldiers and famine: Six years after independence, "all the optimism that accompanied the birth of South Sudan has been shattered by internal divisions, rivalries and the irresponsible behavior of some of its leaders," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "Despite the alarm sounded by the United Nations and the international community over this crisis
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
The United States warned South Sudan's government on Thursday that preventing humanitarian aid workers from reaching parts of the war-torn state that are suffering famine could "amount to deliberate starvation tactics." A civil war erupted in 2013 when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired his deputy, Riek Machar, a Nuer, who has fled and is now in South Africa. The United Nations says at least one-quarter of South Sudanese have been displaced. The United Nations has declared a famine in some parts of South Sudan, where nearly half the population - some 5.5 million people - face food shortages. But the country recently hiked work permit fees a hundredfold for foreign aid workers, to $10,000. "The famine is not...
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
Pagan Amum, a well-known South Sudanese politician who lives in the United States, is suing a member of his country's diaspora for slander. Amum says a South Sudanese woman who goes by the name of Amiria Ali posted videos on Facebook where she accused him of committing rape and murder — charges that Amum emphatically denies. Amum recently got a restraining order against Ali, who lives in the same city he does: Denver, Colorado. At the heart of his lawsuit, according to Amum, is Ali's demonization of certain tribes. "What is really dangerous ... is the use of social media platforms, or the abuse rather, of social media platforms to generate hatred and demonization of people or individuals on tribal...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(The New Times 03/23/17)
Rwanda is prepared to send more peacekeepers to be part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the acting Defence and Military Spokesperson, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, has confirmed. He disclosed this yesterday after the U.N. peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous said during a visit to South Sudan's capital, Juba, on Tuesday that the first peacekeepers from Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh will begin arriving in the next few weeks. "That is true. There is an additional force required by the UN and, Rwanda is ready to contribute an additional battalion," Ngendahimana told The New Times. Rwanda presently maintains 1,650 troops as part of UNMISS.
(The Associated Press 03/23/17)
Uganda is at a "breaking point" as almost 3,000 South Sudanese refugees pour into the country every day, the United Nations refugee chief and Uganda's government said Thursday, calling for international help to support over 800,000 people now sheltering there. The U.N. has called it the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis. More than 570,000 refugees have arrived from South Sudan since July — and the number could pass one million by the middle of this year, the joint statement by U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi and Uganda's government said. "We are at breaking point. Uganda cannot handle Africa's largest refugee crisis alone," Grandi said. "The lack of international attention to the suffering of the South Sudanese people is failing some of...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
All passengers and crew survived a plane crash in South Sudan on Monday in which the jet hit a fire truck on the runway before bursting into flames. "There is no one who died," Bona Gaudensio, information minister in the northwestern state of Wau where the accident happened, said on Tuesday. He said 37 people had been treated for injuries in hospital but, miraculously, no one was killed, despite a fireball consuming the plane soon after it crash landed. Wau is a regional capital with a busy airport used by the United Nations and aid agencies as well as private and commercial planes. The Carcasses of older air crashes lie in the long grass next to the runway. "The plane...
(Xinhuanet 03/21/17)
At least two new militia groups have been formed in South Sudan within two weeks, stoking fears their sudden rise would worsen the conflict in the country, analysts said Monday. Augustino Ting Mayai, analyst with Juba-based think tank Sudd Institute, told Xinhua that the current proliferation of militia groups will exacerbate violence and humanitarian suffering as the country is faced with a man-made famine caused by fighting. "The fact is more rebel groups amount to more violence and suffering. There is no coordinated strategy to resolution of the conflict," he said. This came after the February defections of top military officers like Lt. General Thomas Cirilo, the former deputy head of logistics in the South Sudanese army (SPLA) who formed...
(Sudan Tribune 03/21/17)
South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea announced an historic partnership today in Juba, setting out the terms for a strong bilateral relationship between the African oil and gas producers. The two nations will use the new partnership as a basis for exchanging information on policy and regulation promoting upstream, downstream and infrastructure projects, and collaboration between the national oil companies Nilepet and GEPetrol The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima and South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/17)
A passenger jet carrying 45 people crash-landed in South Sudan's northwestern city of Wau on Monday, leaving at least 14 people injured, government and airport officials said. It was unclear however if the rest of the those on board were alive or dead. "There were 40 passengers and five crew (on board) that is all. I don't have any information," said Gabriel Ngang, the manager of South Supreme Airlines, the owner of the plane. He said the jet had taken off from the capital Juba. "Right now we have the ambulance which has just come out from the airport and we have received 14 patients being rushed to hospital in stable condition," said State Information Minister Bona Gaudensio. Paul Charles,...

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