| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
The United Nations Security Council failed on Friday to adopt a U.S.-drafted resolution to impose an arms embargo and further sanctions on South Sudan despite warnings by U.N. officials of a possible genocide in the world's newest state. There were seven votes in favor and eight abstentions. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted. Washington called for a vote on Friday knowing it would fail. The United States could not even win over its ally Japan, which last month deployed troops to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. Japan, Russia, China, Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, Egypt and Senegal all abstained. "The council members who didn't...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/22/16)
The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on Friday on whether to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, even though the U.S.-drafted measure is likely to fail despite warnings by U.N. officials of a possible genocide, diplomats said on Wednesday. The resolution also proposes blacklisting South Sudan opposition figure Riek Machar, army chief Paul Malong and Information Minister Michael Makuei by subjecting them to an asset freeze and travel ban. To be adopted, a resolution needs nine votes and no vetoes. Diplomats say that so far seven members were in favor, with the remaining eight planning to abstain. The United States has requested that a vote be held on Friday. "Council members will need, each of us, to...
(Voice of America 12/22/16)
South Sudanese fleeing the country’s 3-year conflict say armed men are committing brutal atrocities and abuses against civilians. The refugees said extrajudicial killings also were common in areas they fled. Nearly all the refugees arriving in the Bidibidi camp in Uganda's Yumbe District over the past few weeks are from the former Equatoria state. Most of them fled from Lainya, Yei, Morobo and Kajokeji. South Sudanese refugee Chaplain Malesh said he fled his village in Lainya earlier this month when government soldiers and proxy militia began shooting villagers indiscriminately. "The Dinkas came to our area, at a place called Kirbat, and started shooting. This made people start running. If you see your neighbors running, why should you stay?" Malesh asked...
(AL Jazeera 12/22/16)
Looting, killing, beatings and sexual assault were the hallmarks of ethnically motivated attacks against civilians by South Sudanese government forces in the town of Wau earlier this year, according to the personal stories of those who witnessed and endured them. Houses were routinely ransacked and dozens were killed, including a three-year-old child, a 50-year-old teacher and a man in his 60s. Some of the dead were so disfigured that they could only be identified by the clothes they were wearing. The attacks bear all the characteristics of the war crimes that have been a tragic feature of South Sudan's brief history. In the space of just a few days, at the end of June, tens of thousands of people were...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
After threatening South Sudan with a U.N. arms embargo to encourage steps toward peace, the United States wants to impose the measure, but the 15-member Security Council is split and Washington cannot even convince ally Japan. U.S. frustration with Tokyo's resistance to an embargo and additional targeted sanctions spilled over on Monday when Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, publicly questioned the reluctance of Japan, which last month deployed troops to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. "It's a highly questionable logic to think that the way to keep your peacekeepers safe is to not support an arms embargo," Power told reporters.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
The British government must take urgent action to help end the "horrendous crisis" in South Sudan, where men have been castrated in fighting and women have drowned hiding from militias, UK lawmakers said in an open letter on Wednesday. Africa's newest nation plunged into civil war in December 2013 after a long-running feud between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, exploded into violence, much of it along ethnic lines. The pair signed a shaky peace deal last year, but fighting has continued forcing more than 1.1 million people to flee in the biggest cross-border exodus from any central African conflict since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. "All sides ... have been complicit in the killing or castration of...
(APA 12/21/16)
Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday extended the agreement to allow South Sudan's oil flow through Sudanese territory for another three years. The oil flow agreement signed between the two countries in September 2012 will end this month. The Sudanese Minister of Oil Mohamed Awad Zaid told reporters in Khartoum on Tuesday that the oil ministers of the two countries have signed the agreement on Tuesday. He stated that the agreement included its extension in addition to other technical understandings. “The agreement has included two parts, the extension of the agreement and the financial transitional arrangements, especially after the sharp declining of oil international oil prices,” it pointed out. “Sudan has accepted to rescheduling of South Sudan’s debts according to...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/20/16)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he feared genocide was about to start in South Sudan unless immediate action is taken, renewing his plea for the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the world's newest country. "If we fail to act, South Sudan will be on a trajectory towards mass atrocities," Ban told the 15-member Security Council. "The Security Council must take steps to stem the flow of arms to South Sudan." Noting that his special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, has described genocide as a process, Ban said: "I am afraid that process is about to begin unless immediate action is taken." Political rivalry between South Sudan President Salva Kiir, an ethnic...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/16)
The United States will ask the UN Security Council to vote soon on imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan, the US ambassador said Monday. "It's extremely important to vote this by the end of the year," said US Ambassador Samantha Power. The Security Council was due to hold closed-door consultations later Monday on the crisis in South Sudan, where a devastating war entered its fourth year this month. The United States last month presented a draft resolution aimed at cutting off the arms flow to South Sudan following UN warnings that the war-torn country could descend into genocide. France and Britain support an arms embargo. But veto powers Russia and China have voiced opposition, while non-permanent council member Japan,...
(Voice of America 12/17/16)
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously extended its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for another year. The U.S.-drafted resolution says the council also will consider "appropriate measures" including an arms embargo against South Sudan to address continuing violence in the country. 4,000 troops added to mission The new mission covers a new regional force of 4,000 troops, approved in August but not yet deployed, in addition to the approximately 13,000 peacekeepers already there. The U.N. Mission in South Sudan
(Reuters (Eng) 12/16/16)
Besides bags, blankets and tales of horror, some of the thousands of refugees fleeing South Sudan's civil war each day carry something else - the ethnic hatred the United Nations says is "fertile ground" for genocide. That hatred, fueled by continuing reports of ethnic-based killings inside the country, is turning refugee camps on its borders into tinder-boxes and threatening to destabilize the wider region. More than a million people have fled the world's youngest nation since fighting erupted in late 2013, the biggest cross-border exodus from any central African conflict since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They are going in all directions, including Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, but Uganda, directly south, has received the most - 600,000 refugees...
(Voice of America 12/16/16)
The road outside the U.N. protection of civilians (POC) site in Juba are quiet on this December day, and the Ethiopian peacekeepers guarding the site want to keep it that way. So the battalion of several dozen soldiers braves intense afternoon heat to conduct a careful patrol of the area. First they circle the perimeter of the POC site, watching closely as a truck filled with charcoal bags is unloaded. They venture farther from the site to enforce a new "weapons-free zone" that in theory extends 200 meters from the POC site fences. They also walk near an impromptu graveyard. Sometimes, they say, they assist people burying their loved ones there. The U.N. mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, has stepped...
(Xinhuanet 12/16/16)
South Sudan has termed claims that the country is approaching genocide a lie and a concoction of the UN to legitimize its existence in the war-torn nation. President Salva Kiir's spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Xinhua on Friday that tribal skirmishes that have taken place in the past three years in the country had not deteriorated to the level of ethnic cleansing as alleged by UN human rights officials. "First of all this statement is fabricated lie," Ateny said. UN human rights officials warned recently that South Sudan was fast approaching a genocide situation reminiscent of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. South Sudan has witnessed a rise in hate speech and targeted killings along ethnic lines mainly in Yei, some 150...
(Xinhuanet 12/16/16)
South Sudan said it would not shut down oil production despite growing pressure from lawmakers calling for a temporal halt due to declining oil prices. Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth said Friday his ministry was seeking to increase oil production from the current 133,000 barrels per day to 350,000 next year. "Instead of shutting it down, we are going to increase the production in early 2017," Gatkuoth said. He added that the government had put measures in place to restore security at oil-producing sites. South Sudan, which descended into civil war in December 2013, depends on oil revenue to finance some 98 percent of its budget. The landlocked country uses the pipeline in its northern neighbor Sudan to transport...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...

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