Friday 23 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The EU pledged 85 million euros ($95 million) to Uganda on Thursday as UN chief Antonio Guterres urged donors to give 20 times that amount to help the country deal with nearly one million refugees from South Sudan. Guterres visited a refugee camp in Uganda's remote north where he met with South Sudanese who fled civil war in their country, a day before a summit in Kampala aimed at raising at least $2 billion to deal with the world's fastest growing refugee crisis. "In a world in which so many people are selfishly closing their doors, closing their borders not allowing refugees to come (Uganda) deserves praise and admiration from the whole of the international...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
South Sudan's media authority will lift a ban on around 20 foreign journalists who had been refused access to the country, a top media official said Thursday. Earlier this month the government's media regulatory authority said it had banned the journalists over "unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories". The National Dialogue Steering Committee -- tasked with leading consultations to restore peace in the country -- put pressure on the Media Authority to lift the ban. "They are going to allow any journalists to come. They were preventing some journalists because they said some journalists are fond of criticism of what is happening in the country," said Alfred Taban, the committee's chief of media affairs. "They were in other words skeptics. I said...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Together with her husband and seven children, a hungry and thirsty Shadiya Ibrahim fled war and famine in South Sudan and says she has found safety in Sudan's conflict-ravaged Darfur. "This was the only place we knew we could come to," Ibrahim said at El Nimir camp in East Darfur, a newly opened facility for refugees crossing into Sudan by the hundreds each day. Ibrahim, 40, was among a crowd gathered on Tuesday to mark World Refugee Day at the camp in the presence of US charge d'affaires Steven Koutsis, making a visit to Darfur. Koutsis travelled across vast stretches of Darfur -- a region the size of France ...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A famine that was declared in parts of South Sudan four months ago is over, UN aid agencies said Wednesday, but extreme hunger has increased to its highest levels ever across the war-torn country. "The accepted technical definition of famine no longer applies in former Unity State's Leer and Mayandit counties where famine was declared in February," according to a joint statement from the UN children's agency UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(The Associated Press 06/19/17)
South Sudan has the world's fastest growing displaced population and more needs to be done to help them, says the director of the United Nations refugee agency. More than 4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes, nearly 2 million of whom went to neighboring countries, said U.N. and other organizations. The international community should do more to help South Sudan, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, said after visiting a camp for the displaced. "The international neglect that...
(The Associated Press 06/16/17)
Bakita Juma doesn't like to think about her dead parents because it makes her cry. The slender teenager would rather focus on the woman whom aid officials recently chose to raise her and her siblings on a small piece of earth in what has become the world's largest refugee settlement. Bakita says she likes her new mother. As for her two younger siblings, it is impossible to tell. One of the consequences of South Sudan's civil war has been the thousands of children fleeing without parents or guardians, without documentation...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
South Sudan's northwest is untouched by civil war, yet hunger still wreaks havoc: here food shortages are cyclical and the annual "hunger gap" is about to begin. About 800 kilometres (500 miles) from Juba, where a new conflict erupted in late 2013, the northern state of Bahr el Ghazal has some of the highest levels of malnutrition in the country. Two of its five counties are classified by the UN as being in a food emergency, the stage preceding famine,...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
The conflict in South Sudan and its massive population displacements have produced many names synonymous with misery. The latest is Aburoc, a northeastern village where aid workers face the toughest of challenges. In the space of a few days, this remote settlement in Upper Nile State, close to the Sudanese border, grew by 30,000 as men, women and children fled yet another government offensive. Few choose to live in Aburoc, a desolate ash-grey landscape of flies and dry rivers. The...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
Their hug is long and moving but awkward as Jorgina, sobbing, strains to embrace her teenage son Emmanuel who has grown taller since South Sudan's war tore them apart. It has been three and a half years since they last saw each other. They've both been shunted to and fro by the relentless fighting. Emmanuel is now a gangly two metre (6.5 foot) tall 17-year-old. He and Jorgina are among thousands of family members who lost sight of each other...
(AFP (eng) 06/09/17)
South Sudanese rebels on Friday claimed responsibility for an ambush that killed at least 15 people on the main road between the capital and the Ugandan border. In a statement, Lam Paul Gabriel, spokesman for the SPLA-IO rebel group led by exiled former vice president Riek Machar, said; "The SPLA-IO would like to make it clear that the ambush on the Nimule-Juba highway was carried out by its forces." He added that Thursday's attack was "our response to the constant...
(AFP (eng) 06/09/17)
At least 20 foreign journalists have been refused entry to South Sudan for producing reports deemed "insulting", a government official confirmed Thursday. This week, Juba-based Eye Radio reported that "about 20" foreign journalists had been banned for their "unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories". Elijah Alier, manager of the government regulatory body, the Media Authority, confirmed to AFP that the report was "true" but refused to provide any detail on who the banned journalists are and which media they work for. He...
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
A U.S. congressional delegation returned from central Africa last week with one overriding question: what can be done to stop South Sudan's war and help the refugees streaming into Uganda, suffering from a lack of food? Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, says the answer lies with the parties in South Sudan's conflict, especially the government and military, which have been accused of blocking food aid to needy populations, using rape as a weapon of war and engaging in ethnic cleansing.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Sixteen-year-old Stacey narrowly escaped what could have been a life of poverty and prostitution on the streets of South Sudan's capital Juba when she was taken into a shelter and offered safety and schooling. South Sudan's civil war, which erupted in late 2013, has uprooted a quarter of the population, shattered families and left thousands of orphans, abandoned children and runaways to fend for themselves in the city. With few options, sex work has become a form of survival for many girls and young women. While there are no accurate figures to gauge the extent of child prostitution in the scrappy, low-rise city
(Xinhuanet 06/07/17)
South Sudan seeks to strengthen effectiveness and efficiency of the community health sub-system by training more health workers and upgrading infrastructure, Health Minister Riek Gai Kok told Xinhua. The Boma Health Initiative launched in April seeks to empower rural communities through training of three community health workers in each village (Boma) and upgrading health infrastructure to enable delivery of high impact and cost-effective primary health care services. "Production of trained health workers is priority to reduce the labor deficit and...

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