UN mandates South Sudan force to prevent return to civil war
FILE - In this Saturday, June 27, 2020 file photo, trainees parade with the wooden mock guns which they use to train with, during the visit of the defense minister to a military training center in Owiny Ki-Bul, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan. The scale of violence in South Sudan is "a lot worse" than during the country's five-year civil war, a United Nations commission announced Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, accusing senior officials of supporting armed groups that at times have included tens of thousands of fighters. (AP Photo/Maura Ajak, File)CAMEROON – The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend the almost 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, with a mandate “to advance a three-year strategic vision to prevent a return to civil war” and build peace both nationally and locally. The civil war has killed nearly 400,000 people and displaced millions, and the death toll keeps rising. And it condemned the mobilization of these armed groups by members of the government’s forces and by armed opposition groups.
UN report: South Sudan's violence 'worse' than in civil war
The civil war that ended in 2018 killed an estimated nearly 400,000 people, and millions of people are still struggling to recover. There is “no doubt that the coordination is really coming from the top.”A spokesman for South Sudan President Salva Kiir said he needed to read the report before commenting. AdThe violence in South Sudan now is localized and differs from the civil war in that some combatants are not in uniform and community leaders, militias and religious figures are involved, Sooka said. The report comes a year after South Sudan’s unity government was formed, with former armed opposition leader Riek Machar again becoming Kiir’s deputy. ___Maura Ajak in South Sudan contributed.
'Our children die in our hands': Floods ravage South Sudan
A father and his sons transport cows from a flooded area to drier ground using a dugout canoe, in Old Fangak county, Jonglei state, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Maura Ajak)On a scrap of land surrounded by flooding in South Sudan, families drink and bathe from the waters that swept away latrines and continue to rise. She said she had little knowledge of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging other parts of the world and spreading largely undetected in poorly resourced South Sudan. Instead, her fear is that the makeshift water dike around their home could collapse at any time, flooding the young children. When there is no canoe to transport people during times that waters surge, “our children die in our hands because we are helpless,” he said.
New report says part of South Sudan is in 'likely famine'
One county in South Sudan is likely in famine and tens of thousands of people in five other counties are on the brink of starvation, according to a new report released Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 by international food security experts. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)JUBA – One county in South Sudan is likely in famine and tens of thousands of people in five other counties are on the brink of starvation, according to a new report by international food security experts. The new report stops short of declaring famine, which would kick aid efforts into higher gear, because of insufficient data. But based on available information, famine is thought to be occurring, according to the Famine Review Committee report released by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. “Considering all the evidence available, famine is most likely ongoing, and we expect a high rate of death in that area,” said Chris Newton, a former U.N. World Food Program staffer with years of experience in South Sudan.
UN report says South Sudan has healed little since civil war
(AP Photo/Maura Ajak, File)JOHANNESBURG – South Sudan has made no concrete steps toward national healing more than two years after the end of a civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people and sent more than 2 million people fleeing, a new United Nations report says. The new report calls for the government to allocate at least 1% of the country’s oil revenues to reparations to citizens harmed during the five-year civil war. South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, has seen very little peace. In September, the U.N. secretary-general warned that South Sudan is one of four countries that face the risk of famine. ___Ajak reported from Juba, South Sudan.
Sudan, rebel alliance reach deal in ongoing peace efforts
The deal was reached between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a coalition of several armed groups. Leaders signed the agreement in South Sudans capital, Juba, where talks have been held since late last year. The televised ceremony was attended by South Sudan President Salva Kiir, whose own country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 following decades of civil war. A peace that requires strong and firm will.South Sudan's president described the agreement as a milestone in achieving peace in Sudan. Kiir vowed to continue standing with the Sudanese to ensure the implementation of the peace agreement, according to his advisor and mediator Tut Qalwak.
Hunger, squalor mar South Sudan post-war unification efforts
(AP Photo/Maura Ajak)BOR Here in crowded camps in South Sudan, former enemies are meant to be joining forces after a five-year civil war so they can help the shattered country recover. Instruction in the training camps is limited to basic moral orientation, rather than any substantive military training, it added. Meanwhile, vicious intercommunal fighting in parts of South Sudan has killed hundreds of people this year. At the Panyier training center in Bor, which hosts more than 1,800 people, nurse Monica Achol Agwang said she has examined many cases of sexual assault. Contracts for supplies are signed by the governments National Transitional Committee and we are not involved.There are now more than 47,000 trainees across South Sudan, Samson said.
South Sudan activist flees to US, says Kiir wanted him dead
(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)JOHANNESBURG A prominent South Sudanese activist has fled to the United States with the help of the U.S. government, which issued emergency visas to him and his family after he said South Sudans president ordered him abducted or killed. In the hospital parking lot, he said, was a vehicle with tinted windows and South Sudan license plates that had been spotted near Ajaks building in recent days. The plates turned out to be unlisted in South Sudans registry, Genser said. Ajak now plans to settle down and continue pressing for a generational exit of South Sudans leaders, with the help of the country's diaspora and he didn't rule out the idea of pursuing South Sudans presidency himself. Should that one day mean becoming president of South Sudan, so be it.The United Nations has warned the country is at risk of becoming a police state.