JUBA, South SudanThe United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has called upon all parties to cease hostilities, amidst fresh fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people in multiple locations across the country. When I asked them what they needed most, the word I heard most frequently from them was: ‘peace’ During his two-day visit, Mr. Lowcock met with Government officials, members of SPLA-in Opposition, humanitarian agencies, and partners. He also visited people affected by the crisis in Juba, Yei Town and Mundu. The latter is an SPLA-iO controlled area. “The conflict in South Sudan is now in its fifth year. Ordinary people are suffering on an unimaginable scale. The peace process has so fa
KHARTOUM, SudanAt the end of a three-day mission to Sudan, United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock has urged the international community to step up support to the humanitarian response to 7.1 million vulnerable people and invest in the country’s social-economic development. He stressed that unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to people in need across Sudan is critical for the delivery of relief. During his mission, Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Lowcock met Government officials and humanitarian partners, and visited settlements for internally displaced persons in Murta and Kulba in South Kordofan. “Millions of people face serious and growing humanitarian needs. Many have suffered for the past 15 years, but we
KHARTOUM, SudanAs the international community commemorates World Press Day, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) expresses concern over the targeting of Sudanese citizens by the authorities for their online activity. ACJPS has documented four incidents where four Sudanese citizens have been charged with defamation under the Cyber crimes Act, 2007 and Criminal Act, 1991 as well as breach of public order and morality under the Cyber crimes Act following statements shared via social media platforms. Over the years, social media platforms have been increasingly used by Sudanese citizens to voice concerns over the governance of their country. Given the restrictive space, the online platforms are seen as a medium to freely express concerns and commentary on diffe...
DAKAR, Senegal Three UN agencies have warned that parts of West Africa's Sahel region are likely to be affected by Drought, high food prices and conflict. According to the UN, this will drive millions of people into acute hunger and malnutrition. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), said that poor rainfall in pastoralist areas of southern Mauritania, northern Senegal, and parts of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad in 2017, had ruined livestock and harvest and affected livelihoods, leading to an early onset of the hunger season. The Sahel region has also seen increased insecurity and an intensification in armed conflict that is disrupting basic services and livelihoods, affecting social cohes
JUBA, South SudanTen aid workers taken by an armed group last week were returned to Juba, by a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). We are pleased that these ten aid workers will now be able to return to their families The South Sudanese aid workers were transported by ICRC aircraft from an area around Yei to the capital, Juba. “The ICRC has a long standing record as a neutral intermediary in these kinds of situations. We are pleased that these ten aid workers will now be able to return to their families,” said François Stamm, the head of delegation for the ICRC in South Sudan. The ICRC provided the transportation of the released aid workers with the consent of all the parties involved and was not involved in any negotiations. None of the aid w
N'DJAMENA, ChadThe UN Working Group on mercenaries has called for more financial and other resources to stop armed conflict in Chad and surrounding countries and to put an end to human rights abuses committed by multiple actors, some of whom are foreign fighters and alleged mercenaries. The abuses identified include killings and torture. More resources will help millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the fighting, they said. In a statement at the end of a nine day visit to the country, the UN experts said the activities of armed groups, including Boko Haram, have provoked a huge humanitarian crisis and it is essential for human rights to be put at the center of efforts to combat them. “Boko Haram has destroyed communities that have lived and ob
BANGUI, Central African RepublicThe Humanitarian Coordinator for Central African Republic (CAR), Najat Rochdi has allocated US$11 million from the Humanitarian Fund (CAR HF) for projects countywide to address urgent humanitarian needs prioritized in the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). This funding will also help in bridging the funding gap observed during the first quarter of the year. The humanitarian situation in CAR continues to deteriorate due to attacks by armed groups resulting in massive displacements of population. This situation is further exacerbated by extreme poverty, lack of basic social services, and successive conflicts disrupting early recovery initiatives. Against this backdrop, humanitarian needs are increasing and yet funding has diminished significa...
GENEVA, SwitzerlandThe Committee against Torture has completed its consideration of the fourth periodic report of Senegal on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Coly Seck, introducing the report, highlighted that Senegal had invoked universal jurisdiction in matters of torture in 2007. The amendment of the custody regime and the adoption of new legal articles related to the Rome Statute further contributed to the consolidation of the legal framework for the protection of human rights. Following the signing of the 2012 agreement with the African Union establishing Extraordinary African Chambers within