Over 600,000 Affected By Heavy Flooding In South Sudan, Says UN

In this file photo taken on September 23, 2019, the United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. The UN voiced alarm July 19, 2021, at reports that several governments used Israeli phone malware to spy on activists, journalists and others, stressing the urgent need for better regulation of surveillance technology.
Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

Severe flooding since August has affected at least 623,000 people in South Sudan, forcing many to flee their homes with the situation further exacerbated by ongoing violence, the UN’s emergency-response agency said Thursday.

Torrential rains have caused rivers to overflow, deluging homes and farms in eight of South Sudan’s ten states, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a briefing note.

Emergency workers are using canoes and boats to reach cut-off populations, with over two-thirds of the affected areas now facing the risk of hunger as food prices shoot up, recording a 15-percent jump since August, the agency said.

“Schools, homes, health facilities and water sources were inundated, impacting people’s access to basic services.”

Some families have been able to flee to the capital Juba, while others have set up makeshift camps along highways, grabbing what few possessions they could from the ruins of their flimsy thatched huts.

In some parts of the country, violence between rival communities has forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes while also complicating emergency workers’ efforts to help flood-battered communities.

UN teams have struggled to get aid to Warrap, a northwestern state plagued by ethnic violence, which is now battling a measles outbreak.

Meanwhile, around 80,000 people have been uprooted from their homes in Western Equatoria state in the country’s southwest as a result of the fighting which erupted in June, OCHA said, with some fleeing to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The agency last month warned of limited supplies and a funding shortfall, saying that it had only received 54 percent of the $1.7 billion (1.4 billion euros) required to pay for programmes in the country.

Funding shortages have also forced the UN World Food Programme to suspend food aid to over 100,000 displaced people in South Sudan, the agency said last month, warning of further reductions unless it received more cash.

Four out of five of South Sudan’s 11 million people live in “absolute poverty”, according to the World Bank in 2018, while more than 60 percent of its population suffers from severe hunger from the combined effects of conflict, drought and floods.

Since achieving independence from Sudan in 2011, the young nation has been in the throes of a chronic economic and political crisis, and is struggling to recover from the aftermath of a five-year civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.

Although a 2018 ceasefire and power-sharing deal between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar still largely holds, it is being sorely tested, with little progress made in fulfilling the terms of the peace process.

AFP

South Sudanese Refugees Homeless Again After Sudan Floods

A South Sudanese refugee inspects a house, damaged due to floods, in the al-Qanaa village in Sudan’s southern White Nile state on September 14, 2021. (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)

 

 

South Sudanese refugee Dawood Kour fled to Sudan to turn the page on a life of displacement, only to be forced onto the streets once more after floodwaters submerged his rickety shelter. 

Kour crossed the border in November, fleeing years of conflict in his home city of Malakal — itself prone to flooding.

South Sudan became the world’s newest independent nation in 2011, seceding from Sudan. But in late 2013, it plunged into a devastating, five-year civil war that it has yet to fully recover from.

Since fleeing, Kour had lived in the Al-Qanaa camp, a growing community of around 35,000 refugees in the Al-Jabalain district of White Nile state.

But this month, Kour was displaced yet again as floodwaters inundated the camp. He moved to the nearest patch of dry land he could find — the roadside.

The waters rose so fast that “we had no time to collect our belongings,” Kour told AFP. “We only carried our children.”

“We now have no food, medication or anything to fight the swarms of mosquitoes.”

Over 288,000 residents and refugees have been affected in Sudan where heavy rains and flash floods have hit 13 of the 18 states, according to the United Nations.

Humanitarian needs have swelled, and been exacerbated by the disaster in neighbouring South Sudan too, where the deluge has affected and displaced about 426,000 people, the UN said.

In Sudan, thousands of refugees were relocated to different camps, while others took shelter in villages that were spared, but many are now living on the streets.

“They have become homeless,” said Ibrahim Mohamed, a senior official at Sudan’s refugee commission.

“We are facing a serious challenge of finding new land to relocate them to.”

 

South Sudanese refugees try to repair their hut in flooded waters from the White Nile at a refugee camp which was inundated after heavy rain near in al-Qanaa in southern Sudan, on September 14, 2021. – Nearly 50 villages have been submerged in southern Sudan, displacing some 65,000 people including South Sudanese refugees whose camp was inundated, the UN said in a report last week. (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)

 

– No food, shelter –
Torrential rains pummel Sudan annually between June and October.

The downpours often leave the country grappling with severe flooding that wrecks properties, infrastructure and crops.

Last year, Sudan declared a three-month state of emergency as flooding that the UN has called the country’s worst in a century left around 140 people dead and 900,000 affected.

So far this year, the floods have killed more than 80 people nationwide and damaged or destroyed around 35,000 homes, according to Sudanese authorities.

In the Al-Jabalain district, neither Sudanese villagers nor the refugees were prepared for the inundation.

“Villagers say they have not witnessed such floods in 40 years,” said Anwar Abushura, the head of Al-Qanaa camp.

Refugees desperately built a rudimentary dirt barrier to try to protect their shelters, Kour said.

“But the water arrived at such a fast pace, and the flood barrier collapsed within two days,” he said.

Many refugees had to make their way through the stagnant floodwater to salvage building materials and belongings from the collapsed shelters.

“We have no food or even rugs to sleep on,” said refugee David Bedi, 45, whose shelter was engulfed.

“We just want to build roofs over our children’s heads.”

– ‘Little chance’ –
Aid workers have warned of a looming outbreak of diseases among the doubly displaced refugees.

AFP saw some people bathing in the floodwater and using it to fill drinking containers.

Al-Qanaa camp head Abushura said they were expecting a “medical disaster”.

Around 150 refugees from Al-Qanaa and the nearby Al-Alagaya camp, including children, were diagnosed with malaria on Monday, according to figures compiled by Sudan’s refugee commission.

Darquos Manuel, 32, said food had been spoilt, “mosquitoes are eating the children and the rains continue to pour down even as we live on the streets”.

“There is little chance for survival under these conditions,” he said.

At Al-Alagaya camp, where many refugees were relocated, Nagwa James pointed to shelters that had buckled under the relentless torrents of water.

“We fear… we will get flooded the same way Al-Qanaa did,” the South Sudanese refugee said.

Conditions were already poor, “mosquitoes are everywhere and there are a lot of infections”, she added.

Mohamed Ali Abuselib, head of the camp, said refugees had been moved from low-lying areas.

But most are in the open, he added, “and we are expecting more floods”.

426,000 Affected By Flooding In South Sudan, Says UN

In this file photo taken on September 23, 2019, the United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall.  Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

Heavy flooding has affected and displaced about 426,000 people in South Sudan, including 185,000 children, as overflowing rivers deluged homes and farms in the impoverished country, the UN’s emergency-response agency said on Tuesday.

Emergency workers have used canoes and boats to reach people cut off by the deluge, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a briefing note, warning that more heavy rains and flooding were expected in the coming months.

The downpours “have exacerbated the vulnerability of communities, with many people displaced by the floods seeking refuge in churches and schools”, the agency said.

In Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, which is home to about a third of the flood-hit population, desperate farmers begged for help, as rising waters triggered by early seasonal rainfall submerged their houses and their land.

“Even the animals are being affected. All the places we use to graze them in are all flooded with water,” farmer Gatjiath Pal told AFP.

“Everywhere is water… and we don’t know when this will end because it is raining every day here,” he said.

Other villagers said they were frightened of being bitten by snakes as the deluge prompts the reptiles to seek shelter inside buildings.

“Life here is so miserable,” Nyadak Chuol, a mother of three, told AFP.

“The roads are getting blocked… water has come up to our houses. We are struggling every day now to find safe places to stay,” the 33-year-old said.

READ ALSO: ‘Failed’ Coup Attempt Reported In Sudan

“The worst thing is that… wild and dangerous animals like snakes are moving closer to us,” she added.

The heavy downpours have destroyed flimsy thatched huts and killed livestock, a year after record floods affected about 700,000 people.

Around 100,000 of those displaced in last year’s disaster have still not returned home, the UN agency said.

In addition to health facilities being damaged or destroyed by the floods, 113 schools have also been affected, putting children’s education at risk, it warned.

Meanwhile rescue teams are struggling to get aid to some 25,000 people in Warrap, a northwest state plagued by deadly conflict between rival ethnic groups.

Aid Cuts

OCHA last month warned of limited supplies and a funding shortfall, saying that it had only received 54 percent of the $1.7 billion (1.4 billion euros) required to pay for programmes in the country.

Funding shortages have also forced the UN World Food Programme to suspend food aid to over 100,000 displaced people in South Sudan, the agency said earlier this month, warning of further reductions unless it received more cash.

Four out of five of South Sudan’s 11 million people live in “absolute poverty”, according to the World Bank in 2018, while more than 60 percent of its population suffers from severe hunger from the combined effects of conflict, drought and floods.

Since achieving independence from Sudan in 2011, the young nation has been in the throes of a chronic economic and political crisis, and is struggling to recover from the aftermath of a five-year civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.

Although a 2018 ceasefire and power-sharing deal between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar still largely holds, it is being sorely tested, with little progress made in fulfilling the terms of the peace process.

AFP

380,000 Affected By Heavy Flooding In South Sudan, Says UN

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 23, 2019 the United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. The UN voiced alarm July 19, 2021 at reports that several governments used Israeli phone malware to spy on activists, journalists and others, stressing the urgent need for better regulation of surveillance technology.
Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

Heavy flooding has affected about 380,000 people in South Sudan, with overflowing rivers submerging homes and displacing families in the impoverished country, the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA said Tuesday.

Nearly three-quarters of those affected are in two states — Unity and Jonglei — OCHA said in a briefing note, warning of “more heavy rains and flooding expected in the coming months”.

“Access is a major challenge, with the majority of flood-affected areas inaccessible by road,” the agency said, with aid workers struggling to deliver supplies to displaced populations.

Michael Gai, who fled with his family to Jonglei’s capital Bor, said many people were unable to move to safer areas.

“The flooding is coming from all directions — east south, north and west,” he told AFP.

“Many people have left some of the flooded areas but there are some people who have been behind because of vulnerability, they cannot move out of the place,” he said. Elderly residents were in a particularly precarious condition, he added.

Rising waters triggered by early seasonal rainfall have deluged farmland, killing livestock and destroying flimsy thatched huts, a year after record floods affected some 700,000 people.

Around 100,000 of those displaced in last year’s disaster have still not returned home, while the relentless rainfall has left some agricultural land submerged for well over a year, OCHA said.

– Skyrocketing costs –

The devastation has also caused prices to skyrocket, with the damage to roads having sharply slowed down agricultural production and obstructed transport, said Bol Deng, a resident of Bor.

“The local production is very low… (transport) is kind of blocked so nothing is coming to the local markets,” he told AFP.

“So as a result things have become very expensive,” he added.

OCHA warned of limited supplies and a funding shortfall, saying more cash was “needed to scale up the response to reach communities affected by the combination of shocks”.

The agency said that it had only received 54 per cent of the $1.7 billion (1.4 billion euros) required to fund programmes in the country.

Four out of five of South Sudan’s 11 million people live in “absolute poverty”, according to the World Bank in 2018, while more than 60 percent of its population suffers from severe hunger from the combined effects of conflict, drought and floods.

Since achieving independence from Sudan in 2011, the young nation has been in the throes of a chronic economic and political crisis, and is struggling to recover from the aftermath of a five-year civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.

Although a 2018 ceasefire and power-sharing deal between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar still largely holds, it is being sorely tested, with little progress made in fulfilling the terms of the peace process.

AFP

South Sudan President Dissolves Parliament

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit attends the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, on February 10, 2020. MICHAEL TEWELDE / AFP
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit attends the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, on February 10, 2020. MICHAEL TEWELDE / AFP

 

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has dissolved parliament, opening the way for lawmakers from opposing sides of the country’s civil war to be appointed under a 2018 peace accord.

Kiir’s decision was announced on public television Saturday evening but no date was given as to when the new parliament will begin working.

The setting up of a new legislative body was part of an accord signed in September 2018 between Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar, for years on opposition sides during the five-year civil war that left 380,000 people dead and four million displaced.

Activists and civil society groups welcomed the dissolution of parliament, saying it was long overdue but also expressing distrust.

“It is a welcome development and we hope that the dissolution (will not) also open the way to a lengthy process towards reconstituting the parliament,” Jame David Kolock, chairman of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum.

“The civil society is getting frustrated and no longer believes that even if the parliament is reconstituted it will be a very viable parliament.”

In accordance with the 2018 accord, the new assembly will number 550 lawmakers, the majority — 332 — from Kiir’s governing SPLM party. The parliamentarians will not be elected but nominated by the different parties.

The dissolution of parliament came on the eve of a visit to the capital Juba by US special envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth.

“Of particular concern to the United States is the slow implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, ongoing violence, and deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions,” the US State Department said in a statement.

Kiir and Machar formed a coalition government on February 22, 2020 after nearly a year of delays.

However few provisions of the truce have been honoured, and analysts have warned of a return to war.

The oil-rich country remains severely underdeveloped and poorly managed.

Despite the peace deal, brutal communal conflicts — often over cattle raiding — continue, with more than 1,000 killed in violence between rival communities in the last six months of 2020.

AFP

Nigeria, Yemen, S.Sudan May Experience Famine, UN Warns

Small farmer and single mother Imelda Hicoombolwa removes weeds from her field in Kaumba on January 21, 2020. Imelda Hicoombolwa is part of a program managed by the World Food Program (WFP) that consists of facilitating the adoption of climate-smart agriculture on how to efficiently grow crops after a severe drought affected the region last year.
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: Small farmer and single mother Imelda Hicoombolwa removes weeds from her field in Kaumba, Zambia, on January 21, 2020.  PHOTO: Guillem Sartorio / AFP

 

Millions of people in conflict-hit Yemen, South Sudan, and northern Nigeria are at risk of famine in the coming months or already facing it, two United Nations agencies warned on Tuesday.

Existing acute food insecurity, heavy constraints on humanitarian access, conflict, economic blows, and climate shocks mean “urgent and at-scale targeted humanitarian action is needed to prevent hunger or death” in these areas, the groups said in a joint report.

The three areas were among 20 “hunger hotspots” identified by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) where existing acute food insecurity risks deteriorating further by July.

A specific sub-group — Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe — are, particularly at risk.

Parts of their populations are already experiencing “extreme depletion of livelihoods, insufficient food consumption, and high acute malnutrition”, the joint report warned.

“In such fragile contexts, any further shocks could push a significant number of people over the brink and into destitution and even starvation,” it said.

In parts of Jonglei state in South Sudan, the UN agencies said famine was already occurring, and “urgent, at-scale action is now needed to stop likely widespread starvation and death”.

Overall in South Sudan, some 7.2 million people are expected to be in a food crisis — with high malnutrition or just marginally meeting minimal food needs — from April to July.

Some 2.4 million people are classified as in an “emergency” situation, with 108,000 people in the agencies’ “catastrophe/famine” grouping.

Urgent action is also required to prevent further destitution in parts of Yemen, the report said, with the number of people in or nearly in famine estimated to triple from 16,000 last October-December to more than 47,000 this June.

Those facing acute food insecurity in Yemen will rise by three million, it said, to 16.2 million people, with five million in an emergency situation.

 

 – Conflicts, food insecurity –

Meanwhile, in conflict-affected areas of northern Nigeria, the number of people facing an emergency situation will likely double year on year to over 1.2 million by August 2021.

“Overall, in the next six months, northern Nigeria is expected to face a marked deterioration of food security and nutrition, due to conflict and economic factors, aggravated by the secondary effects of COVID-19,” it said.

There was some improvement — last November, the UN agencies classed Burkina Faso as a fourth country at risk of famine alongside South Sudan, Yemen and northern Nigeria.

But the alert in Burkina Faso had slightly lowered for the coming months, after a good harvest and improved delivery of food assistance to remote and inaccessible areas.

Continued conflict in the zone, however, means the situation “remains very concerning.”

AFP

At Least Ten People Killed In South Sudan Plane Crash

South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.
South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.

 

At least ten people, including the two pilots, died when a plane crashed at an airstrip in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, the region’s governor and the airline said.

The airline said all aboard the commercial plane died late afternoon Tuesday when it took off from the airstrip at Pieri on a return flight to Juba.

It could not give a specific death toll, saying up to 24 people could have been on the flight.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram ‘Directly Targeted’ Aid Facilities In Borno, Says UN

“It was with great shock and horror to receive the news of the plane crash (HK-4274) of South Sudan Supreme Airline,” Governor Denay Jock Chagor said in a statement sent to AFP Wednesday.

“Ten people including the two pilots lost their lives,” he added.

Ayii Duang Ayii, director of South Supreme Airlines, told AFP Wednesday that it was “not clear how many people” were on board the flight.

“But the first information communicated to us was that there were 11 people on board,” the director said.

“We are still working to send a team… to establish for us the facts. All on board died,” he said.

“The plane left to Pieri well, landed well and when it was taking off back to Juba that was when it crashed,” Ayii Duang Ayii added.

AFP

South Sudan Bans Religious, Political Events As COVID-19 Cases Soar

Airport staff members disinfect Juba International Airport in Juba, South Sudan on April 3, 2020. An aircraft that landed in Juba, along with the country’s main airport, were disinfected of any potential traces of COVID-19 coronavirus after hosting passengers who had recently arrived in South Sudan from neighbouring Sudan.
Alex McBride / AFP

 

South Sudan has ordered a ban on religious and political events and closed most schools after a rise in coronavirus cases in the country.

Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, one of South Sudan’s vice presidents, announced the measures late Wednesday for one month “due to the recent surge in the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.”

The previous three days, South Sudan recorded some of its highest Covid-19 figures, with 39 testings positive on Monday, 54 on Tuesday, and 37 on Wednesday.

Overall the east African nation — which achieved independence almost a decade ago and has been crippled by conflict, chronic underdevelopment and hunger — has registered 4,267 cases and 66 deaths.

However, only around 90,000 tests have been conducted among an estimated population of 12 million. Most of the cases have been in the capital Juba and in Nimule, which borders Uganda.

Cases have also been detected in the country’s vast camps sheltering internally displaced people.

Akol said all social gatherings such as church and mosque services and political events have been banned, and schools will be closed except for classes holding exams.

All passengers travelling to South Sudan must present negative Covid-19 test results.

In addition, the council of ministers is to hold extraordinary meetings only.

“The national taskforce instructs the law enforcement agencies to take immediate action to impose the order,” Akol said.

Like many countries in the region, South Sudan imposed strict measures after the first cases emerged, shutting borders, limiting internal transport and closing shops and restaurants which were only allowed to offer take-away.

The measures were in place from March until May last year.

Since then life had returned to normal, with no wearing of face masks, social distancing or use of sanitiser in public places.

-AFP

UN Says Over 1,000 Killed In Six Months In South Sudan

south sudan
File photo of a South Sudan soldier holding his rifle.

 

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said on Tuesday that more than 1,000 people have been killed and 400 abducted in communal conflicts in the past six months.

South Sudan is struggling to emerge from six years of conflict which formally ended with the creation of a power-sharing government in February.

Violence has soared in recent months between rival communities, often over cattle raiding which leads to cycles of brutal revenge killings.

READ ALSO: New Vaccine Breakthrough Lifts Global Hope Against Pandemic

“More than 1,000 people died in Warrap in the past six months … there are a lot of people who want to go on and carry out revenge attacks for those that have died,” UN special envoy David Shearer said.

Shearer warned that once the dry season arrives in January, the potential for further conflict in the central state was high.

Meanwhile in eastern Jonglei, “hundreds” died in fighting this year “and more than 400 people were abducted”.

“The potential for conflict in Jonglei as a result … is very very high,” said Shearer.

He called for dialogue between communities and said UNMISS would deploy peacekeepers to several temporary bases in some of the hotspots for violence.

Observers have warned that the communal violence risked derailing a peace agreement signed in September 2018 to end the war that killed nearly 400,000 people.

Key tenets of the deal, such as the unification of warring forces under one army, remain stuck.

AFP

South Sudan Politicians Embezzled $36mn – UN Panel

 

High-ranking politicians and bureaucrats in South Sudan have siphoned off at least $36 million in public funds, sometimes with the connivance of international corporations and banks, a UN commission said on Wednesday. 

The report by the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan came six days after President Salva Kiir fired the country’s finance minister, the head of the tax-gathering National Revenue Authority as well as the director of the state-owned oil company.

“Our Commission has uncovered brazen embezzlement by senior politicians and government officials, together with a number of entities linked to the government,” the panel’s chairperson, Yasmin Sooka, said.

“We can reveal the misappropriation of a staggering $36 million since 2016. It is worth noting this is just what we were able to trace and may not reflect the whole picture.”

The figure relates to illegal financial movements from the ministry of finance and economic planning and from the National Revenue Authority, she said in a statement to the UN’s Human Rights Council.

“Shockingly, these South Sudanese bodies have been aided and abetted in these crimes by a number of international corporations and multinational banks. Some of this money has been laundered through the purchase of properties abroad. Indeed, those properties may well be in your countries.”

The commission, set up in 2016, has previously accused South Sudan politicians of pocketing state funds, but the latest report provides its most detailed allegations yet.

South Sudan is struggling to cope with the aftermath of a six-year civil war that left around 380,000 people dead and crippled the output of crude oil, which accounts for more than 90 percent of state revenue.

“South Sudan is a country where lives are being destroyed by financial corruption on an epic scale,” Sooka said.

“Looting and pillage aren’t just offshoots of war –- they are arguably the main drivers of the conflict.

“At one end of the spectrum, South Sudan’s political elites are fighting for control of the country’s oil and mineral resources, in the process stealing their people’s future,” she said.

“At the other, the soldiers in this conflict over resources are offered the chance to abduct and rape women in lieu of salaries. The eight-year-old girl gang-raped in front of her parents is the collateral damage.”

The September 17 reshuffle at the finance ministry, revenue authority, and Nile Petroleum Corporation (NilePet) came after South Sudan’s reserves of foreign currency crashed, prompting a 37-percent slump in the value of the South Sudanese pound against the US dollar.

AFP

UN Expert Urges FBI To Probe Reporter’s Death In South Sudan

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

Three years on from the killing of US-British journalist Christopher Allen in South Sudan, a UN rights expert on Tuesday urged the FBI to step up and conduct an investigation.

Allen, 26, a freelance reporter, was embedded with rebel fighters and fatally shot in the head during a battle with the South Sudanese army in late August 2017.

“The fact that for three whole years there has been no independent investigation into Mr. Allen’s killing sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“The governments of South Sudan and the United States can and must take steps to ensure that the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s murder are fully, independently and fearlessly investigated,” she said in a statement.

“The FBI has a duty, both legal and moral, to investigate Mr. Allen’s killing because of well-founded suspicions that war crimes may have been committed by members of South Sudanese forces,” she said.

United Nations experts do not speak for the UN but report their findings to it.

South Sudan’s six-year civil war erupted in December 2013, just two years after it obtained independence from Sudan. The war left 380,000 dead and millions displaced.

Callamard said at least 10 other journalists had been killed with impunity during the civil war.

“Mr. Allen’s murder is indicative of the wider climate of hostility towards journalists in the country,” she said.

The rapporteur noted she had written to the South Sudanese authorities on January 30 this year asking about an investigation but had received no response.

Washington said it had raised concerns with the South Sudan government, while London voiced concerns about the lack of an investigation, said Callamard.

She, therefore, urged the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct its own inquiry.

AFP

Seven Killed In South Sudan Plane Crash

South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.
South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.

 

Four passengers and three crew were killed Saturday when a cargo plane belonging to a local operator crashed near South Sudan’s capital Juba, the transport minister said.

The aircraft crashed shortly after its early morning takeoff in the Kameru neighbourhood around seven kilometres west of the city’s international airport.

“There were eight people on board, three passengers and five crew. A single person from among the passengers survived and she is in good health,” Transport Minister Madut Biar Yol told AFP.

“The four other passengers and the three crew members are dead.”

According to the minister, the crew members were Russian while the passengers were all South Sudanese.

The plane owned by local company South West Aviation had been carrying cash to the Wau region in the country’s northwest for Juba-based Opportunity Bank.

 

AFP