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UK Continues to Support Most Vulnerable in Sudan Through Cash Assistance (21.08.2017)

KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 21, 2017 –  The United Kingdom has contributed £4.5 million (US$5.8 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide essential food assistance to nearly 370,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Darfur for two months.

The Department for International Development (DFID) contribution will allow WFP to support IDPs through cash-based transfers, which will provide people with vouchers and e-cards so they can buy food and essential supplies of their choice at contracted local traders.

“The UK Government is committed to working with WFP to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people within Sudan,” said Acting Head of DFID Sudan Kate Orrick. “We have provided a total of £53.5 million to WFP since 2013, providing vital assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and enabling them to start rebuilding their lives.” 

“The use of cash and vouchers enables greater choice and dignity for vulnerable Sudanese, stimulates the local economy, and has the greatest positive impact on those receiving our support,” Orrick added.

WFP will use the contribution to support 288,000 IDPs in North and West Darfur states and nearly 81,000 IDPs in Otash camp, located in South Darfur state.

“We are grateful to the people and Government of the UK for this contribution towards our cash programmes, which is a more efficient form of assistance and allows for greater autonomy and dignity while providing a lifeline to those most in need,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth.

With UK support, WFP successfully launched the first cash programme in Sudan last year in Otash camp in South Darfur. During the pilot phase of the cash transfer programme (October 2016 to March 2017), nearly 75,000 IDPs in Otash camp received approximately US$37.50 per person for five months. The assistance was provided through a prepaid card swiped against a Point of Service (POS) device at pre-selected shops.

In Sudan, the introduction of vouchers in 2009 and cash assistance in 2016 continues to transform the relationship between vulnerable displaced people and their food needs. Cash-based assistance provides people with greater choice of food items and access to locally-preferred ingredients, while stimulating the local economy and supporting WFP’s needs-based approach in a protracted crisis. Over the past six years, WFP in Sudan has expanded the use of cash over regular food distributions. Evidence gathered through ongoing monitoring and feedback from people receiving WFP support shows that cash-based transfers are generally the preferred form of assistance.

Throughout 2017, WFP plans to support more than four million vulnerable people in Sudan, including IDPs, refugees, people affected by climate change and host communities. WFP provides such support through a range of activities, including emergency food assistance, cash-based transfers (or vouchers), nutritional support, and resilience-building activities to help communities become increasingly independent.

Burundi: CNARED-GIRITEKA – Communique de Presse (17.08.2017)

Burundi: Communique de Presse No. 18/Olucome/08/2017 – Portant Sur la Priere Interconfessionelle Organisee par le Parti au Pouvoir CNDD-FDD (17.08.2017)

IGAD Revitalizing South Sudan Peace Process (18.08.2017)

Drought-stricken herders in Ethiopia need urgent support (11.08.2017)

Pastoralist communities are facing huge losses of livestock.

ROME, Italy, August 11, 2017 – Supporting herders to get back on their feet and preventing further livestock losses and suffering are crucial in drought-hit Ethiopia where hunger has been on the rise this year, warned today the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Drought has devastated herders’ livelihoods as it exhausted pastures and water sources, leading to a significant number of animals dying or falling ill, particularly in the southern and southeastern regions of the country as other areas recover from previous seasons’ El Niño-induced drought.

Drought-hit pastoralists face reduced milk production, rising malnutrition, and have limited income-earning capacity and severely constrained access to food.

Some 8.5 million people – one in 12 people – are now suffering from hunger; of these, 3.3 million people live in Somali Region.

The current food and nutrition crisis is significantly aggravated by the severe blow to pastoral livelihoods. For livestock-dependent families, the animals can literally mean the difference between life and death, especially for children, pregnant and nursing women for whom milk is a crucial source of nutrition.

With up to 2 million animals lost so far, FAO is focusing on providing emergency livestock support to the most vulnerable pastoralist communities through animal vaccination and treatment, supplementary feed and water, rehabilitating water points, and supporting fodder and feed production.

“It is crucial to provide this support between now and October – when rains are due – to begin the recovery process and prevent further losses of animals. If we don’t act now, hunger and malnutrition will only get worse among pastoral communities,” said Abdoul Karim Bah, FAO Deputy Representative in Ethiopia.

By providing supplementary feed and water for livestock, while at the  same time supporting fodder production, FAO seeks to protect core breeding animals and enable drought-hit families to rebuild their livelihoods. Animal health campaigns will be reinforced to protect animals, particularly before the rains set in, when they are at their weakest and more susceptible to parasites or infectious diseases. FAO-supported destocking and cash-for-work programmes will also provide a crucial source of cash for families.

Funding appeal

FAO urgently requires US$ 20 million between August and December to come to the aid of Ethiopia’s farmers and herders.

FAO has already assisted almost 500,000 drought-hit people in 2017 through a mix of livestock feed provision, destocking and animal health interventions, thanks to the support of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden through FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, as well as FAO’s own Early Warning Early Action fund and Technical Cooperation Programme.

UN Peacekeeping Mission Head insists on “zero tolerance approach” to militarization of South Sudan’s displaced people camps (10.08.2017)

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 10, 2017 – The Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has insisted that the mission maintains a “zero tolerance approach” to the militarization of camps for people displaced by conflict and that the camps remain civilian in nature.

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking in Bentiu in the north of the country, where some 115,000 people are currently living in the Mission’s largest Protection of Civilians site or POC.

Last month, 22 armed men in civilian clothes were taken into custody by Mongolian peacekeepers, after they tried to break into the camp to seek shelter from fighting.

“The only way to keep women and children safe in this camp and others is to make sure they do not become militarized,” Mr Shearer said.

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

“Undoubtedly, UNMISS has saved tens of thousands of lives by providing these sanctuaries from violence, but ultimately,” Mr Shearer added “we need to find a longer-term solution so that these people can return home and live productive lives.”

“Only those people in imminent danger and whose lives are at risk should be sheltering in these sites,” the UNMISS Head said.

UN Police Officers are working with community groups in the POC sites to ensure that military groups are unable to find refuge there.

“UNMISS is stepping up peacekeeping patrols outside many of its POC sites to build confidence for local people to return home,” said David Shearer. “That needs to go hand in hand with the efforts of humanitarian agencies to provide targeted assistance to surrounding communities to support that return.”

Southern Sudan Associated Advocates letter to the Kenyan Embassy: “Re: Targeting of South Sudanese in Kenya” (04.08.2017)

Opinion: President Kagame won with 98.66%, just like his predecessors Kayibanda and Habyarimana!

Its been 17 years of RPF rule and will be 7 more years with President Paul Kagame. The ones that thought differently has lived under a rock and thought the whole world would stop spinning. The world stop and the hearts would stop pumping if there was a different result at this point. This was massaged and made ready for the world. The whole campaign and the race to the polls. You don’t manage a race of significance and get 98% by coincidence, that is measured and made sure off. Just like the Presidents before him.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame took a major early lead in Friday’s presidential polls with 5,433,890 votes (98.66 per cent) of the total votes counted by 12:30am. By press time (around 1am), the National Electoral Commission had managed to count about 80 per cent of the votes cast (5,498,414 votes) from 1,732 polling stations. There were 2,340 polling stations across the country. Independent candidate Phillippe Mpayimana was in a distant second having just garnered 39,620 votes (about 0.72 per cent). Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, trailed with a measly 24,904 votes, which is 0.45 per cent of the votes counted” (Mwai, 2017).

Because if looks into the Rwandan election history, it is not like the history isn’t telling of similar elections like the one seen this week. Not like the Republic of Rwanda has different results. If you go back to voting on the monarchy in September 25th 1961, if the Kingdom should be preserved it got 78,5%. So the people abolished it 1961 and the other ballot if the King Kigeri V to remain king or had to abdicate, the result that day was 79,60 % who voted him to become a civilian. So even in the 1960s the now Republic voted in high numbers for one thing.

The President George Kayibanda was voted for in 1965 election and he was elected unopposed with 100% support. The same happen in 1969. When Kayibanda was reelected. Then again it took sometime before the next election.

In an unopposed election of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the 24th December 1978, where he got 98,99 %. Again on the 19th December 1983 he got reelected and was unopposed who got 99,97%. The third election with President Habyarimana, again went unopposed on the 19th December 1988, that time he got 99,98%.

After that, there been lots of issues and the civil war, that ended in genocide in 1994. When the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), who became the leading party Rwanda Patriotic Front. In the first Presidential election after the genocide, it was in 2003, when President Paul Kagame got 95,05%. So 7 years later in 2010, the incumbent President got 93,08%.

Now in 2017 and unleashing yet another term for the Rwandan President, who follows his predecessors. The ones that was overthrown and killed. These took so much control that they created a violent legacy. Certainly, President Kagame doesn’t want that, but he is following the footsteps of the leaders in the past. Nothing with is different from them, just another name and another time, but with the same controlling state and dark secrets. Kagame got this year 98,66% in the Presidential Election in 2017. Which, is very much alike like Habyarimana, who was shot down while flying in the 1990s. While the death of Kayibanda is still unknown. Therefore, if Kagame follows his predecessors it will end in genocide and a horrible assassination.

Not that we wish that, but the history repeats itself, as seen with the election and state control of society. As well, as internal affairs are controlled from the state. To way that even banished the World Bank from studying the poverty and analyze it to create programs to fight it. This was because the Rwandan state wanted to control the numbers and make sure the propaganda was fitting the vision of Kagame. Therefore, nothing is surprising.

That Kagame got 98% in the election was waited, just like the generations in the past expected Habyarimana and Kayibanda to win with overwhelming numbers. It is all repeating itself and going in circles. To overlook that is to be blind and trying to overshadow the history, which is the propaganda of the state. But that is to be expected. Peace.

Reference:

African Elections – ‘Elections in Rwanda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/rw.html

Mwai, Collins – ‘Kagame wins presidential poll’ (05.08.2017) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/217433/

In South Sudan, UN peacekeeping chief pledges support to displaced civilians in Malakal (04.08.2017)

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 4, 2017 – Having witnessed first-hand various security challenges and humanitarian efforts in South Sudan, the United Nations peacekeeping chief has wrapped up his three-day mission to the country, which included a visit to the UN Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, where he expressed the Organization’s resolve to support the return to stability.

“We are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations said after visiting Malakal.

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013. A brokered peace deal signed in August 2015 has not completely taken hold, causing hundreds of thousands to flee amidst burgeoning humanitarian challenges.

Mr. Lacroix visited the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, where 30,000 people struggle to survive. Since its formation, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) site has offered refuge to countless South Sudanese escaping conflict around their homes.

Troops on the ground briefed him on various security concerns, obstacles and humanitarian efforts underway to assist the local population.

“My visit to Malakal was quite informative on the efforts that are being made to support the population there – the IDPs – but also the population as a whole, irrespective of their affiliation,” he maintained.

Through a translator, one IDP living there since December 2013 said, “in this camp we are secure,” adding “but still we need more security and peace in this country.”

Accompanied by Special Representative of the Secretary-General David Shearer, Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN peacekeeping chief spoke with local authorities, as well as the UNMISS team and representatives of UN agencies, both on the humanitarian and development sides.

“We had a good meeting with local authorities in Malakal and we agreed that we should continue to work together and increase our cooperation in order to help the return of stability and also generate better opportunities for the population there,” elaborated Mr. Lacroix.

During the meeting, Peter Col Wal, speaker of the Upper Nile state assembly, urged UNMISS to support peace activities in his state.

Today in the capital, Juba, after wrapping up his three-day visit to the country, Mr. Lacroix reiterated, at his final press conference, the importance of the initiative led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) aimed to revitalize the peace agreement.

“Clearly it is a very important and positive thing that the countries in the region are being more engaged in helping South Sudan return to peace,” he said. “The UN has welcomed and supported this new engagement by the IGAD and looks forward to that process moving forward.”

He noted that the UN would continue to closely follow the national dialogue process to ensure that it is conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner, saying that it “can be a helpful instrument in bringing together stakeholders and helping them resolve their differences especially at the local level.”

The peacekeeping chief also called on all parties to stop fighting and to make all efforts towards a cessation of hostilities.

Finally, Mr. Lacroix expressed concern about the dire humanitarian situation and reiterated that the UN is working impartially to help everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliation.

“The UN is acting impartially in helping everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of their ethnic or religious or any other affiliations. I really appreciate that this impartiality was recognized by the leadership during my meetings with them. So we are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” he said.

 

South Sudan: SPLM-FPD statement on Martyrs Day 2017 (31.07.2017)

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