Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sudan News Bulletin: 2.7 Million People Facing Starvation Amid Renewed Conflict in the South

S. SUDAN: 2.7m people on the brink of starvation

Posted on Tuesday 26 April 2011 - 15:10
Evans Wafula, AfricaNews contributor in Nairobi, Kenya

It is a rush for food in Southern Sudan as 2.7 million people face food shortage and a looming disease epidemic. The government and humanitarian agencies are crippling with the effects of server hunger and crop failure as the number of returnees from the north continue to flock the dusty farm fields in the South.

The situation in South Sudan’s Central Equatorial paints a stark picture of malnourished children and failed crop. This has prompted the global child rights organization Plan International to launch a food distribution exercise in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State to avert a looming human catersophy. The three months exercise, will ensure essential food stuff is distributed.

According to plan, potions of cereal and beans food rations will be distributed to returnees, mostly children and women, in the acute food deficit Rokon Payam district.

“Juba County in Central Equatoria is considered to have severe cases of acute food shortages. The areas that require immediate intervention include Rokon Payam and Dolo Payams. We are focusing on Rokon Payam. We are currently providing food but we will soon start distributing seeds and farming tools as well as providing water, sanitation and hygiene services; education and protection of children,” Plan International’s Director in South Sudan, Fikru Abebe, said.

Thousands of returnees are faced with unprecedented challenges from lack of basic amenities to shortage of food stuff and the situation is expected to worsen as experts’ project many returnees are expected to enter South Sudan in the coming months.

The UNHCR estimated that between 850 000 to 1 500 000 have returned to the South leading to an estimated 2.7 million people depend on food aid.

According to Plan International, Central Equatoria which is home to the South Sudan capital Juba is feeling the pinch as the social services are failing to cope with the influx. More schools, health services and food are needed for the returnees.

Although the government has allocated land to some of the returnees, crop failure has been reported in some areas due to continued instability and pockets of conflict which deter farmers from planting.

Migrant leaders fear more strife

Nino Bucci
April 27, 2011

VIOLENT young Sudanese men will continue to wreak havoc unless the state government improves its relationship with youth service providers, community leaders have warned.

In two nights of drunken brawls in Melbourne's west two police officers and several Sudanese men suffered injuries.

Police were called to a fight between two small groups in Braybrook about 1.40am yesterday and were set upon by as many as 100 people who had been drinking in Pennell Reserve, Burke Street. One officer was punched in the face and another was hit in the head with a bottle before the pair retreated and called for help.

The attack came less than 24 hours after Sudanese youths wielding machetes and bike chains clashed in Clayton after a beauty pageant.

Superintendent John Hendrickson said police would investigate if the two incidents were linked.

Multicultural Sudanese Centre manager Elhadi Abass said fractured relationships between state government and community groups were leaving African refugees behind.

He said the problem would only get worse unless funding was provided for programs targeting young Sudanese men.

''Some of them were adopted, they have no mother and father, they leave school early, and they become involved in crime,'' Mr Abass said.

''We are trying to get through to them but we have no budget. We find ourselves asking, 'How will the state government help us?' ''

A state government spokesman said several commitments had been made to working with multicultural groups, but he could not confirm if the government funded any programs that directly supported young Sudanese men.

The weekend of violence started at Sunday night's after party for the annual Miss South Sudan pageant, held on Saturday night.

During the clashes with police a divisional van was badly damaged after being pelted with rocks and bottles, Superintendent Hendrickson said. ''I think it's disgraceful our members should have to face large groups of alcohol-fuelled youths when they're going about their duty to protect the community.''

Critical incident response team members were called to Pennell Reserve yesterday, but Superintendent Hendrickson said police did not believe more resources were needed to deal specifically with Sudanese youth.

The injured officers were treated and were able to complete their shifts. A 22-year-old Clayton man with cuts to his leg and arm was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and was expected to have surgery yesterday.

Two men were arrested for drinking in a public place, but no arrests have been made in relation to the assaults on either night.

Empty bottles of spirits and broken glass were scattered on the reserve yesterday, with a trail of blood on the rear entrance to the Duke Street Business Park opposite.

Kymlee Le, who owns a fashion outlet in the business park, said wild parties were held there most weekends. She said her shop windows had been damaged five times in the past four years.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/migrant-leaders-fear-more-strife-20110426-1dv5h.html#ixzz1KfDe8pk6

Official: Militia leader who clashed with Southern Sudan army surrenders

By: Pm-To-Js, The Associated Press
Posted: 04/26/2011 12:41 PM

JUBA, Sudan - A Southern Sudanese official says a rebel leader whose militia group clashed with the Southern Sudan's army last week has surrendered.

Army spokesman Brig. Malaak Ayuen said militia leader Maj. Gen. Gabriel Tanginye and his deputy Maj. Gen Mabor Dhel were flown to Juba, the southern capital, on Tuesday after they surrendered on Sunday.

Tanginye's forces clashed with the Southern Sudanese army on Saturday in Jonglei state, leading to 57 deaths.

Tanginye was a warlord sponsored by the north during the decades-long north-south civil war, and he was aligned with the north after a 2005 peace deal ended the war. Late last year Tanginye accepted amnesty from the southern government but his fighters battled southern troops last week.

South Sudan clashes kill 165 in a week : army
Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:24am GMT
By Jeremy Clarke

JUBA, Sudan (Reuters) - At least 165 people have been killed in the past week in fighting between south Sudan's army and militia, the army said on Monday, part of a wave of violence in the territory ahead of its independence in July.

Forces loyal to two renegade army commanders fought the southern army (SPLA) in Jonglei and Unity states, killing soldiers, rebels, northern tribesman and civilians, SPLA spokesman Malaak Ayuen said.

South Sudanese voted in January to separate from the north, which will split Africa's largest nation in July. The poll was promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

Analysts say the oil-producing south could become a failed state after independence and destabilise the whole region.

This year the SPLA has been at war with at least seven rebel militia, while the region is racked by traditional tribal conflicts and faces routine raids in its west from Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebels, the United Nations says.

The violence in nine of the south's 10 states has killed more than 800 people -- excluding those who died in the last two weeks -- and displaced nearly 100,000 people, it said.


Ayuen said an offensive in Unity state by renegade SPLA officer Peter Gadet since Tuesday has killed 101 people.

"In the fighting in Unity state, we have lost 26 SPLA soldiers and at least 70 rebels have been killed, probably more," he said, adding the figures did not include a clash on Sunday when the SPLA pursued the rebels towards the border with the north.

Three women and two children were killed after being caught in the crossfire, while the other dead were fighters, he said.

The semi-autonomous southern government accuses Khartoum of supporting and mobilising the militias against Juba to create instability and keep the south weak and reliant on the north's oil infra structure. Khartoum denies the allegation.

Some 75 percent of Sudan's 500,000 bpd oil production comes from the south but the refineries and port are in the north.

Gadet's rebels say they are fighting to overthrow the southern government, which they say is corrupt and neglects tribal minorities and rural communities.

"We are still on the offensive, we are defeating the SPLA in Unity state. We have captured 19 SPLA soldiers and killed many. We don't know how many exactly but it is a very big number," Gadet's spokesman Bol Gatkouth told Reuters on Monday.

The top U.N. humanitarian official in Sudan Georg Charpentier in a statement on Monday expressed concern that two staff members from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) were missing after the SPLA commandeered their vehicles and forced them to drive into an active conflict area in Unity.

Oil production in the state was disrupted by the violence, according to state officials, who said they first expelled then re-admitted northern Sudanese workers to oil areas, underscoring the threat insecurity poses to the economy.

In Jonglei, the SPLA clashed on Saturday with forces loyal to renegade commander Gabriel Tang, killing 64, Ayuen said.

"The SPLA lost seven soldiers and 57 rebels were killed," Ayuen said, adding Tang had now surrendered along with at least 1,300 fighters. It was not clear whether Tang would be granted an amnesty the president has offered previously to all rebels.

Ayuen said civilian casualties were low in Jonglei because the fighting had not been in residential areas, but officials in nearby Malakal reported dozens of wounded civilians.

Both the SPLA and rebel militia have been accused of human rights violations in the ongoing crisis, which the SPLA denies.

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