Tag Archives: South Sudan

Pontifex calls for peace ending conflicts and “carnage”

Pope Francis, in his traditional Easter address called for peace in the Holy Land two days after 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border, saying the conflict there “does not spare the defenseless”.

Pontifex made his appeal in his “Urbi et Orbi” – to the city and the world – message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to believers in the flower-bedecked square below where he earlier celebrated a Mass.

Further in his speech he also appealed for an end to the “carnage” in Syria, calling for humanitarian aid to be allowed to enter, and for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Pope Francis led an Easter vigil service, baptizing eight adults, including a undocumented Nigerian migrant beggar who came into public eye when he disarmed an Italian thief wielding a cleaver.

The baptism took place during a long Holy Saturday, or Easter eve, Mass for some 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

Conflict-famine link

The United Nations has declared famine in parts of South Sudan and warned that more than 20 million people risk dying from starvation because of drought and conflict in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northeast Nigeria, while more than 100 million face acute malnutrition worldwide.

Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official underlined the link between conflict and famine. “Those (hunger crises) all share this terrible and devastating commonality: violence and conflict which have contributed to or directly caused famine risk conditions,” he said.

A decade ago most international aid organizations focused almost 80% of their resources on natural disaster threats and the rest on “manmade humanitarian risks”, but it is now the other way around, he said.

 

Horn of Africa in focus of EU foreign ministers

The Foreign Affaris Council, 15.05.2017 will take stock of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence, in particular on the civilian aspects. Defence ministers will also have a discussion on this topic at the Foreign Affairs Council (Defence) on 18 May.

The Council will discuss the situation in the Horn of Africa, a region facing destabilisation, in particular in Somalia and South Sudan. The discussion is expected to focus on the political and security challenges, including the implications of the situation in the wider region, across the Red Sea.

The Council will examine EU-Africa relations based on a joint communication by the High Representative and the Commission for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership. The discussion will feed into the preparation of the EU-Africa Summit in November.

Foreign Affairs ministers will have a lunch discussion with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission who took office on 14 March 2017.

Foreign ministers will also review the Eastern Partnership ahead of the Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting on 19 June in Luxembourg and the Eastern Partnership Summit foreseen on 24 November in Brussels.

UN: 20 million facing famine

Famine Africa

The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine, the U.N. humanitarian chief said.

Stephen O’Brien told the U.N. Security Council that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.”

He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”

“To be precise,” O’Brien said, “we need $4.4 billion by July.”

Without a major infusion of money, he said, children will be stunted by severe malnutrition and won’t be able to go to school, gains in economic development will be reversed and “livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost.”

 

 

 

 

 

EU aid to South Sudan famine

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Today the European Commission has announced an emergency aid package worth €82 million as famine has been declared in South Sudan for the first time since the country gained independence in 2011.

One hundred thousand people are facing starvation in parts of the country while 40 per cent of the population (4.9 million people) is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

“The humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan is entirely man made. Urgent action is needed to prevent more people from dying of hunger, – announcing the funding, Commissioner Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said. 

I have seen for myself the impact of this crisis when visiting South Sudan and neighbouring countries such as Uganda, and I’m ready to return to the region. Crucially what matters is that all parties allow humanitarian organisations to have immediate and full access to do their job and deliver aid. Ultimately it is only by laying down arms that the country can be rebuilt and that the hopes that came with independence can be fulfilled.”

The new EU humanitarian aid package will be used for the most urgent needs in the country and help neighbouring countries cope with the massive influx of refugees.

To date, the European Commission has made more than €381 million available to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan since fighting erupted in December 2013.

South Sudan: EU calls to end violence

south-sudan-boys

The Council adopted conclusions on South Sudan, in light of the profoundly disturbing developments in the country. The Council called on all parties to lay down their arms and to take decisive steps to end violence, as a last chance for political and military leaders to avoid the resumption of war, to spare their people further suffering and to find a just and inclusive political settlement of their differences.

The Council called upon the transitional government to uphold its responsibility for the protection of civilians and on all parties to put an end to violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law.

Foreign ministers focus on Latin America and Africa

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the ECJohn Paul II School in Wau, South Sudan

Today the EU foreign ministers gather at the Council in Brussels to discuss relations with Latin  America and African countries, namely with Cuba, and Colombia, the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. The state of affairs in Syria, and migrant cirisis. Ahead of the meeting, the EU and Cuba representatives will sign the Political dialogue and cooperation agreement.

The EU relations with Cuba were governed by the  Common Position, but have deepened significantly since the re-launch of political dialogue and cooperation in 2008. The repeal of the Common Position and the upcoming signature of the Political Deialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba will mark an significant new phase of bilateral relations. All 28 EU Member States maintain bilateral diplomatic relations with Cuba.  An EU representation office was opened in Havana in 2003, and upgraded into a fully-fledged Delegation in 2008.

The deabate on the relations with African countries will follow, focusing on the next EU-Africa Summit which will be held in autumn 2017. The speical debate of Democratic Republic of Congo will take place, in view of imposing sanctions similar to the US, already targeting three general for crack down on demonstrations and democratic developments. The EU foreign ministers are awaited to impose assets freezes and travel bans on a number of Congolese officials directly responsible for violent supression of anti-government demonstrations in September, causing physical damages and loss of human lives.

The Council is also expected to disscuss the dramatic developments in South Soudan. The recent report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights delegation concluded that the South Soudan actual state of affairs is containting the dangerous similarities to the develompents in Rwanda, preceeding the genocide. The delegation informed that the violence was at the point of ‘no return’. The foreign reporters were deported after critical reviews on government officials, supposedly involved in ethinic cleansing.

Over lunch, ministers will follow up on developments in Syria.

Ahead of the European Council on 15 December, the Council will discuss migration, focusing on the implementation of the Valletta commitments. After the Council meeting, ministers will have an informal discussion with President Santos of Colombia. This will be followed by the signature of the constitutive agreement of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia.

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC: http://europa.eu/!Cc99Wq