More than half the population is at risk of starvation
According to businesscarriers, about six out of ten South Sudanese are at risk of severe hunger in the first half of 2021, warns the government and UN agencies. An estimated 1.4 million children are at risk of malnutrition by the middle of the year. The serious situation has several causes, above all that acts of war are still going on in the pockets of the country and that people there are being forced to flee, as well as weeds due to floods and droughts. The authorities also mention other causes: the corona pandemic, the economic crisis, attacks by locust swarms and insufficient humanitarian aid.
Violence between ethnic groups is increasing
In the past six months, more than 1,000 people have been killed and 400 abducted in violent clashes between ethnic groups in the state of Warrap, the UN mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) reports. The violence is often about theft of livestock with subsequent retaliatory actions. In Jonglei, the fighting has claimed hundreds of lives and more than 400 people have disappeared. Unmiss decides to relocate its troops to increase security in the most vulnerable areas. Six years of civil war were formally ended by the peace agreement in September 2018.
UN envoy: peace process stands still
Virtually no progress has been made in the process of uniting all the country’s armed groups under a single commander, UN Mission Special Representative David Shearer told a news conference two years after the peace deal was concluded in September 2018. Integrating the government army and resistance forces is one of the cornerstones of the peace agreement. Shearer says that many soldiers leave the camps set up for joint exercises because there is no food. Shearer warns that hungry, frustrated and armed men are now returning to their home villages.
UN: gross corruption at the highest level
High-ranking politicians and government officials in South Sudan have embezzled at least $ 36 million in government funds since 2016, sometimes with the tacit consent of international companies and banks. The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan writes in a new report. According to the UN Commission, the amount mentioned is only such transactions that have been traceable from the Ministry of Finance and the National Audit Office, the actual amount of misappropriated funds is probably significantly higher.
Falling oil revenues, the Minister of Finance is fired
President Kiir has fired Finance Minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, head of the tax authority and head of the state oil company NilePet, reports state-owned radio. No explanation is given for the dismissals, but they come after South Sudan’s oil revenues fell sharply, leading to depleted reserves of foreign currency. This in turn has led to the collapse of the value of the South Sudanese pound. The new Minister of Finance will be Athian Diing Athian.
The UN strengthens its presence in the south
The UN mission Unmiss is establishing a new base in Lobonok in Central Equatoria, where the level of violence has increased recently. Behind the violence are rebel groups that attack civilians and aid workers. Among other things, two civilians were killed when vehicles with humanitarian aid were attacked, and in another ambush on a country road, six were killed by a vice president’s bodyguards. (South Sudan has several vice presidents). The rebels mainly belong to the National Liberation Front (NAS), led by former Deputy Chief of Staff Thomas Cirillo. Nas did not sign the peace agreement from 2018, but entered into a ceasefire in January 2020 and then promised to release relief shipments to the civilian population in Central Equatoria, which is located in southernmost South Sudan. During the summer, however, the level of violence has risen in the region.
Fighting for disarmament in Warrap
12th of August
At least 70 people are killed and dozens injured when soldiers and civilians clash in the state of Warrap, the UN reports. The fighting breaks out when civilians refuse to hand over their weapons to the soldiers who have been commissioned to collect weapons as part of the latest peace agreement. The UN is sending peacekeepers to the area.