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Posts published by “South Sudan News Portal”

Harmonize Show Leaves Many Hotel Beds Broken In Hai Thoura, Juba

Harmonize show which took place at De Space Lounge and Restaurant has left many hotel owners in Hai Thoura shedding buckets of tears the following morning.  According to sources in the busy hotel area, many beds were reported broken by revellers who attended the grand opening of De Space Lounge and Restaurant headlined by Tanzanian […]

The post Harmonize Show Leaves Many Hotel Beds Broken In Hai Thoura, Juba appeared first on Juba Eye.

Uganda: Why women refugees must be involved in the decisions that affect their lives

Source: Oxfam
Country: South Sudan, Uganda

My name is Susan Grace Duku. I am 33 years old and I have spent 21 of those years as refugee.

Last week we learned that the number of people in situations like mine - forced from their homes because of violence or persecution – has passed 70 million worldwide. In responding to this unprecedented challenge, it is paramount that refugees ourselves participate in the decisions that directly affect us and in efforts to find solutions.

Refugees are often victims of the conflicts they flee from. They also face challenges leaving their home countries, finding asylum in a new place, and in living alongside host communities.

Here in Uganda, many have sought refuge in the country for the second or even third time due to repeated conflicts in their home countries, including my native South Sudan. I first came here in 1992, when I was only seven years old. I came again in 2016.

Being repeatedly uprooted and seeking protection has given us years of experience in how to live harmoniously with host communities, how to find creative ways to make ends meet and how to support each other. The pain and sorrow we have endured also drive our commitment to peace - the most durable solution.

Global Refugee Forum

In December, world leaders will come together at the Global Refugee Forum and commit to concrete steps to improve the lives of refugees.

If I had the chance to address those delegates, I would urge them to ensure that refugee girls are able to realise their full potential.

I would use the example of the prominent women delegates in the room and ask whether these women would be seated among us if they had not been supported through education, reproductive health services and other related support.

I would advocate for peace and for governments to embrace tolerance, accountability and reconciliation to prevent conflicts that result in refugee situations.

I would ask them to support refugees to be agents of peace.

Refugees must be able to contribute to decision-making

But refugees should not only participate in international discussions – they should also contribute to decision-making at the local level.

In Uganda, refugees have platforms through which they can express their challenges and ideas. They democratically elect members of community leadership committees, who raise their voices about any recommendations or grievances. There is also a forum of refugees that engages in debates with the Government. I have set up an organization, called Refugee Women and Youth Aid, that brings together 17 groups of women to share knowledge, skills and experience.

There are lessons here for other countries, but there are also challenges. It is still too rare for refugees to address leaders at the highest levels, who are in a position to change our lives.

As a woman refugee leader, I have often been left out of important meetings within the settlement. The male folk still hold women in low esteem due to long-standing cultural beliefs that discriminate against women. Because of such patriarchal beliefs, refugee women and girls need extra support to effectively participate in the design, implementation and review of refugee programs.

Refugees need education and job opportunities

As a leader, I call on the Ugandan Government and its humanitarian partners to prioritize proper education at all levels for refugees.

Having large numbers of displaced young people frustrated or bored because they can’t go to school is a recipe for continued conflict, violence and under development.

Refugees also yearn for work opportunities so they can supplement humanitarian aid and sustain themselves. Some women are forced to trek large distances to find safe water, firewood and construction materials, and sometimes there are conflicts with host communities over these resources. These problems could be solved through tree planting and proper use of natural resources such as land for agriculture and alternative sources of fuel like briquettes.

There should be more initiatives to bring refugees and host communities together, to help reduce tensions and suspicions that can trigger violence.

Women must be included

None of these challenges can be solved without the active participation of refugee, including women.

We refugees are not responsible for our displacement. We did not choose to become refugees and we face many difficulties.

We need to be included in spaces where our voices can be heard, and we must be equally represented in decision-making processes.

This entry posted on 24 June 2019, by Susan Grace Duku, who is head of our partner agency Refugee Women and Youth Aid in Uganda, and is a refugee. She writes about the importance of refugees participating in decisions that affect their lives - one of Oxfam's key asks ahead of the Global Refugee Forum in December.

Top photo: Cousins Betty and Florence with their children at the reception center at the Imvepu refugee settlement, Uganda. Credit: Coco McCabe/Oxfam

Refugees from South Sudan have been fleeing conflict and hunger in their country, and seeking safety across the border in Uganda. Currently, Uganda is hosting more than 1 million refugees - 82 percent are women and children. Across four districts in settlements like Imvepi and Bidi Bidi, Oxfam and our local partners have reached more than 283,000 refugees with assistance that includes the provision of clean water, sanitation services such as the digging of pit latrines, hygiene promotion, emergency food and livelihoods support, and attention to gender and protection issues. In the last four years, Oxfam has also invested in helping more than 15 local and national organizations build their capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies such as this one.

حكومة ليج الشمالية تسترجع أكثر من مائة رأس من الماشية لحكومة تويج

قالت السلطات الحكومية في ولاية ليج الشمالية في جنوب السودان ، أنها قامت بتسليم أكثر من مائة رأس من الماشية المنهوبة للسلطات الحكومية في ولاية تويج الإسبوع الماضي ، تنفيذاً لمُخرجات مؤتمر "مانكين" للصُلح بين الولايات الخمس....

لجنة برئاسة “حميدتي” للتفاوض مع الحركات المسلحة في السودان

أصدر عبدالفتاح البرهان ، رئيس المجلس العسكري الإنتقالي في السودان يوم الخميس مرسوماً جمهوريا بتشكيل لجنة عليا للتواصل مع الحركات المسلحة للوصول إلى تفاهمات يحقق السلام وفق أسس رؤى مشتركة....

اسعار صرف الدولار والعملات مقابل الجنية في السودان اليوم الثلاثاء 25-6-2019م

مؤشر سودانية ٢٣ لاسعار صرف العملات الأجنبية والعربية في ( السوق الحرة، السوق الموازي) مقابل الجنيه السوداني بالخرطوم يوم الثلاثاء ٢٥ يونيو ٢٠١٩ممؤشر مدونة سودانية ٢٣ لأسعار السوق ( السوق الحرة ، السوق السوداء )الدولار الأم...

World: We Must Consider the Full Spectrum of Durable Solutions to Effectively Address Needs of Displaced

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
Country: Ethiopia, Mali, South Sudan, World

Briefing to UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on “Responding effectively to the needs of refugees, displaced persons and returnees: The role of the United Nations Security Council and its Members”

As delivered by ICRC Vice President Mr. Gilles Carbonnier

Thank you very much Mr. Chairman, and good morning from Geneva.

Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you, and all of the co-organizers, the Ambassadors of South Africa and Cote D'Ivoire, for this opportunity to address today's Arria Formula Meeting on the critical issue of displacement. This is a timely debate given the sheer numbers of displaced people across the globe: we heard Filippo Grandi, and previous speakers including yourself Mr. Chairman, providing us with staggering figures that speak for themselves. It means that one in every hundred children, women and men across the globe is displaced today as a result of armed conflict, armed violence, persecution or human rights violations. This is also a timely debate as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the OAU Refugee Convention, and the tenth anniversary of the Kampala Convention.

Daily, in Africa and beyond, the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross witness the humanitarian consequences of displacement and what it means for the individuals behind the huge numbers we have heard. We at the ICRC are convinced that the Kampala Convention offers an important guide for African States to address internal displacement. And we urge all States across the Continent to ratify and implement the Kampala Convention.

Today, displacement is becoming ever more protracted which, at times, contributes to further instability and further conflict. In this context, I want to frame my remarks along the African Union's theme of the year: What can be done for Refugees, Returnees and IDPs: Towards Durable Solutions?

Mr. Chairman, let me highlight four ways in which the UN Security Council, the African Union, and States can create conditions for durable solutions:

First, it is critical to prevent violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Respect for IHL and human rights can indeed greatly limit the humanitarian consequences of armed conflict and violence. It can thus prevent displacement from happening in the first place.

And for those who have been displaced, conditions for durable solutions require basic infrastructure to be restored and protected. It requires creating livelihood opportunities, which in turn depends on civilians and their assets being protected.

Second, durable solutions rest on the displaced being entitled to free and informed choice – or voluntariness. States have the primary duty and responsibility to provide durable solutions. They must establish conditions, as well as provide the means, for the displaced to build on durable solutions when returning home, or integrating in the location where they have been displaced, or resettling elsewhere.

Many IDPs and refugees prefer to return. States too often tend to see return as a solution, which can convey a sense of normalcy. However, there is no hierarchy among the different types of durable solutions. Individuals must be able to determine, in light of their specific circumstance, what they can pursue. In some instances, local integration or resettlement may offer a better durable solution than return. Local integration or resettlement can be the best temporary solution, until conditions in the place of origin allow for safe, voluntary and dignified return.

Third, national authorities should seek the effective involvement of IDPs, refugees and host communities in the design and implementation of durable solutions, with the support of humanitarian and development actors. The ICRC already supports national authorities towards durable solutions and is ready to do more.

In South Sudan for instance, last month I could witness how our teams in the field were helping displaced people to reconnect with their dispersed families across South Sudan and beyond and discuss collectively how the evolving situation changes their options, and trying to collectively identify what would be the best durable solutions for them.

Today, in some regions of Ethiopia where displacement has occurred, the ICRC is providing seeds and tools to those who have voluntarily decided to return, so that they can resume planting and growing food.

While assisting displaced people, we also provide cash assistance to allow returnees to restart economic activities upon voluntary return. In parts of Mali for example, we complement such assistance with food ration and basic household items. The overall objective is to help kick-starting durable livelihood recovery. More can be done in partnership with national authorities, private businesses and development finance institutions.

Fourth, it is important to acknowledge that, even after returning back home, displaced people often face specific issues that have to be addressed as a matter of priority. To the extent possible, States must support the recovery of property and possessions left behind upon displacement. Where not possible, national authorities should provide appropriate compensation, or assist returnees in obtaining other forms of just reparation.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Before concluding, I wish to highlight two trends increasingly affecting displaced persons: urbanization and climate change.

Africa is urbanizing fast, and internal displacement is increasingly urban. African capitals like Addis Ababa or Nairobi host large numbers of IDPs and refugees. People flee from rural to urban areas, as witnessed for example in Baidoa, Somalia, and Maiduguri in Nigeria. Cities themselves are theatres of armed conflict and violence.

Through interviews, we have learned that one of the main protection issues in urban areas is the lack of security related to housing and land. Insecurity forces IDPs to move multiple times. This means that they lose the social networks and the access to vital services that they had been able to secure. The ensuing deprivation forces some of them to resort to harmful survival strategies, such as engaging in transactional sex or sending their young children to work. Hence, states must duly consider the socio-economic, political and legal landscape affecting the displaced in urban settings.

Internal displacement is also impacted by climate change. In many regions such as the Sahel or the Horn of Africa, the vulnerabilities of agro-pastoralists and other communities are exacerbated by the combined impact of armed conflicts and climate change. Displacements tend to heighten existing tensions and competition over scarce resources. States need to recognize the double impact of climate risks and conflict, and assist affected communities to adapt to such stresses.

To conclude, Mr. Chairman,

The ICRC commends efforts to put the spotlight on durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa. In this context, we wish to stress three issues:

  1. First, the critical role of IHL in preventing forced displacement, and the crucial role of the African Union and the UN Security Council and its members in this regard;

  2. Second, the need to ensure effective participation of IDPs, refugees and host communities in the co-creation and implementation of durable solutions, with the support of humanitarian and development actors;

  3. And third, let us not forget that displaced people caught in the middle of armed conflict tend to face higher risks of going missing. States must take steps to prevent people from disappearing, search for those missing, and ensure that the specific needs of their families are addressed.

In sum, Mr. Chairman, we have to consider the full spectrum of durable solutions to effectively address the needs of refugees, displaced persons and returnees. The ICRC remains more committed than ever to assist states in this endeavour.

I thank you for your attention.

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