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South Sudan NEWS Portal ®

DRC says it has opened inquiry into fatal shooting of Burundian refugees

The Democratic Republic of Congo said Sunday that it had opened an inquiry after soldiers fired on Burundian refugees in the eastern South Kivu province, killing dozens.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende also claimed that many of those killed during the clashes were members of an “armed group”, without providing details.

The UN’s MONUSCO peacekeeping mission in the country had said Saturday that at least 36 refugees were killed in the violence in Kamanyola on Friday, in which a Congolese soldier also died.

But Mende appeared to dispute this, saying: “It has even been claimed they had bibles: Was the Congolese army lieutenant killed after being hit by bibles?”

Witnesses told AFP that many of the Burundians in Kamanyola were victims of religious persecution because they are followers of a female prophet called Zebiya, who has attested to seeing visions of the Virgin Mary in northern Burundi.

Interior ministry official Josue Boji said Saturday that the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country’s domestic intelligence agency to demand the release of four Burundians who had been arrested for expulsion on Wednesday night.

Boji said troops tried to disperse the refugees by “firing in the air but were overwhelmed” when the group responded by throwing stones.
At least 124 refugees were also wounded.

Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to the eastern DR Congo to escape a wave of violence that unfurled in 2015 after Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a fiercely contested third term in office.

Overall, the violence in Burundi has claimed 500 to 2,000 lives, according to differing tolls provided by the UN or NGOs, and more than 400,000 Burundians have fled abroad.

Around 36,000 are in DR Congo, mainly in the overcrowded camp of Lusenda in the east, or several transit camps.

AFP

Haftar puts faith in Sassou Nguesso-led AU group to help solve Libya’s crisis

Libya’s rival leader Khalifa Haftar has met with Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso in Brazzaville where he expressed faith in the African Union to solve Libya’s crisis.

He visited the Central African country on Saturday, a week after the 4th African Union high level committee meeting on Libya chaired by Sassou Nguesso.

“The AU has conducted mediations which I consider a duty to help the Libyan people, unlike other mediations by Western countries who intervene only for their own interest and not the interest of our country,” Haftar told the media after the meeting.

“Although there is the international community that is helping us, the problems of Africans can only be solved by the Africans themselves, who are better acquainted with the problems that concern them,” he added.

Haftar, who is the dominant figure in eastern Libya, said he was absent at last week’s meeting because of security reasons linked to his country’s fight against terrorist groups.

The high level committee of the AU includes the heads of state and government of Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Uganda and South Africa who meet to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Libya.

Haftar has made military gains on the ground in Libya since early last year and had rejected the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital, Tripoli.

International efforts to broker a political deal have resulted in two meetings between Haftar and GNA Prime Minister Fayez Seraj, one in Abu Dhabi in May and the other in Paris in July.

At the Paris meeting the two men shook hands on a ceasefire and elections next year, though doubts have been cast over Haftar’s commitment.

Since the meeting in Paris, Haftar’s Libyan National Army has threatened to advance into the eastern city of Derna, and tightened a blockade around the city.

Rachael Angeth ‘South Sudanese men have a poor sense of romance’, says Fashionista

The Queen thinks the society has encouraged men to be sore lovers who feel entitled in a relationship. Fashion Queen, Racheal Angeth is likely to have raised brows based on […]

The post Rachael Angeth ‘South Sudanese men have a poor sense of romance’, says Fashionista appeared first on Kush Times.

Mediator who helped secure release of Chibok girls wins $150K UN prize

A Nigerian lawyer who helped to secure the release of dozens of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 was on Monday announced the winner of a U.N. prize for providing an education to children uprooted by violence in northeast Nigeria.

Zannah Mustapha is the founder of two schools which offer free education, meals and healthcare to its pupils, and even enrol children born to Boko Haram fighters to learn alongside those orphaned by the Islamist group’s eight-year insurgency.

The Nansen Refugee Award, which is bestowed by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), has been won in the past by Eleanor Roosevelt and Luciano Pavarotti, and the winner receives $150,000 to fund a project complementing their existing work.

“I am exceedingly happy and motivated to do more … I will scale up my efforts,” Mustapha told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

“Some of the students that started in my school have graduated, and they are now going into university – I can use this money to help them complete the cycle,” Mustapha added.

His first venture, Future Prowess, opened a decade ago and was the only school in Borno state in northeast Nigeria to remain open when Boko Haram in 2009 began their brutal campaign to carve out an Islamic state.

The Islamist militants have killed hundreds of teachers and forced more than 1,000 schools to shut, leaving tens of thousands of children without an education, aid agencies say. [ID: “Education offers hope”]

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi hailed Mustapha for helping to foster peace and rebuild communities devastated by violence.

“Education is one of the most powerful tools for helping refugee children overcome the horrors of violence and forced displacement,” Grandi said in a statement.

Mustapha’s work also includes helping to negotiate the release of more than 100 of the 220-odd girls snatched from their school in Chibok in April 2014 in the biggest publicity coup of Boko Haram’s insurgency that prompted global outrage and the international campaign #bringbackourgirls.

The return of 82 of the girls in May marked the second group release of the Chibok girls by the militants – with both deals brokered by Switzerland and the Red Cross and mediated by Mustapha – after a group of 21 were freed in October last year.

A few others have escaped or been rescued but about 113 of the girls are believed to be still held captive by Boko Haram.

The Islamist group has killed at least 20,000 people, uprooted more than 2.7 million and sparked one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, according to aid agencies.

Despite being driven back from much of the territory it held, Boko Haram has ramped up attacks this year, targeting civilians and camps for the displaced with suicide bombings.

Reuters

Fire burns down main market in north of Ivorian capital Abidjan

Fire has razed the main market in Abobo, a neighbourhood in the Ivorian capital Abidjan on Sunday night damaging goods and property.

No injuries were recorded in the fire that started at around 9 pm GMT, AFP reports.

It took firefighters several hours to control the fire that destroyed market stalls and buildings.

“I lost everything, there is nothing left in my food and domestic material shop,” a shopkeeper told AFP.

The police say they have opened investigations into the cause of the fire.

The Abobo market is known mainly for its food stalls. Traditional clothing, art and other goods are also sold there.

AFP

Peace and reconciliation forum kicks off in restive Kasai region

A forum for peace and reconciliation in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region will open on Monday September 18.

The 3-day forum to be held in Kananga, brings together religious leaders, politicians and civil society groups from the five provinces in the restive region.

Clashes erupted a year ago when the Congolese army killed the regional tribal leader of the Kamwina Nsapu militia.

Since then, more than three thousand people have lost their lives, according to the Catholic Church.

The United Nations estimates 1.4 million people have been displaced and says the region is on brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

German elections: are refugees still welcome?

As part of our special coverage ahead of the German elections, we travel to Germany’s deep south, in the state of Bavaria. As the election draws near, tensions are running high in small towns, particularly on core issues such as immigration.

Disagreement centres on how to integrate migrants into the labour market. Who should be allowed to stay and who should be sent back home?

On a building site, we meet Thiare Ousseynou, an apprentice at ABS Kugelmann GMBH. Thiare is from Senegal, a country German authorities consider as safe. Political asylum is difficult to obtain for migrants from such countries.

“When your parents back home are hungry, then it should be OK if their relatives manage to make their way to Europe so they can help out their parents in need,” he says. “There is no war in Senegal. But when you wake up in the morning and you have nothing to eat, this too is a kind of daily battle…”

While the Conservatives and Social Democrats are calling for repatriation agreements to be drawn up with African countries, Green and left-wing politicians oppose such deals.

Thiare’s boss has a high opinion of him – and would like to keep him.

“He speaks good German. But a written test is a real problem. He has no problem communicating with colleagues on the building site, but if he does not pass the written test now he won’t get his certificate… and he will be threatened with deportation. Why should someone like him leave Germany? His country of origin should not matter. Germany needs qualified workers like him,” says Adolf Kugelmann.

Asylum seekers not welcome everywhere

Our next stop is Pfenningbach, on the boarder with Austria. This village of 300 people is preparing to take in 102 asylum seekers. Many in the village say they agree to welcome some refugees, but not that many.

“The local council voted unanimously against the decision. But this local vote was simply ignored by the county council,” says local resident Franz Fuchs.

“In our street, there are 12 houses with 25 residents. And now they want us to integrate 102 asylum seekers!,” exclaims another resident, Martha Danninger.

“It won’t work out,” adds Christian Erntl, who’s also part of the conversation. “You can not squeeze 102 people into such a tiny place. Moreover these 102 people are mostly men from different countries. This will inevitably lead to tension and conflict.”

“It doesn’t matter whether there are 102 Syrians, 102 Afghans or 102 Bavarians… when people live squeezed together like that it leads to conflict: first within the group, and then it will spread,” says Martha’s brother Franz.

Laugh and learn

Keep on smiling and learn the language – that’s the advice Rias Khan gives people when asked how to integrate into the labour market and into German society. We are in Parsdorf, close to Munich. Rias is from Pakistan. The manager of the garden center where he works received an “integration award” from the federal government for his efforts to help integrate immigrants. But the local authorities won’t give Rias a permanent resident’s permit.

“I received vocational training, but I also received a deportation order. I do not know if I will be able to to stay or not,” he says.

Rias’ colleagues as well as his boss at the garden centre are very supportive.

“The problem is that workers should be protected from deportation during the three years of vocational training and two years after that. But this protection depends on their country of origin. If it is considered a safe country, the trainees face problems with the public authorities and need special approval,” says Sonja Ziegltrum-Teubner, manager at the Bayerische Blumen-Zentrale GMBH in Parsdorf.

Cut the red tape

Back in Munich, we meet the chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Driessen. According to him, about one third of refugees last year received some kind of training or job. But full integration into the German labour market takes at least seven years. The biggest obstacles, he says, are language, housing and bureaucracy.

What should the priority be for the next German administration, we ask him.

“We need to introduce a cut-off date. The procedure needs to be facilitated for all those who arrived before the spring of 2016. We need to cut all this bureaucratic red tape,” he tells us.

While most political parties and a huge number of voters are in favour of granting protection to those who are persecuted, a growing number of people do not welcome economic migrants.

We will find out soon whether voters will sanction Angela Merkel for her refugee policy. Join us on Euronews for our live coverage of the German elections on September 24.

South Africa, Senegal, Ghana march against Rohingya violence in Myanmar

Protest marches took place in some African countries including Senegal, South Africa, and Ghana against the violence by Myanmar security forces targeting the Rohingya Muslim-minority.

Thousands came out in the streets of Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Dakar and Accra in solidarity with the over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh to escape a seeming ethnic cleansing.

South Africa’s march was held last Wednesday and Friday with protesters demanding the intervention of the Myanmar government to end the violence.

🆘‼️😯🔥 Islamabad or Jakarta? Nope, this is South Africa! They protest 4 #Rohingya under “Allahu Akbar”. South Africa also under the crescent. pic.twitter.com/frf5ESTcbe— Onlinemagazin (@OnlineMagazin) September 15, 2017

One of the organisers of Wednesday’s Cape Town protest Hajji Allie told the media that they are also demanding the return of the Myanmar ambassador to South Africa to his country.

The protest in Pretoria on Friday was held outside the Myanmar Embassy.

Over 2,000 people protest outside #Myanmar embassy in #Pretoria calling for end to killings of #Rohingya people #SA4Rohingya #SouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/nUIh5Ub3EY— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 15, 2017

In Dakar on Friday, the protesters from various religious organisations carried banners in solidarity with the Rohingya people as they marched from the central mosque in Dakar to the Obelisk Square.

The leaders read statements in French, Arabic and English denouncing the violence and demanding action by the international community as well as the prosecution of the anti-Muslim Burmese Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu whom they want to be tried by the International Criminal Court for preaching violence.

“He has destroyed the humanist teaching of Buddha and has transformed it into a racial persecution, mass murder and ethnic cleansing,” one of the organisers Mame Mactar Gueye read from a joint statement by the Jamra and Mbagn Gaccé Muslim groups in Senegal.

They also called for Aung San Su Kyi to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize for her complicity.

Protesters in #Senegal join solidarity with #Rohingyas & demand Int pressure on govt of Myanmar. pic.twitter.com/8HtrVh0EQE— Benjamin Tetteh (@benjieluv) September 15, 2017

Dozens also gathered in Ghana’s capital Accra on Monday to march against the violence and especially against the sale of weapons to the Myanmar government by Israel.

One of the organisers and spokesperson of the Freedom & Justice Group Irbard Ibrahim said they will deliver a petition to the Israeli Embassy in Ghana to end the sale of weapons to Myanmar.

“The world cannot afford another Holocaust and what is happening now is the vile murder of a persecuted minority group,” he said.

The group called on Canada to revoke the honorary Canadian citizenship conferred on Aung San Su Kyi, and also called on the Nobel Committee to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize.

“The government of Ghana should make a strong case to the United Nations against the unfolding genocide in Myanmar and should take further steps in encouraging the Security Council of the United Nations to take immediate action against Myanmar,” a statement from the group added.

Other protest marches have been scheduled to take place in the coming weeks in other African cities.

The violence in Myanmar began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army camp, killing about 12 people.

This was followed by retaliatory attacks by the Myanmar military which killed several Rohingya Muslims, torched their homes and left about 410,000 people fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The Buddhist-majority Myanmar said its forces are only clearing the insurgency of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army responsible for the August attacks.

World leaders have called against the violence while rights groups are demanding sanctions against Myanmar’s generals who have not heeded to calls to end the violence.

The government leader Aung San Suu Kyi has faced a lot of criticism for not speaking against the violence. She is expected to speak for the first time in a national address on Tuesday.

Until the violence, about a million Rohingya lived in Rakhine State where they face travel restrictions and are denied citizenship. Many Buddhists regard them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Here are some images from the solidarity protests in Africa.

Some of the images from the anti #Myanmar protest in #Pretoria today #SA4Rohingya #Rohingya #SouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/57DnybFQIg— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 15, 2017

Abuddist representative in #SouthAfrica joined protestors in condemning killings of #Rohingya people at the #Myanmar embassy #SA4Rohingya pic.twitter.com/0f4PzNs6QQ— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 15, 2017

#Rohingya Protest in South Africa pic.twitter.com/0fypfvr5FR— iTV Networks SA (@itv_sa) September 15, 2017

Protestors appeal to #SouthAfrica gov’t to expel #Mynmar envoy in #Pretoria over killings in #Rohingya #SA4Rohingya pic.twitter.com/dBm3B6hqgd— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 13, 2017

Photo Credit: Hassan Isilow/ Twitter

Calls for U.S to reconsider sanctions on S. Sudan leaders intensify

September 17, 2017 (KAMPALA) – The leader of the International Youth for Africa (IYA), has called on the United States government to reconsider the recent sanctions it imposed on South Sudanese officials as a mechanism to end the conflict in the war-torn nation.
IYA's executive director, Ter Manyang Gatwech, said the sanctions imposed on these individuals will not stop the on-going war from further escalating.
“Sanctions on individuals will create less impact in South Sudan. If it is (...)

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