Monday, August 18, 2014

South Sudan: 50,000 children may die this year of war, disease, famine

Yida Refugee Camp, South Sudan, June 29, 2014
Photo: Paula Bronstein, Getty Images

The United Nations says that the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is now the "worst in the world" and warns that 50,000 children could die this year unless aid is increased. However, South Sudan's crisis has been overshadowed by strife in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, and Gaza. Aid agencies say they've found it difficult to raise money to fund operations in South Sudan, despite a growing threat of famine.
Peace remains out of reach, even as as famine looms and rain drenches refugee camps plagued with cholera. Riek Machar, commander of the forces fighting the government of Salva Kiir, says that the ongoing presence of Ugandan troops supporting President Kiir violates the agreement signed between the two parties.
Machar also said that mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, who include Ugandans, should step aside and let the two warring parties negotiate directly with one another.
At the conclusion of last week’s U.S.-Africa summit, President Obama announced that Uganda is one of six African countries to be included in a new military collaboration with the United States. The U.S. will invest $110 million a year for three to five years in this initiative. Ethiopia, which is widely believed to be supplying the opposition force in South Sudan, will also be one of the six partners.