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HIV/AIDS in Uganda

Teen pregnancy in Uganda

Media Sweep

12 June 2018

This report features a selection of news articles relating to the humanitarian situation in eastern and southern Africa. The views expressed herein are attributable to the original source and do not in any way reflect an official position of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Ethiopia-Eritrea reconciliation project meets resistance from border communities (AfricaNews)
The decision by Ethiopia’s ruling coalition to resolver a border dispute with Eritrea has met stiff resistance from members of Badme town which was the epicenter of the war that killed tens of thousands on both sides. The 36 member executive committee of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) announced on Tuesday that it would accept the December 2000 Algiers Agreement that was signed to restore peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Related article:
How Ethiopia’s peace offer caught Eritrea’s regime by surprise (Al Jazeera)

Ugandan soldiers rough up, detain Kenyan police in Lake Victoria (Daily Nation)
Ugandan soldiers are detaining three Kenyan security officers in what could be the latest controversy surrounding fishing rights in Lake Victoria. The officers were arrested and disarmed by the UPDF soldiers on Monday near Mageta and Hama Islands in Lake Victoria and taken to the neighbouring country by boat.

Eritrea releases 37 Yemeni fishermen (Anadolu Agency)
Eritrean authorities have freed 37 Yemeni fishermen held while fishing in the Red Sea, the Yemeni government said on Monday. “Several other fishermen are still being held by Eritrean authorities,” Yemeni Fisheries Minister Fahd Kafayin said on Twitter. He said the government has tasked the foreign and fisheries ministers with seeking “the release of the fishermen and their boats and guaranteeing their rights”.

Ethiopia calls Eritrea’s bluff on disputed border (Financial Times)
Abiy Ahmed is a man in a hurry. Ethiopia’s prime minister, who at 42 is the youngest leader in Africa, has been steamrollering through change since the day he rose to power in April. He has released thousands of political prisoners. He has called an end to the state of emergency imposed in a bid to crush anti-government protests, and he has pledged more broadly to lift the repression that has kept opposition to the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front in check for years.

Ethiopia’s move to open key economic sectors to spur fast development (Daily Nation)
The move by the Ethiopian government to open key economic sectors, among them Ethiopian Airlines, to foreign investment is likely to spur fast development of the country. The government this week said “state corporations– railway, sugar companies, industrial parks, hotels and various manufacturing firms” would also be either partially or fully privatised.

Ethiopia: Abusive police unit must be stopped (Amnesty International)
Responding to reports that Ethiopia’s notorious Liyu police unit committed another round of unlawful killings, that may amount to extrajudicial executions, claiming at least 14 lives over the weekend, Amnesty International issued a fresh call for the government to immediately disband this police unit.

Ethiopia Unique in Halting HIV (The Ethiopian Herald)
U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx told The Ethiopian Herald indicated that a remarkable progress is being witnessed in Ethiopia. According to her, several anti HIV/AIDS campaigns together with proper utilization of fund to combat the pandemic has helped the country to be a model nation.

Turkey gives food aid to the displaced in Ethiopia (Daily Sabah)
A Turkish aid agency has distributed food aid among 675 families at internally-displaced people’s camps in Ethiopia’s Oromia, as part of an ongoing emergency relief program for the east African nation. The food aid was distributed among families who have taken shelter at Gefersa Nono, Burayu Keta, Anfo, Sansuzi and Memihran Sefer camps said Mehmet Ali Yetis, the Ethiopia Coordinator of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).

Kenya’s food import costs jump to Sh68bn (Business Daily)
Kenya’s food imports in the first four months of the year grew by a third to Sh68.63 billion compared to a year earlier, reflecting the country’s reliance on foreign markets despite improved weather. Official statistics collated by the Central Bank of Kenya shows food import bill rose by 30.10 per cent in the January-April period compared with Sh52.75 billion in the same period of 2017. Kenya’s reliance on foreign markets to feed her citizens has increased more than four and a half times in a decade since food imports were valued at just Sh15.09 billion in January-April period of 2008.

Kenya can end the moral indignity of child labour (Capital FM Kenya)
On 12 June every year is the World Day Against Child Labour.  In the world’s poorest countries, around one in four children are engaged in work that is potentially harmful to their health. Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest proportion of child labourers (29 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 years) and is considered detrimental to their health and development. Many children not yet in their teens, are sent out to work in farms, as sand harvesters, street hawkers, domestic workers, drug peddling and most piteously, as sex workers and child soldiers.

Somalia: displaced and desperate in IDP camps (Polish Humanitarian Action)
Somalia is facing a severe humanitarian crisis triggered by multiple natural disasters and long term political instability which are having a crippling effect on the country’s economy. Recovery efforts have not yet provided state building opportunities due to the fragile institutions in place and the rapidly changing natural phenomena that have led to an increase in population vulnerability to hazards.

Suicide car bomb in Somalia injures seven soldiers (Standard Digital)
A suicide car bomb explosion at a military base in Somalia injured seven soldiers late Saturday, a military official said, and Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. Al Shabaab fights to topple Somalia’s western-backed central government and impose its a rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islam’s Sharia law.

Norway to provide emergency relief to Somalia (Mareeg Media)
Norway will provide a further NOK 30 million to alleviate the situation in Somalia. The funds will be channeled through the Somalia Humanitarian Fund, which is administered by the UN, and through Save the Children Norway and Norwegian Church Aid.

South Sudan optimistic about continued lifesaving support from U.S. (Xinhua)
Sudan on Monday expressed optimism over the recent pledge by the United States to continue supporting millions of people affected by the more than four years of conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol Ariik welcomed the pledge by the new U.S. ambassador Thomas Hushek and revealed that it showed a sign of good will and continued partnership with the U.S which supported South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in 2011.

Advocacy group urges US official to tackle S. Sudan money laundering (Sudan Tribune)
United States Department of the Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker’s should pressure Uganda into discouraging laundering of proceeds of corruption from South Sudan, an advocacy group said. The senior US official, will starting 11 June, visit sub-Saharan countries of Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

US Urges Regional Governments to Block S. Sudan War Money (Voice of America)
A U.S. Treasury official is urging East African governments to tighten the loopholes that allow illicit money from war-torn South Sudan to cross into regional capitals. Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in Uganda Monday that authorities in neighboring countries like Uganda must make it clear that “corrupt money is not wanted here

S. Sudan disowns Gai’s rejection of direct talks with Machar (Sudan Tribune)
The South Sudanese presidency has dismissed as “fake” news report, which claimed the country’s first vice president, Taban Deng Gai in the coalition government proposed an initiative aimed at bringing together President Salva Kiir and his main political rival and leader of armed opposition faction, Riek Machar.

Ex-South Sudan army chief demands President Kiir’s exit (Sudan Tribune)
Paul Malong Awan former South Sudanese army chief of staff, said he is not interested in a position but the departure of President Salva Kiir from power, saying the latter has overstayed his worth. According to a statement dated on 8 June 2018, Malong’s spokesperson said Kiir has failed his mandate and it was now time for him to relinquish the mantle of leadership to the people of South Sudan to decide who would be their next leader, instead of the government continuing to use divide and rule policies.

War-torn South Sudan issues higher denomination banknotes amid soaring inflation (Reuters)
South Sudan’s central bank said on Monday it will issue higher denomination banknotes, enabling citizens to carry fewer notes as rampant inflation continues to devalue the local currency. The bank said it would introduce a 500 pound bill, worth $1.5 U.S. dollars, into circulation this month. Currently the largest note in circulation is a 100 pound bill. South Sudan’s economy is close to collapse after a 2015 peace deal with Sudan failed to stick and fighting between rival soldiers has continued.

No invitation yet for political parties to attend peace consultations (Radio Tamazuj)
Representatives of South Sudan’s national alliance of political parties in Juba said they have not yet received any invitation from the IGAD mediation to the planned intensive consultations in Addis Ababa. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating the South Sudanese peace process, has called for one more around of Intensive Interlink Consultations in Addis Ababa.

Resilient despite the odds: the people of South Sudan (UNAIDS)
Mother of five Regina Mateo shows us her home in Wau, South Sudan—a temporary shelter at the protection of civilians (POC) refugee site. She brought her family here to seek refuge from violence and instability in her village. However, Ms Mateo and her family are eager to return home as soon as it is safe to leave. Everyone wants a safe place to call home. But, with conflict and violence ongoing throughout much of the country, that is too much to ask for many in South Sudan at the moment.

UN: Situation in Sudan’s Darfur region is ‘radically’ better (Washington Post)
The U.N. peacekeeping chief said Monday the situation in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region “has changed radically for the better” and the United Nations and the African Union are recommending new sharp cuts in their joint security force. Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council the joint mission is finalizing a yearlong process that saw 11 joint sites close and a shift toward peacekeeping in the mountainous Jebel Marra area where intermittent clashes continue while focusing on peacebuilding in the rest of Darfur.

Sudan: UN starts project for health care for 242,000 (Anadolu Agency)
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced the launch of a project to provide health care to roughly 242,000 people in the war-torn Darfur state of western Sudan. The UN agency explained that the project comes in order to bridge the health gap in nine villages in the East Jebel Mara locality at an estimated cost of $1.6 million. WHO launched the one-year-project in May, co-funded by the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Fund, according to a report released by the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs on Monday.

Sudan’s opposition alliance says 2020 election is dead-end road (Sudan Tribune)
The opposition National Consensus Forces (NCF) Monday announced they are preparing a platform for the positive boycott of 2020 elections considering it as “dead-end road” that would not lead to the peaceful transfer of power. Speaking at a Ramadan breakfast organized by the coalition of several left parties on Monday evening, an NCF leading member Mohamed Dia al-Dins aid they will adopt a “positive boycott programme,” noting that its details will be announced later.


Grenade explosion in central Burundi kills one, injures 21: official (Xinhua)
An unidentified person Sunday night blasted a grenade in a crowd in front of a shop at Birohe village in Gitega province, central Burundi, killing one person and injuring 21 others, the governor of Gitega said Monday. The attacker took advantage of obscurity as it was the night fall at about 7:10 p.m. local time when he blasted the grenade, said Venant Manirambona in a telephone interview with Xinhua.

Congo’s Bemba seeks release after war crimes acquittal (Reuters)
Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Congolese ex-vice president whose war crimes conviction was quashed on appeal last week, will seek his immediate release on Tuesday from the International Criminal Court. Bemba, 55, has been in the ICC detention centre for a decade since his arrest in 2008. The Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader was convicted in 2016 of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

From the field – Rehabilitating lives in Tanzania (UN News)
A 15-year old girl from the East African country, Tanzania, says an operation to correct a facial disability means that she can “look forward to a future when I am not laughed at.” Agnes was born with a cleft lip, a birth defect that occurs when a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly. She was abandoned by her father and her mother was unable to find the right care for her.

Tanzania’s repressive online laws have forced the “Swahili Wikileaks” to close (Quartz)
One of Tanzania’s top homegrown online platforms has temporarily shut down days before the implementation of sweeping regulations that would give officials unfettered powers to police the web. Jamii Forums announced it was forced to comply with a government notice that it apply for an online license or cease operation ahead of the June 15 deadline. As part of the new restrictions, the government must certify all bloggers and charge an annual license fee of over $900.

Hip Hop Saves Lives: Project with Sudanese refugees in Uganda (
Hip Hop Saves Lives and Sosolya Dance Academy are creating a music album and documentary series with Sudanese refugees living in Uganda. The album will consist of 8 songs, a short documentary in support of each song interviewing the artist to share their journey from South Sudan to Uganda. The documentaries will also highlight Uganda’s welcoming policy towards refugees and each artists experience since being in Uganda.

Angola: The Road to Economic Reform (IMF)
The IMF recently completed its annual health check of the Angolan economy and found that the country, under a new administration, has made strides in setting a reform agenda geared towards macroeconomic stability and growth that benefits all its people.

Angola facing waves of strikes (Xinhua)
Nurses from Luanda, the capital of Namibia, have started a general strike for an indefinite period, demanding payment of arrears, salary adjustment and allowances. The protest was called by the Angolan Nurses Union (Sintenfl), according to a statement Monday by the secretary general of the Union, Afonso Kileba. Kileba underlined that the duration of the strike will depend on the promptness that the Government will have to meet the concerns presented.

Angola: Feared Death Squads Accused of Murdering Youths (CAJ News)
Angola’s so-called death squads in the Criminal Investigation Service have reportedly killed at least 50 young men suspected of gang activities or petty crimes. The latest violation has been captured on video in the capital Luanda, showing a man said to be an agent of the Angola Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) pointing an assault rifle at a man lying on the road unable to get up.

Comoros opposition leader jailed for 6 months for demos (eNCA)
A prominent opposition leader in Comoros was jailed for six months on Monday for his part in protests against President Azali Assoumani which have rocked the country, the judge said. Demonstrations erupted in several towns on the volcanic Indian Ocean nation off Africa’s east coast against a proposed end to the system that sees power rotate every five years between the archipelago’s three main island.

Support for elections falls among frustrated Lesotho citizens, who want a more powerful king (Business Day)
More than 10 years of unstable coalition governments and army interference in the running of the country has prompted growing public sentiment for a stronger monarchy in Lesotho‚ an Afrobarometer study has found.

Teachers Union of Malawi threaten strike as they demand K1.7bn salary arrears (Nyasa Times)
Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) secretary general Chalres Kumchenga said the government owes some teachers the arrears dating back to five years ago. “We’ve been patient for a long time. The government has been cheating us for long, enough is enough,” said Kumchenga.

Experts Alarmed at Rise of Jihadi Terrorism in Mozambique (Voice of America)
On Friday, the U.S. embassy in Mozambique issued a security alert, warning all U.S. citizens to avoid visiting the Palma district in Cabo Delgado province, and urging those already there to “consider departing the area immediately.” The embassy issued the warning “in light of information pointing to the likelihood of imminent attacks on government and commercial centers in the area.”

Mozambique’s own version of Boko Haram is tightening its deadly grip (The Conversation)
Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province is being held to ransom by an Islamist guerrilla movement. After months of skirmishes between police and members of the Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah, the region has now erupted into full violence. Since mid-May, 35 people have died in a series of brutal attacks. Various people have been beheaded, hundreds of houses have been burned and residents have been advised to be cautious.

South Africa Secures Seat on UN Security Council for Third Time (Human Rights Watch)
South Africa secured a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the third time on Friday. The seat offers a chance for South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to restore the country’s human rights-based foreign policy. This latest term will be for 2019-2020.

Inside the new way of measuring poverty in South Africa (Eyewitness News)
There’s more to understanding a country’s poverty levels than merely calculating how much or how little individuals earn. That’s why a method called the multidimensional poverty index was introduced globally in 2011. The multidimensional poverty index reflects aggregate levels derived from a number of socioeconomic indicators. These include education, health, standard of living and labour market activity. It unveiled new insights about the nature of poverty around the world.

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