Africa
South Sudan flooding

Flooding compounds ethnic clashes in South Sudan

Political violence has declined in South Sudan since last year’s power-sharing accord, but sporadic ethnic violence persists. The UN peacekeeping mission deployed Nepalese blue helmets this week to Western Lakes State after fighting between the Gak and Manuer communities left 79 people dead and more than 100 injured. “Inter-communal violence continues to have devastating consequences in South Sudan,” said James Reynolds, head of delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross. The new violence comes as almost one million South Sudanese have been affected by flooding that has submerged communities, caused substantial crop losses, and threatened to reverse some of the humanitarian gains made during a year-long ceasefire. (Photo: Alex McBride/TNH)

Africa

South Sudan: will ‘permanent’ ceasefire hold?

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his bitter rival and former vice president Riek Machar, now leader of the SPLM-IO rebels, met in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to sign a "permanent" ceasefire agreement, pledging to form an inclusive transitional government. The parties agreed to open humanitarian corridors, release detainees, withdraw troops and militarily disengage. The transitional government is to form a national army and security forces not linked to tribalism. However, the challenges for the 36-month transition period are great. Millions in South Sudan are on the brink of famine, and more than 2.5 million have fled the country. Hundreds of thousands more—mostly members of minority ethnic groups—are internally displaced, with many sheltering in camps administered by the United Nations. Previous efforts at a negotiated peace have broken down. (Photo: Sudan Tribune)

Africa

UN identifies 43 South Sudan war crimes suspects

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan released a report identifying 43 high-ranking military personnel who may be responsible for war crimes. Since the outbreak of violence due to an internal power struggle between government leaders in 2013, more than four million civilians have fled their homes. The report documents acts of murder, torture, unlawful seizure of property, sexual violence and unlawful detention committed by members of the country's rival military factions. The report urges the Hybrid Court to begin investigating and prosecuting these individuals. The African Union is mandated to establish the Hybrid Court under the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan of 2015. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Greater Middle East

UN approves investigation of Syria war crimes

With action blocked by Russia's veto in the Security Council, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing an independent investigation into war crimes in Syria.

Africa

China sends combat troops to South Sudan

A 700-strong Chinese battalion is headed for South Sudan as part of a UN "peacekeeping" mission—but the deployment follows China's massive investment in the country's oil sector.

Planet Watch

UN: world refugees break record

War across large swaths of the Middle East and Africa in the first six months of 2014 forcibly displaced some 5.5 million people, signalling yet another record, the UN reports.

Africa

ICC halts Darfur probe; Bashir threatens rebels

The International Criminal Court suspended its Darfur investigation, citing UN inaction in the case, as President Omar al-Bashir accused rebel leaders of being foreign "agents."