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14 Dec 2009 description

Nairobi/Juba_(dpa) _ Southern Sudan has faced its most violent year since the end of a decades-long civil war with the north, thanks to an increase in tribal clashes, aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Monday.

Over 2,000 people have been killed in cattle raids this year as security worsens, threatening the fragile north-south peace deal.

MSF said that a greater response was needed to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting.

"Violence is surging, plunging people from one disaster to the next.

11 Nov 2009 description

Nairobi (dpa) The Sudanese government plans to start closing down camps for the displaced population in the war-torn region of Darfur next year, a senior official said Wednesday.

Some 20,000 housing units are being constructed to accommodate the homseless in the towns of El-Fasher, El-Geneina and Nyala, Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Hasabu Abdel-Rahman told the UN-sponsored Miraya FM radio.

He said the displaced people will have the choice of returning to their village if they do not want to move to the new housing complexes.

Darfur rebel groups criticized the move, calling it a …

23 Oct 2009 description

Nairobi/Addis Ababa_(dpa) _ Exactly 25 years ago, BBC correspondent Michael Buerk unveiled the full extent of Ethiopia's now infamous drought, calling it a "Biblical famine" in the 20th century.

A cavalcade of horrors paraded before the cameras in Korem, northern Ethiopia: skeletal children clinging to their equally wasted mothers; corpses of infants wrapped in sackcloth lined up in the dust; hundreds of desperate people tottering across the plain on stick-thin legs, prompted into a shaky sprint by the rumour of a food delivery.

The harrowing pictures prompted an …

21 Oct 2009 description

Henry Wasswa, dpa

Kampala_(dpa) _ Most African meetings are dominated by issues related to calamities - wars, famines and natural disasters that plague the crisis-prone continent.

Now Africa's technocrats and politicians are at it again, converging in the Ugandan capital Kampala to tackle one of the continent's most pressing problems: refugees and internally displaced people.

The Special African Union summit on refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) began Monday and the delegates are mulling how to handle the estimated 17 million people who have fled their homes …

02 Sep 2009 description

Michael Logan, dpa

Nairobi/Juba_(dpa) _ A fragile peace has held between north and south Sudan since the end of a 21-year civil war in 2005, but a recent upsurge in deadly tribal clashes in the south has raised fears of a return to large-scale conflict.

Tribal disputes, mainly over cattle, have long been common in the autonomous Southern Sudan, but easy access to weapons left over from the civil war between the Muslim north and Christian and animist south has helped ramp up the body count.

More than 1,000 people have died as a result of tribal violence this year.

31 May 2009 description

Nairobi/Khartoum_(dpa) _ Election campaign skirmishing between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the government ruling southern Sudan took a new turn Sunday, months ahead of the country's elections.

Al-Bashir, angered by restrictions put on his National Congress Party in its campaigning in the south, threatened to ban the south's ruling Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the north, the Sudan Tribune reported Sunday.

He accused the SPLM of setting up obstacles to other parties in their campaigning in the south.

"We cannot accept the existence of closed …

26 May 2009 description

Nairobi/Khartoum_(dpa) _ An airstrike on an arms convoy in Sudan this January, which Israel is suspected of carrying out, killed 119 people taking part in a smuggling operation, Sudan's defence minister has told parliament.

Sudan's state news agency SUNA Tuesday quoted Abdul-Rahim Hussein as telling lawmakers that 56 smugglers, as well as 63 people fleeing Ethiopia and Somalia died in the attack near Sudan's border with Egypt.

Unofficial casualty estimates released in March had put the number of dead at 39 people, riding in 17 trucks.

Israel refused to confirm or deny …

08 May 2009 description

Nairobi/N'Djamena_(dpa) _ Heavy fighting has broken out in the east of Chad despite government claims that it had repelled a rebel attack.

Both the government and the rebel Union of Resistance Forces claimed victory in the latest fighting, which took place near the town Am Dam.

Am Dam is located some 100 kilometres north of Goz Beida, where fighting earlier this week prompted foreign aid workers to be evacuated from refugee camps there.

Communications Minister Mahamat Hissene said that over 100 rebel troops and several of its own soldiers were killed in the latest battles that …

23 Apr 2009 description

Juba, Sudan_(dpa) _ Betty Pita, 20, sits on a rickety metal bed in the Children's Ward of Juba Teaching Hospital, watching her nine-month-old son Joshua finger the canula sticking out of his bandaged wrist.

Strewn around her are other mothers and their ailing children, the lucky ones lying on beds crammed into the narrow ward, the rest slumped on straw mats or blankets laid out on the stained floor.

Joshua is the liveliest kid in the ward - he can at least sit up. Some of the other children cry and reach weakly for their worried mothers.

12 Mar 2009 description

Paris/Brussels_(dpa) _ The three Western aid workers kidnapped in the strife-torn Sudanese province of Darfur were not maltreated during their abduction, officials from the charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), for whom they work, said in Brussels on Thursday.

"We have had contact with one of our colleagues since the abduction: they were in good health. We had contact with them last night ...

05 Mar 2009 description

Vienna_(dpa) _ The international arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir would encourage rebel groups in Darfur and destabilize the country, a senior Sudanese parliamentarian warned Thursday in Vienna.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Wednesday issued the warrant against al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the counter-insurgency campaign in Sudan's Darfur region.

"It's a carte blanche to the armed rebel movements to attack the sovereignty of the country, the stability of the people, and to …

29 Jan 2009 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The deputy leader of Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC), is preparing to give himself up, newspaper reports said Thursday.

Okot Odhiambo is in negotiations to give himself up to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in return for amnesty, government-owned newspaper The New Vision reported.

"We are in direct communication with Odhiambo, who has announced that he has defected and is seeking amnesty in Uganda," The New Vision quoted IOM's chief of …

29 Nov 2008 description

Kampala, Uganda (dpa) The leader of a major rebel faction failed to turn up Saturday for a long-awaited ceremony to sign a truce intended to end more than two decades of war in the country's north, Ugandan military officials said Saturday.

There was no sign of Joseph Kony, head of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), army spokesman major Paddy Akunda told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Radio news reports said scores of religious and political leaders from the war-ravaged region have been waiting in the bushes of southern Sudan for days for Kony.

21 Nov 2008 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ The number of people being forced across borders into other countries on the African continent is decreasing but those displaced within their states through civil conflicts are on the increase, African Union and United Nations refugee officials said Friday.

One out of five of the world's 15 million refugees are in Africa while 15 million out of 24 million internally displaced people on earth are found on the continent, AU refugee officials told reporters in Uganda.

The AU is organizing a summit of heads of state in Uganda in early March 2009 to explore the causes, …

22 Oct 2008 description

Kampala_(dpa) _ Most of the estimated 30,000 children abducted by Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) during its two-decade-long war with the government were sold to fight in Sudan's restive Darfur province, Uganda's Daily Monitor reported Wednesday.

The children were first forced by the LRA to fight and commit atrocities.

02 Oct 2008 description

Nairobi_(dpa) _ Tensions are rising at the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp complex in North-West Kenya as a massive influx of Somali refugees fleeing a brutal insurgency across the border stretches the facilities to breaking point, a UN official said Thursday.

The complex, made up of three separate camps stretching over 50 square kilometres, now hosts 215,000 refugees - the vast majority of them Somali.

20 Sep 2008 description

Nairobi/Juba_(dpa) _ About 100 militants of the Uganda Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked a military base and three villages in southern Sudan, kidnapping about 50 children, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The children were taken to rebel hideouts in the attack which occurred Friday, a Catholic priest was quoted as saying. A UN spokesman said the attack was an indication that the LRA was trying to increase its troop levels.

Known for its massive use of forces child soldiers, the LRA has been engaged in a civil war in northern Uganda for more than 20 …

09 Sep 2008 description

Nairobi/Kinshasa_(dpa) _ The United Nations and the Democratic Republic of Congo have started a military operation directed against Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), news reports said.

Kony is refusing to sign a final peace deal after two years of negotiations and is believed to have been using the time to rearm.

The LRA, which is well-known for recruiting child soldiers, has in recent months been attacking villages and abducting people in southern Sudan, DR Congo and parts of the Central African Republic, United Nations and military officials …

04 Sep 2008 description

Nairobi/Khartoum_(dpa) _ The joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur UNAMID said Thursday it would continue to provide security in a camp for internally displaced people following a deadly attack by Sudanese security forces.

UNAMID says 32 people, including women and children, died and 50 were injured in the attack in Sudan's restive Darfur province on August 25.

Sudanese security opened fire in the Kalma camp near the capital of South Darfur, Nyala, during what it said was an operation to retrieve a rebel weapon stockpile.

"It would be inhuman …

23 Jul 2008 description

Cairo_(dpa) _ The Sudanese government has agreed to bring to justice all those who are accused of committing crimes in Darfur and to seek a political resolution to the conflict in the province, the Arab League said Wednesday.

The Cairo-based league adopted in an emergency meeting of its foreign ministers on Saturday a plan to defuse the crisis between Sudan and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The crisis erupted after the ICC chief prosecutor Luis-Moreno Ocampo asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Darfur war crimes charges.

The …