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02 Dec 2017 description
report Voice of America

December 01, 2017 9:49 AM
Eskender Frew

The government of Ethiopia says it will close all 27 refugee camps in its territory over the next 10 years and integrate residents into local communities.

"There will be a gradual transition from a camp-based protection model to supporting refugees directly within host communities,” Zeynu Jemal, deputy director of the Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), told VOA's Horn of Africa Service.

16 Sep 2017 description
report Voice of America

Deng Ghai Deng

BOR, SOUTH SUDAN — An overflowing Nile River and heavy rains flooded the South Sudanese town of Bor this week, sweeping away homes and leaving hundreds of families without food or shelter.

Marth Aluel Akuei, a resident of the Lekyak area just outside Bor town, used mud to build a dyke around her damaged home. The three grass-thatched structures she owned — known as tukuls — were washed away in the flood.

01 Sep 2017 description
report Voice of America

Activists are asking the Department of Homeland Security to extend Temporary Protected Status for over 1,000 Sudanese and South Sudanese nationals living in the United States.

By September 3, DHS is expected to decide whether to extend, redesignate or terminate the program for the two countries.

The current period ends November 2 for 49 South Sudanese and 1,039 Sudanese TPS beneficiaries.

Patrice Lawrence of UndocuBlack Network, an advocacy group for undocumented black immigrants, wants an extension.

'Stuck in this status'

03 Aug 2017 description
report Voice of America


Witnesses and military officials in South Sudan said at least six people were killed in an attack Wednesday on a bus convoy traveling between Juba, the capital, and Nimule, on the country’s southern border with Uganda.

Four civilians and two national security service members escorting the convoy were killed, a spokesman for the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

29 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

Sora Halake

Last year, aid agencies and the Kenyan government set up a new settlement for refugees in the northwestern town of Kalobeyei. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) made a point of saying that Kalobeyei would not be a refugee camp. Instead, it would be an "integrated community," where refugees and local residents could do business together, live in harmony and access services offered by UNHCR through local partners.

But for Galgalo Arero, an Ethiopian refugee and father of three, the real Kalobeyei is very different than the dream.

27 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN — Civil society activists say a move to exclude South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar from a regional peace process will ensure that South Sudan remains engulfed in war.

Ministers of the East African bloc IGAD said Monday that Machar will not be invited to the next meeting for the peace process, which is aimed at revitalizing a 2015 peace agreement between the rebels and South Sudanese government.

19 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

Nabeel Biajo

Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN — South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has declared a state of emergency in his home state of Gogrial and parts of three other states where clashes have raged for months between clan-based militias.

The country's information minister, Michael Makuei, said the army would be given powers to stop the fighting in Gogrial and the states of Tonj, Wau and Aweil East. 

15 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

Sora Halake

A recently arrived species of armyworm has spread to 21 African countries and threatens the continent's main food staple, maize, report experts from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

USAID senior biotechnology advisor Joseph Huesing says the fall armyworms -- transported from their usual habitat in the U.S. state of Florida or the Caribbean -- are attacking maize crops all over sub-Saharan Africa.

12 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

By Salem Solomon

WASHINGTON — Aid agencies say they welcome the Trump administration's promise of nearly $640 million to help four countries dealing with rampant food insecurity but say the pledge is overdue and taking too long to reach the people who desperately need it.

President Donald Trump announced the pledge at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany last weekend, several weeks after Congress approved the expenditures for Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

U.S. response questioned

01 Jul 2017 description
report Voice of America

Lisa Schlein

GENEVA — "I was 12 years old when I was raped. I did not understand what was happening."

Nelle is now 36 years old. But in 1993 when war broke out in Burundi, armed men came to her village near the capital, Bujumbura. They killed her mother and father and six siblings. She was raped, but she survived.

“I saw people were killing each other. They were running away and killing each other. I hid myself under dead bodies for five days,” she said.

Difficult story

20 Jun 2017 description
report Voice of America

Halima Athumani

ADJUMANI, UGANDA — The nearly one million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda face shortages of food, water and medical care, but they have also brought with them the trauma of the war they fled. Aid agencies are struggling to meet the need for counseling for survivors of gender-based violence.

She was attacked in South Sudan six months ago, but she is still afraid to answer the door. VOA met this 35-year-old woman at the Pagirinya refugee settlement in Uganda. She spoke through a translator.

20 Jun 2017 description
report Voice of America

Halima Athumani

ADJUMANI, UGANDA — This week, Uganda welcomes U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other high-level international guests and donors for the two day Refugee Solidarity Conference (Thursday 6/22 and Friday 6/23). The conference in Kampala hopes to raise $8 billion to support refugees in Uganda for the next four years.

At the border separating Uganda from South Sudan, exhausted women and children arrive daily, hungry and dehydrated. Aid workers give them fortified biscuits.

19 Jun 2017 description
report Voice of America

Halima Athumani

ADJUMANI, UGANDA —It is estimated Uganda has one doctor for every 24,000 citizens. The nurse-to-population ratio is not much better, one for every 11,000 people, and much of that staff is concentrated in urban areas.

Now add 1.2 million refugees.

05 Jun 2017 description
report Voice of America

By Salem Solomon

The world is watching closely as food shortages grip parts of Africa and the Middle East. As humanitarian groups respond to the crisis, they have to solve a major problem: how to track food security in areas that are simply too remote or too dangerous to access.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) has come up with an innovative answer. The U.S.-funded organization is working with DigitalGlobe, a Colorado satellite company, to crowdsource analysis of satellite imagery of South Sudan.

26 May 2017 description
report Voice of America

John Tanz

WASHINGTON — On Africa Day Thursday, about 3,000 young African leaders appealed to African heads of state to rescue South Sudan's 2015 peace agreement.

The Archbishop Tutu fellows said in a letter to the leaders that the conflict in South Sudan poses serious national security threats to neighboring countries.

24 May 2017 description
report Voice of America

By John Tanza

State authorities in South Sudan closed part of their border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo last week in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola outbreak, declared by the World Health Organization in a remote, northern part of the DRC two weeks ago.

The WHO has confirmed that four people have died from the disease in the DRC. Lino Utu, deputy governor of Tambura state, said the movement of people and goods between the two countries at the border town of Ezo had been restricted until further notice.

25 Apr 2017 description
report Voice of America

Sadiq Mohammed climbs into the cab of a truck that looks more like a nightclub than a smuggler's perch. Red and yellow tassels dangle from the ceiling, while tapestry drapes much of the windshield. He switches on the electric fan above his head and nestles into the front seat, which he's fitted with a more comfortable lawn chair.

The Sudanese trader-turned-smuggler says life is good. With both civil war and famine raging in South Sudan, "I have more business now than before."

11 Apr 2017 description
report Voice of America

At least 16 people have been killed in South Sudan as militiamen targeted civilians based on their ethnicity.

Witnesses say the Dinka militiamen, aligned with South Sudan's government, went house to house Monday in the town of Wau searching for people from the local Luo and Fertit ethnic groups. Residents say streets were deserted Monday as families hid inside their homes.

The United Nations mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS, said its workers saw "the bodies of 16 civilians in a hospital. There were 10 people who had been injured."

06 Apr 2017 description
report Voice of America

Jill Craig

ARUA, KOBOKO, YUMBE, UGANDA — The buses keep rolling in, bringing more South Sudanese from border points in northern Uganda to refugee settlements, their new homes for the foreseeable future. Africa’s biggest refugee crisis is becoming bigger by the day.

28 Mar 2017 description
report Voice of America

NAIROBI — Unidentified assailants took the lives of six aid workers in South Sudan on Saturday, the highest number killed in a single incident since South Sudan's conflict began in December 2013, according to the United Nations.

Working for a local NGO called GREDO, they were killed in the Magri area of Central Equatoria State, as they traveled from South Sudan's capital, Juba, to the town of Pibor.