South Sudan, rebel groups ink historic peace deal | AFP

South Sudan’s government and rebel groups have signed a landmark peace deal aimed at ending decades of war in which hundreds of thousands have died. Cheers rang out as one by one, representatives from the transitional government and rebel groups signed the deal, a year after the peace talks began, at a ceremony in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

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Coronavirus around the world – 9th April edition | AFP

The number of coronavirus cases around the globe now stands at more than 1.5 million. For doctors and nurses the battle to save lives continues, while leaders and the world’s poorest citizens alike grapple with the economic effects of lockdown. A ban on gatherings means Jews celebrating Passover and Christians preparing for Easter have to get creative. And in Japan, one lockdown-free region continues to play host to a stranded delegation of athletes from South Sudan.

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Coronavirus: world cases top 1.5 million – 9th April

The number of coronavirus cases around the globe now stands at more than 1.5 million. For doctors and nurses the battle to save lives continues, while leaders and the world’s poorest citizens alike grapple with the economic effects of lockdown. A ban on gatherings means Jews celebrating Passover and Christians preparing for Easter have to get creative. And in Japan, one lockdown-free region continues to play host to a stranded delegation of athletes from South Sudan.

Japan hospitality keeps South Sudan athletes’ Olympic dream alive | AFP

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was a heavy blow for many athletes, but a team of South Sudanese sprinters training in a Japanese town are hoping to turn the delay to their gain, taking advantage of hospitality and training facilities that aren’t available in their young but poor home country.

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South Sudan Just Ended Its Civil War — for Now

Almost since declaring independence in 2011, South Sudan has suffered through a civil war that has killed 400,000 people and displaced millions.

But after more than a year of negotiations, warring leaders President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar, have reunited to form a new government. While the news means hope for the traumatized nation, some problems remain unsolved.

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The other war: Treating the wounded of South Sudan’s community gunfights | AFP

South Sudan has a new unity government. But violence unrelated to the civil war rages on between communities. Thousands of armed men from the Nuer and Murle communities have been fighting in Jonglei, an eastern state, since February, leaving towns in ashes and untold dead and injured. N°1PU1PQN°1PV86S

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S.Sudanese refugees sceptical as coalition deadline nears | AFP

Refugees from South Sudan who live in UN displacement camps fear that peace could collapse into violence once more, as pressure mounts on President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, to honour a February 22 deadline to form a government.

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Many South Sudanese citizens “deliberately starved” : UN report | AFP

The chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan says that deliberate starvation and the deprivation of access to basic services are hallmarks of the conflict in South Sudan. She also highlights a significant level of political corruption. SOUNDBITE

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Birth defects soar in South Sudan oil patch

Emerging from civil war and famine, South Sudan has become increasingly dependent on its vast oil reserves. But troubling reports of widespread contamination and birth defects have many worried about their children’s futures. (Feb. 13)

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Sudanese face acute shortages of bread, fuel and foreign currency | AFP

Ten months after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir, acute shortages of bread, fuel and foreign currency continue to hamper Sudan’s economic revival. Years of conflict in Darfur and other regions and the secession of South Sudan in 2011 left the country’s economy in a shambles — the key factor for nationwide protests against Bashir last year.

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South Sudan: UN’s World Food Programme airdrops supplies in bid to “stop famine in its tracks” | AFP

Severe hunger persists in South Sudan and the World Food Programme says it is expected to worsen if assistance is not scaled up. The WFP has three planes operating airdrops in the country to supply aid to people that are difficult to access, like those who have sought refuge from conflict in the swampy land of the Sudd.

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Campaigners try to break sex taboos to fight HIV in South Sudan | AFP

The ‘Condomize’ campaign in South Sudan aims to break taboos surrounding sex and sex education by distributing over 5,000 condoms and sensitise its importance to the youth. Taboos have been considered as the major drivers behind the spread of HIV, for which the campaign has also set up testing and counselling rooms.

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South Sudan: hundreds of thousands displaced by severe flooding | AFP

Around 400,000 people have been displaced from their homes by severe floods affecting large swathes of South Sudan, according to the country’s United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator. Heavy rains have hit areas that were already in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

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First official South Sudanese women’s football tournament kicks off in Juba | AFP

For the first time, the city of Juba hosts the first women’s football tournament since the country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. Seven teams representing different states in South Sudan are participating in this tournament.

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Riek Machar arrives in Juba in bid to salvage stalled peace agreement | AFP

South Sudan’s exiled rebel leader Riek Machar arrives in Juba accompanied by Sudanese paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. Machar is expected to meet his rival, President Salva Kiir, to try salvage a stalled peace agreement. Daglo is holding separate peace talks with Sudanese armed groups. IMAGES

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Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly we head to Madagascar where poachers are threatening the country’s forests and lemurs. Then we visit South Sudan, where money, guns and brides are fuelling cattle wars. FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

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Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, we focus on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is in the grip of an Ebola outbreak. And we travel to South Sudan where, in the shadow of conflict, those in the remote regions of the country also live in fear of a lack of access to health care. FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

S. Sudan parties meet in Ethiopia in bid to salvage peace deal

South Sudan’s warring parties meet in Addis Ababa in a bid to salvage a stalled peace deal with just days to go until a unity government is meant to be formed. The meeting has been arranged by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc for East Africa, which says it hopes the discussions will “develop a clear roadmap” for the formation of the government. IMAGES of the attendees

New limbs, new life for South Sudan amputees

South Sudan’s five-year long civil war has left thousands of people with missing limbs. A centre run by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Juba serves both as a hospital and a prosthetics factory for patients from around the country.

Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, we focus on a base in eastern Mali, set up for soldiers joining ‘Operation Barkhane’ in the Sahel desert and we travel to South Sudan where a lull in fighting has led scores of displaced people to cautiously return home.FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

Pope Francis kisses South Sudanese leaders’ feet pleading for peace

Pope Francis stunned visitors to Vatican with a grand gesture of humility by kneeling down to kiss the feet of South Sudan’s formerly warring leaders as a plea for peace.

‘I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward,’ the 82-year-old pontiff told President Salva Kiir and his rival, the former rebel leader Riek Machar on Thursday.

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S.Sudan holds breath as fragile peace faces crucial test

Chol Deng, her husband and five children sit, exhausted, under a tree, having journeyed back to South Sudan five years after fleeing their corpse-strewn hometown Malakal. Encouraged by a six-month lull in fighting as a peace deal holds for the first time since 2015, the family last month joined scores of others warily returning home from Ethiopia and Sudan.

Chess, the war game building bridges in South Sudan

The scorching sun is finally beginning to dip on a late Saturday afternoon in Juba, where a small group gathers to watch a tense battle between two of their best men. Nevertheless, after more than five years of war, pitting different ethnic groups in the fledgling nation against one other, the Munuki Chess Club is a haven of peaceful coexistence.