European countries give $200 million for famine hit South Sudan as African countries look on
22, February 2017 (Nyamilepedia) — The European continent and the United Kingdom has responded swiftly with huge amounts of cash contributions to support hunger and famine catastrophe that has befallen the East African Nation of South Sudan.
This comes after latest warning by the United Nations and the country’s own government of President Kiir that the country was now facing a painful and severe Famine.
At the same time Pope Francis in Rome has on wednesday called on the world to run to rescue of South Sudan, describing South Sudan’s civil war as “fratricidal”.
As a result of 3 years of civil war that has been covered with huge displacement, atrocities, human rights abuses and destruction of countless properties, South Sudan’s economy has crumbled while the population has fled due to fighting leaving no room for farming.
South Sudan’s government lead by President Silva Kiir and also the United Nations both declared officially this week that South Sudan was now facing severe famine.
The famine is affecting thousands in most parts of the war-torn country with millions others facing starvation across the county including the capital Juba
Both the government and the UN have called for a quick rescue and aid donations for world countries.
Great Britain and the European Union have now both pledge a total of $200 Million as aid package response to the starving and suffering people of South Sudan.
South Sudan fell into war and chaos in 2013 after political differences within the ruling SPLM party after Dr Riek Machar the then Vice President said he would stand for the Presidency of the country.
This was interpreted as a threat by President Salva Kiir who accused Machar of plotting a coup after declaring to challenge his leadership.
Fighting broke out between supporters of both leaders leading to a full blown civil war that has left South Sudan on its knees.
A peace agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2015 by President Silva Kiir and Riek Machar, a transitional government of national unity was formed.
However the agreement fell apart when President Silva Kiri’s forces launched an unexpected and surprise attack on Machars bases in and around the capital Juba forcing the then less armed Machar to flee the capital and now residing in South Africa.
The civil war have since resumed and spread to other regions which includes Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal.
Ceasefire has been violated several time by both sides and intense fighting has continued with no end to hotilities insight.
It’s believed the return to war in South Sudan was indirectly encouraged by the East African countries bordering South Sudan namely, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia who are seen as having hands in South Sudan.
The East African countries which previously mediated peace talks are now said to have lost neutrality as mediators with each country rushing in to secure business and trade interests with President Salva Kiir’s government.
UN officials have warn several times that South Sudan was on the brink of both famine and slow genocide, however nothing much has been done so far by African countries and the international community to address the crisis.
“Our worst fears have been realized,…… Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive.” said Serge Tissot, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) spokesman in South Sudan.
the UN food agency (FAO) chief said that Nearly 275,000 children are at risk of starving to death unless the international community intervenes in a rapid and meaningful way.
East African countries who are now being blamed for prolonging South Sudan’s crisis have gone quiet since the declaration of the famine.
IGAD has so far not responded and has also failed to condemn continued violence.
Many South Sudanese believe some IGAD countries have sided with President Silva Kiir and pushed Kiir to carry on attacks against his opponents without calling the South Sudanese President to restrain.
South Sudanese have expressed shock at silence of the African countries as catastrophe engulfs their country, accusing IGAD main countries of only showing up when they have financial interests but running away when South Sudan is in crisis.
Many South Sudanese civilians the reporter spoke too said they have been mentality and consciously affected about how Africa countries have failed to respond despite some benefittig from South Sudans post independence financial bonanza.
Many South Sudanese say they have been left to look up to Europeans for support and help than to look to black Africans.
One South Sudanese citizen said Africans would never save South Sudan as the continents history shows that countless civil wars, abuses, deaths and disasters were caused mostly by Africans themselves, but only to be solved by outsides or Europeans.
“I don’t think this people (African leaders) will save us, they are the part of the problem we face, but when it comes to solution they cannot do it, …Let me tell you, just look at our history here in Africa, you will know what I mean, we will always remain down…..” said a disturbed James Hakim, a young government worker who says he didn’t receive his salary for 3 month in a row
South Sudan neighbours known as IGAD are said to be torn between serving their own interests and stabilizing South Sudan within the overall Africa security agendas.
Countries like Kenya previously seen as most credible and neutral, but have recently slipped and taken sides in the civil war.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government being accused of kidnapping South Sudanese refugees and sending them back to Salva Kiir’s government in return for financial favours.
Observers say lack of holding actors to account, coupled with most of the IGAD countries facing own internal crisis makes it difficult for regional leaders to call for Kiir to quit leaving South Sudan’s peace in limbo.
A south Sudanese student who spoke to the reporter said he does not for-see much change on how Africa was and is politically dealing with problems on the continent today.
“…..yes I have no hope in Africa, it’s the same Africa of yesterday, we should not expect much from this continent, but we appreciate the others (European) support and intervention” Said David Jok a University of Juba youth!
Britains Department for International Development (DfID) said on Tuesday that it was making £100m ready for South Sudan this year.
The British government says it has given East African countries more aid money last year as part of a package aimed at preventing migration from East Africa due to conflicts and poverty.
Pope Francis meanwhile called on Wednesday for urgent humanitarian aid for the starving people of South Sudan, saying millions risked being “condemned to death” by a famine in parts of the war-ravaged country.
Pope Francis called on Wednesday for urgent humanitarian aid for the starving people of South Sudan, saying millions risked being “condemned to death” by a famine in parts of the war-ravaged country.
The UN has warned that about 40% of South Sudan’s population are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and that people are already dying from hunger caused by famine in parts of the country.