Troubling death sentence trends in Egypt, South Sudan

Troubling death sentence trends in Egypt, South Sudan

Global executions fell by 31 percent last year, the lowest in a decade, but that trend didn’t entirely hold in countries across the African continent, according to a new report from Amnesty International. Five African Union member nations carried out known death-penalty executions last year, including Botswana, Egypt, Somalia, South…

Benin a bright spot in new World Happiness Report

Benin a bright spot in new World Happiness Report

African nations facing critical challenges rarely rank well in the annual World Happiness Report, but there are variations – including a drop in happiness measures across the Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa as home to the most-improved country. The annual report released Wednesday evaluates happiness on the…

Calls for justice after mass rape attacks in South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is acting to stop a troubling trend in sexual attacks on women and girls travelling from villages to the town of Bentiu in the Unity region of the country. Approximately 125 women and girls have sought medical treatment after having been raped…

Report: South Sudan forces are attacking civilians

It’s less than a week until South Sudan plans a peace celebration in Juba with both President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar expected to attend. Yet there’s little to celebrate for thousands of civilians still fleeing violence, and there’s evidence that the latest “peace on paper” isn’t reaching…

Attack on UN peacekeeper breaches South Sudan peace

A Nepalese peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was shot and wounded by a government soldier near the town of Yei at the weekend, raising questions over the country’s fragile new peace agreement. The convoy was travelling from the UN base in Yei to collect water,…

South Sudan touts oil recovery at AOP18, but obstacles remain

South Sudan’s oil production is recovering from years of conflict, according to Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the country’s Minister of Petroleum, but many obstacles remain even as oilfield operations come back online. Security was top of mind as South Sudan took the spotlight during the Africa Oil & Power conference in…

Amnesty calls for release of Ajak, South Sudanese prisoners

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir promised more than once to release political detainees, most recently in June when signing a peace agreement in Khartoum. Yet South Sudanese are still arbitrarily arrested, detained and tortured, according to an Amnesty International report released Tuesday. Most recently, Dr. Peter Biar Ajak, a prominent…

South Sudan deal sees both cautious optimism and rejection

While some observers noted celebration in the streets of Juba following news of a South Sudan peace deal Sunday night, others are more cautiously optimistic on whether this power-sharing agreement will hold. Among them would be opposition leader Riek Machar himself, who acknowledged there was still much work to do…

South Sudan rivals trade accusations over ceasefire violation

The opposing factions in South Sudan’s civil war traded accusations on Saturday over violations of a ceasefire agreement that was supposed to be in force beginning at midnight. The spokesman for the SPLA IO said government forces working with militia groups launched an attack against the opposition in Wau state…

Machar, Odinga meet in Pretoria as South Sudan talks edge forward

In South Africa, exiled South Sudanese opposition leader Riek Machar acknowledged meeting with former Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga, but it remains to be seen if Machar will participate in direct peace negotiations with President Salva Kiir. “I have had a fruitful discussion with Hon. Raila Odinga in the quest…