Ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline, the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan over the weekend engaged in their first direct talks since hostilities spiked in late April.
The streets have been swept clean and lined with flags to mark the first anniversary of South Sudan’s independence. But cosmetic changes in the capital, Juba, mask deep concerns about the future of the world’s newest nation.
One year after the formation of South Sudan, the country’s women say that independence has not resulted in the positive political, economic and social changes that they had hoped for.
Within the next nine days, drinking water at refugee camps in South Sudan's Upper Nile state will run dry, warned the aid agency Doctors Without Borders on Tuesday. Meanwhile, refugees continue to stream into the state, as the few camps set up to house to entrants are stretched even further beyond capacity.
Sudanese refugees have started dying as a camp in South Sudan ran out of water four days ago after a massive influx of people fled across the border to escape war and hunger.
The United Nations has warned that despite the austerity measures put in place by South Sudan to deal with its economic woes, humanitarian agencies will have to increase relief efforts in order to keep the country’s poor alive as the financial situation worsens.
South Sudan is losing its forests. And with no unified policy to deal with the situation the government is at odds, with one ministry saying that the loss of forests is a necessity for farming and another warning of the dire environmental consequences if this continues unchecked.
Three years ago, the African Union began a continent-wide campaign to reduce the number of women who die when pregnant or giving birth.
In the wake of border tensions, the United Nations is airlifting 12,000 southerners from a Sudanese frontier town into South Sudan. But they are returning home in the midst of an economic crisis that has the U.N. warning it may appeal for more funding to scale up humanitarian operations.
The United Nations’ 56th
session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) begins today in New York, with the empowerment of rural women high on a list of priorities for this year.