Bor, South Sudan – It has been a dark week in Jonglei State in eastern South Sudan. On Friday night, the last of the humanitarian workers in Pibor town were evacuated by UN helicopter as South Sudanese forces roamed the dusty streets, attacking civilians and looting anything they could carry.
This post originally appeared on UN Dispatch.
Today, Marcy Hersh and I are en route to South Sudan, where we will spend the next three weeks assessing the conditions for displaced people in two of the harshest and most isolated areas of the country. In Jonglei and Unity states, an estimated 180,000 displaced persons are taking shelter in camps, with host families, and hiding in the bush, often with little to no support from the UN or humanitarian agencies.
Last month, flanked by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura on one side and spokesperson Angelina Jolie on the other, and with members of the G8 group of nations fanning out in support from behind, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague stood at a press podium to deliver a pledge on behalf of the G8 group of ministers to “end sexual violence in conflict.”
Crisis after crisis, natural and climate change-related disasters such as floods, droughts, and storms have displaced people from their homes in countries around the world. Though a causal link between any weather event and climate change is difficult to prove, climatologists have long believed that climate change will result in an increase in extreme weather events. Floods, droughts, and storms almost always impact the lives of individuals, forcing them to flee their homes as a result of safety or reduced food supply, among other factors.
I have experienced many challenges living as a refugee in Nairobi for two years. The first challenge is security, which is not guaranteed. I live in Eastleigh, a small neighborhood that has become a Somali enclave. A series of explosions took place here after Kenyan troops entered Somalia.
This caused a reaction among Kenyans, who blamed Somali refugees. Although there is an increased police presence in the area, Somalis are afraid of the police because of the way that they behave towards them.
A few minutes ago, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved the creation of an “intervention brigade” within the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
The resolution passed despite a good deal of skepticism on the part of many Council members, and it’s unclear whether the Council is prepared for the potential humanitarian fallout.
This post originally appeared at The Refugee.
When the Kenyan government announced in December last year that all Somali refugees living in cities must move to the Dadaab refugee camp, I made plans to visit that camp. I wanted to see the place that was already home to hundreds of thousands of Somalis, and where the government planned to pack in thousands more.
After a 20 year absence from Capitol Hill, former Secretary of State George Shultz returned last Friday to urge members of Congress to act on climate change.
Many might find this surprising since Shultz served under President Ronald Reagan and few of his fellow Republicans support action to combat climate change. But it is Shultz’s economic and national security expertise that spurred his case for U.S. leadership on this issue.
The South Sudanese army (SPLA) is preparing this week to launch a major military offensive in Jonglei State against rebel leader David Yau Yau. The new operation comes after multiple failed attempts to convince Yau Yau to cease hostilities in the region.