South Sudan: Last week, violence engulfed Juba, South Sudan as military forces supporting President Salva Kiir and Vice President Machar engaged in heavy battles. As the most recent violence caused more than 300 deaths and 36,000 displaced, and major banks and insurers in Africa temporarily close their operations and evacuating staff, the leaders of both sides on Monday night have ordered to have the clashes ceased. On Wednesday, the White House had deployed 47 troops to the country to protect its citizens and the U.S. embassy until their presences are no longer needed.
This is not the first time that the two forces engage in infighting where innocent civilians get caught in the crossfires; the reason why is that the two leaders have embroiled in a power struggle since 2013 when the President accused the vice president of initiating a coup to oust him out of power. As the result, about 50,000 people were killed, more than 2 million were displaced, and 5 million face great food shortages.
However, international communities have raised their concerns over the renewed fighting, which could undermine the 2015 peace deal that ended two years of South Sudan’s civil war. The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide voiced his concern as he feared that the fighting could plunge South Sudan back into civil war “at unimaginable human cost.” On Tuesday, the Secretary-General called for an immediate arms embargo as violence erupted on the ground that the South Sudanese government could not protect its civilians.
The ICRC is continuing their efforts to help those in needs in this current situation. On Monday morning, the South Sudan Red Cross teams were able to move in a few areas of central Juba, while the ICRC teams followed them in the afternoon. The teams were able to provide assistance to those in needs, such as providing food, medical supplies. Furthermore, ICRC is looking for ways to extend their operations and maintaining operating ones across the country, such as in Wau and other violence-affected rural areas.
China: As weeks of torrential rain across central and southern China continue since April, the country thus suffered the worst flooding since 1998 with 173 deaths. The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs reported that the flooding and rain have affected more than 31 million people in 12 provinces, while submerged about 2.7 million hectares of farming land and caused about $10 million worth of damages. Additionally, 1 million people are also in dire need of assistance. On another report, the number of deaths and damages are much greater: 186 deaths, 32 million affected in 26 provinces. It is reported that Apple has donated $1 million to those in need.
According to reports, the weather patterns are not surprising due to the El Nino effect, caused by global warming, as the precipitation levels are much higher compared to those of the previous years. Furthermore, it is reported that the rampant corruption in the country also fortifies the damages caused by the floods. For instance, in 2014, an official responsible for a dike construction was charged with corruption charges. This year, during the flood, a dike – which was part of the project, was breached.
However, many predict that more floods will happen in late July – early August as the peak flooding has not struck, and that the government is extensively preparing for the worst to come.
The Red Cross Society of China has been distributing relief and emergency items, such as money, family kits, clothes, tents, and food, to help those affected by the floods.