Is South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis comparable with Rwanda’s – twenty years after the world promised ‘never again’?
News broke in late March that South Sudan ordered its oil companies to start production again. The fledgling Sub-Saharan nation stopped oil exports in January 2012 amid failed negotiations with Sudan over oil transmission prices. Not that this is anything new. The two Sudans reached an agreement last September but it was never implemented due to disagreement over border security issues.
Darfur and the DRC are two of the most dangerous places on earth, with armed factions fighting for control of territory and regular violent clashes. But far more dangerous than bullets is the silent killer of disease and malnutrition that has claimed many thousands of children’s lives. Emily Cooper, a nutrition expert for the international children’s charity World Vision, recently visited South Sudan and heard people’s stories.
Last week, UNFPA hosted the International Obstetric Fistula working group in Maputo, Mozambique. Obstetric fistula is a striking indication of the insufficient maternal health care that exists in some parts of the world; obstetric fistula is a condition in which a fistula (hole/ communication) develops between the vagina (birth canal) and bladder or vagina and rectum as a result of a severe and obstructed labour during childbirth.
We are on the verge of seeing the birth of a new African nation, one that will have emerged through the will of its people. It will be a time of optimism, a time of risk, and a time of opportunities that we should not miss.
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