Our Conflicts and Emergencies blog (EN)
The defeat of the M23 rebel group by the Congolese army was big news last year. We all hoped that the business of getting on with life could return. But decades of extreme violence, lawlessness and the lack of accountable government authorities in my country could not disappear overnight.
“This resolution should not have been necessary,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon told the 15 member states of the UN Security Council on their unanimous adoption of a resolution demanding humanitarian access across Syria.
Oxfam media officer Geno Teofilo reports on urgent humanitarian needs – including shelter from the upcoming rainy season – during a visit to South Sudanese refugee centers in northern Uganda.
When I touch the sensitive subject of security, all I see is discomfort and eyes wandering off to avoid mine. On Friday (21 February) I met with another young woman, a girl in fact, who is so uncomfortable speaking about the topic, in this camp for South Sudanese refugees in Arua, North Uganda.
Just 17 years old, Nyebuony escaped the violence in South Sudan, together with her three siblings. No parents, just them, as appears to be quite common in this crisis.
On Tuesday morning we received bad news from Malakal. The Oxfam team there reported heavy military attacks on the capital of Upper Nile State. Our colleagues, who were working on health promotion with the people living in the UN Compound, had to move to the bunkers in the base. They are still waiting for the fighting to decrease, when they will likely be evacuated.
These words, spoken by a grandmother who I met at an IDP camp in South Sudan, demonstrate the depth of the rifts that exist in this young nation. It also gives an indication of the challenges that need to be surmounted to get this country back to where it was before 15 December last year – and even more optimistically, on a path to steady development.
Moussa – not his real name - stood with his last pile of groundnuts, just one of three traders left in a vast, empty market that, before the recent conflict in Central African Republic, used to burst with life. He told me that he had already sent his wife and children out of the country, because he feared for their safety. As soon as he sold his last stock, he would go too.
Nestling between picturesque snow-capped mountains and the shimmering waters of Lake Geneva lies the Swiss town of Montreux, which hosted the opening day of the Syria peace talks just a few short weeks ago.