Instability in South Sudan
by Connor Crout
Aid workers have reported that two children and one adult have died of starvation in a displacement camp in the northern state of Warrap. This is a result of the suspension of the World Food Programme’s rationing programmes, that have provided food for the displaced, due to a lack of funding, Approximately £350 million would be needed to continue distributing food and a lot of international money has been allocated to new areas of need, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
After South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, Salva Kiir became president of one of the youngest nations, still remaining in power today . In December 2013, Kiir accused 11 people , including then former Vice President Riek Machar, of attempting a coup d’état. The resulting civil war lasted for over six years, leaving approximately 400,000 dead. In the aftermath of the civil war, South Sudan remains politically unstable.
Future international funding will hopefully ameliorate the dire and volatile situation in South Sudan.
Kenyan food inflation crisis reaches critical stage
by Aidan O’Connor
The BBC has reported that a growing number of families in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi are only eating once a day due to the rising cost of food. Food inflation in Kenya rose by a crippling 12.4 percent between May 2021 and 2022. For many Kenyans, especially those who were already struggling, cutting down and rationing their food consumption seems to be the only way to get by.
The rise in the cost of food has been attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, inadequate rainfall has caused widespread crop failure, drastically reducing the farmers annual harvest. Meanwhile the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has resulted in a steep rise in the price of fertiliser and fuel. The pressing issue is set to dominate the Kenyan elections next month, which will decide who will succeed incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta.
‘“Everywhere you go, you think people could kill you’” – growing anti-Rwandan sentiment in the DR Congo
by Neo Allert
Since May the rebel group M23 has been resuming its attacks in DR Congo’s North Kivu province bordering Rwanda. This region has been plagued by sustained rebel insurgencies that have resulted in the displacement of Congolese citizens. This has exacerbated the already critical situation in the DR Congo. With Kinshasa accusing Kigali of supporting and endorsing the Tutsi-led M23 movement, anti-Rwandan sentiment has been growing among Congolese citizens.
In late June videos surfaced showing men prowling the streets with machetes on the lookout for Rwandans. This has sparked fear among the Rwandan community in the DR Congo. Zawadi, a mother of two children, states that she barely leaves the house. Although the Congolese government in Kinshasa has condemned these violent anti-Rwandan sentiments and has subsequently promised protection for Rwandan nationals, people like Zawadi still have to live in constant fear.
The central African powder keg – Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
by Kate Nuttall
The militant group March 23rd Movement, known as M23, have become active again in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fears are growing as the spectre of a larger Central African war seems to haunt the region. In 2021, the M23 took action on armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo in close vicinity to the border between Rwanda and Uganda. Several months later the group took hold of the DR Congo’s eastern borderland, expanding its territory further into the Congolese heartland throughout 2021.
It is said that the long-standing rivalry between Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo has played a key part in the resurgence of the militant group. Tensions have remained high since the 1990s when all three nations were involved in conflicts that came to be known as the African World War. Distrust and animosity between the DR Congo and its neighbours has only grown due to the resurgence of militant groups, such as the M23.
Last month, Rwanda and the DR Congo accused each other of firing rockets across the shared border. It is unlikely that these tensions will be resolved in the immediate future. Central Africa has turned into a powder keg that could further destabilise a region already suffering from major instability, poverty and violence.