Tuesday, 31 December 2013

South Sudan government, rebels set for New Year's Day talks

JUBA (Drive Hot Blog) - South Sudan's government and rebels are set for New Year's Day peace talks in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to thrash out a ceasefire to end weeks of ethnic bloodletting in the world's newest state.
Both sides agreed to a ceasefire on Tuesday, mediators said, but fighting between government troops and militias loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar raged in Bor, the capital of the vast Jonglei state and site of an ethnic massacre in 1991.
"I'm worried that the continued fighting in Bor might scupper the start of these talks," said Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom, who is chairman of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) bloc that is mediating the talks.
"Hopefully both delegations will arrive tomorrow (Wednesday), start the talks and settle this problem once and for all," Adhanom told Reuters by phone from Addis Ababa.
Western and regional powers have pushed both sides to end the fighting that has killed at least 1,000 people, cut South Sudan's oil output and raised fears of a full-blown civil war in the heart of a fragile region.
It was not clear who controlled Bor on Tuesday night after a day of heavy fighting that started at dawn in the dusty town, which was held by Machar's rebels for a few days at the start of the conflict. Nearly 200,000 civilians have been displaced.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said ethnic-based atrocities, often carried out against civilians by uniformed men, have taken place throughout the newly independent South Sudan.
"This can lead to a perpetual cycle of violence that can destroy the fabric of the new nation," the United Nations warned in a statement. About 9,000 civilians are seeking refuge at the U.N. base in Bor.
The clashes erupted on December 15 with fighting among soldiers in Juba. The violence quickly spread to half of the country's 10
states, dividing the country along the ethnic lines of Machar's Nuer group and President Salva Kiir's Dinkas.
Kiir has accused his long-term political rival Machar, who he sacked in July, of starting the fighting in an effort to seize power.
Machar has denied the charge, but he has taken to the bush and has acknowledged leading soldiers battling the government. There have been conflicting reports on whether Machar was in full control of the Nuer "White Army" militia fighting in Bor, though on Tuesday he told the BBC they were part of his forces.
The White House pressured all sides to cease hostilities and allow humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians.
"The United States will deny support and work to apply international pressure to any elements that use force to seize power," White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement on Tuesday. "At the same time, we will hold leaders responsible for the conduct of their forces and work to ensure accountability for atrocities and war crimes."
The fighting has revived memories of the factionalism in the 1990s within the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the group that fought Sudan's army in the north for two decades. Machar led a splinter faction and fighters loyal to him massacred Dinkas in Bor.
Both the government and the rebels said earlier on Tuesday that they were sending teams to start talks in neighboring Ethiopia, though Machar told the BBC on Tuesday that he was not prepared to lay down weapons.
The U.S. special envoy to South Sudan, Donald Booth, said the commitment to send negotiators was an "important first step" towards a negotiated settlement.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday that East African countries had agreed to move in and defeat Machar if he rejected the ceasefire offer, threatening to turn the fighting into a regional conflict. No other countries have confirmed any such an agreement.
"The town is still partly in our hands and partly in the hands of the rebels," Mayor Nhial Majak Nhial told Reuters on Tuesday from the government's military headquarters inside Bor, 190 km (120 miles) north of Juba by road.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said about 70,000 civilians had fled Bor and sought refuge in the town of Awerial in neighboring Lakes state, with no access to food, clean water or shelter. Others were hiding in swamps.
"Living conditions are verging on the catastrophic," MSF said.
According to United Nations figures, fighting across the country has displaced at least 180,000 people, including 75,000 who are seeking refuge inside U.N. bases.
The African Union said late on Monday it was dismayed and disappointed by the bloodletting that came two years after South Sudan won independence from its northern neighbor, Sudan.
The AU's Peace and Security Council said it would "take appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against all those who incite violence, including along ethnic lines, continue hostilities (and) undermine the envisaged inclusive dialogue."

Uneb computers crash with exam results

The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has been gripped by panic after several computers used to store and compute examination results suffered technical faults and are yet to be fixed.
This newspaper understands that the software used to operate the “old” computers “crashed” last week which could lead to postponing the release of examination results but officials have denied it.
The outgoing Uneb executive secretary, Mr Mathew Bukenya, in a telephone interview, said: “It’s a small technical fault that has been worked on.” He added: “There was a fault but did not mean complete collapse of the entire system as you imply.”
But an insider speaking on condition of anonymity said the cash strapped body is soliciting funds to fix the problem, notably procurement of new computer hardware and software, hire technicians, and to finish payments for the exam markers.
Mr Bukenya also said any decision to reschedule the exam release dates requires the input of the Uneb chairman, Mr Fagil Mandy, who was not immediately available for comment. “I don’t know who gave you that information but you may have to contact the Uneb chairman. All I can tell you is that there was slight fault which has been rectified.”
Exam results
Examination results for at least 582, 085 students who sat for Primary Leaving Exams are expected on January 15, and results for 295,494 Uganda Certificate of Education candidates are to be released later in the month.
It is, however, not yet clear how much data was lost after the technical fault and if it had been backed up somewhere else. Uneb spokesperson Hamis Kaheru said he was not aware of the multiple computer crash but announced yesterday they had deferred marking Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams due to shortage of funds.
UACE examiners were supposed to report on December 29, but Uneb sent them messages on their phones not to come but some teachers did not get them and they reported. They were refunded their money on Monday and asked to return home until further notice.

Lean On Me,double clik and read more...dont miss

Red Pepper Online

Hyena Consoles Heartbroken Babe, Shafts Her Lame. 2007 IS a good year for Hyena and like the Chinese say a year with a 6 belongs to a dragon, me i say a year with a 7 belongs to Hyena because the way am shafting women, the sky is the limit. If God isn’t careful, I will end up shafting with one of his Angels. God sent Prophet Muwanguzi to do miracles but he sent me to please all the unpleased women, to impregnant all the ‘un pregnantable’ women so all you ladies with, similar problems call Red Pepper for my directions.

Anyway today it is about Peace, some beautiful teacher and part time banker. She is so beautiful that I think God had a hand in creating her himself (no disrespect intended). I have been begging for her goods for 7 months and she kept on telling me that she was still studying me, how I hate that word ‘studying me’!As if I’m Egypt! She kept tossing me but later I got to learn that she was shafting with some guy called Tom who was working with the UN.A week after Easter, I met her in Angenior with this Tom guy and she blinked one eye, rose her eyebrows and laughed at me. I said a duwa for her. At 1am, she came running to me saying, “Please get me out of this place.

She was sobbing so I took her out to my car.“Hyena, Tom has been making a fool of me, can you imagine I’ve just found him fingering some bitch!” she cried out to me. “What! I wish Lubega had found him. So where do I take you?” I asked sympathetically.

“Take me anywhere, as long as it isn’t my place. I’m feeling so heartbroken Hyena,” she confessed. There’s no better chance to shaft a babe than when she is heartbroken and she runs to you! Off to Dolphin Suites in Bugolobi I sped. She cried all the way and I truly felt sorry for her. She even kept on crying when we got inside the room. I surely had nothing to say to her to feel well since I wasn’t good at baby sitting. It reached a point and I got bored and just wanted to sleep because I was counting that as a dead long night. As I was still trying to catch up with some sleep, I heard her say to me, “I feel so angry for having been used by Tom.”“I perfectly understand what it feels my dear,” I consoled her. “All I need from you Hyena now is a shaft; I believe it will make me feel much better,” she confessed to me.

“Are you sure that’s what you want? I asked just to make sure I had heard right. “Yes, you’ve heard, shaft me now or you get out of the room and find me someone to do it for me if you can’t” she said.
“Oh God, she’s damn serious,’ I said to myself. And for the first time, I was stuck where to start from! After a lot of thinking, I started by pulling off her mini skirt and I felt her smooth G-string. The whopper hardened as I felt her smooth hairy legs. I fingered her for some minutes and then condomised the whopper.

I started rubbing on her tweenies and this made her moan. She wrapped her hands around me making our chests get into contact. Her sharp boobs were piercing me and it killed me!I pushed in half of the whopper and I could tell that she had already cum! When I slid it in completely, ‘she died’!

I navigated all her walls; east, west, south I shafted, just like any other professional would do. All of a sudden, she let out a loud cry as if someone was strangling her. She then lay still like was had died. My heart missed a beat!I got off her, switched on the light and found her lying in el-nino, with her eyes wide open and pepper red! She was looking like she was high on drugs! I couldn’t believe that this babe was still crying! Tears were flowing uncontrollably! I pulled a bed sheet and covered her, she seemed stiff. I went to the bathroom and had a cold shower because my whopper was still demanding!

I sneaked into bed still scared that something wrong mighty happen to her in my company.As sleep was over powering me, I heard her move her slim body closer to my chest and she then coiled on me like a child on her mother.
“Eeeh… she has resurrected”

I said to myself. And since I hadn’t had enough of her, my whopper shot again. I reached for a CD and started the game allover again. We woke up very early in the morning and I dropped her at her house. Whenever I need her, I just drive to her home and she’s always welcoming. Now last week, I got a call from a certain Tom warning that I should leave his wife alone. Can you imagine!
Till then, I remain yours truly, the mighty Hyena

Former Ugandan VP urges opposition to unite

Kampala. Former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya has asked opposition parties and those who want change in the country’s leadership to embrace unity and front one candidate against President Museveni in 2016.
In his New Year statement released last Friday, Prof Bukenya urged opposition political parties to forge a unifying plan to challenge the NRM government.
“2014 will also be a year for uniting all political forces that are fighting this nepotistic regime. I appeal to all political parties not to be selfish about their individual desires but to forge one united front with one leader to compete for the leadership” Prof Bukenya said.
The former vice president, however, said disunity and more factions are likely to emerge next year in the NRM party.
“I predict increased disunity within the NRM party which may even fragment into several groups. I urge all those party members whose agenda within the party is to create a stable and economically viable country to join me in the new forces,” he said.
He said 2013 had been characterised by poor social service delivery and a difficult political atmosphere.
“There has been increased movement towards a police state in 2013 amidst... incidents of extra-judicial killings which have never been investigated.”
He advised the government to allow freedom of speech and association, to avoid sliding back into anarchy.

Westgate suspect's bail request denied

 From Left: Hussein Hassan Mustafa, Ibrahim Adan Dheq, Liban Abdulahi and Mohammed Ahmed. The four were on November 4th charged over the Westgate shopping mall terror attack in which at least 70 people were killed and over 200 others injured on September 21. 

A court for a second time has rejected a request to have one of the suspects in the Westgate shopping mall incident released on bond.
Mr Mohamed Ahmed, a madrassa teacher, lost his appeal against an earlier ruling against his release that stated he remains in custody over security reasons.
The court said it had taken judicial notice of the numerous terrorism acts in the country and cannot risk releasing the suspect facing a “serious charge” emanating from one of such atrocities which is “still fresh in the minds of the citizens”.
Mr Ahmed is charged alongside Mr Liban Abdullah, Mr Adan Dheq and Mr Hussein Hassan and are said to have helped the shooters during the September 21 attack at the mall.
He is further accused of giving shelter to one Abdikadir Hared Mohammed alias Mohammed Hussein at Salman Al-Faris Madrassa on Eastleigh’s Muyuyu Avenue on October 7.
The prosecution says he harboured a fugitive he “knew had committed a terrorist act”.
He is also accused of obtaining a Kenyan identity card at the National Registration bureau in Mandera town by false pretences. He faces further charges of being the country illegally.
The affidavit, sworn by a senior ranking anti-terrorism investigator, which two magistrates have upheld, states that the suspects are believed to have been involved in the attack alongside accomplices who were either killed in the hostage rescue operation or escaped and are on the run.
According to the prosecution the four suspects were either “directly or indirectly” involved in the attack.
Forty witnesses have been lined up for the trial which begins in mid January 2014.
The suspect had told court bail was his constitutional right and that he remained innocent until proven otherwise.
He had also said that the fact that suspected accomplices are yet to be apprehended should not be used to determine his fate. He had also sworn to abide by whatever conditions the court may have pegged on his release.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

US Voices Concern Over Uganda Anti-gay Bill

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki
 State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki

The US has voiced concern over an anti-homosexuality bill passed by Uganda’s parliament.
“We are deeply concerned by the Ugandan Parliament’s passage of anti-homosexuality legislation,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
“As Americans, we believe that people everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality – and that no-one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or whom they love.”
The Ugandan bill would make homosexuality punishable by up to life in prison if it is eventually signed into law.
It passed through Uganda’s parliament last week after a death penalty clause was dropped.
British tycoon Richard Branson also spoke out against the bill, and urged companies to boycott Uganda earlier on Monday.
Bill approval
The Virgin founder said Uganda must abandon the bill or find itself “ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide”.
“I have been courted by various people and government officials to do business in Uganda. I was seriously considering it,” Branson wrote on his website on Monday.
“However, the dreadful witch hunt against the gay community and lifetime sentences means it would be against my conscience to support this country.”
Activists fear Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, an evangelical Christian, is likely to approve the bill, which has widespread support in a country where homophobia is rampant.
Gay Ugandans face frequent harassment and threats of violence, and rights activists have also reported cases of lesbians being subjected to “corrective” rapes.
Anti-gay moves by Ugandan politicians have been widely condemned, with US President Barack Obama describing the bill before it was passed as “odious” and South African Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu comparing it to apartheid.
Uganda is a long-time ally of the US with close military ties, although former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticised officials in 2012 during a trip to Kampala when an even more repressive anti-gay bill was being.
Source: Agencies

Somalia bans Christmas celebrations

Models poses for a photo with a man dressed as Santa Claus at Thika Road Mall, Nairobi, on Christmas Eve. Photo/ JEFF ANGOTE (NAIROBI)
 Models poses for a photo with a man dressed as Santa Claus at Thika Road Mall, Nairobi, on Christmas Eve.

The Somali Government has banned celebration of Christian festivities in the country.
A directive released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs stated that no Christian festivities could be held in Somalia.
The Director General of the ministry, Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow Aden, and the Director of the Religious Matters, Sheikh Ali Sheikh Mohamud alias Sheikh Ali Dhere, held a press conference in the capital Mogadishu, to make the announcement.
The ban came just hours before Christmas Day, when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, their spiritual saviour.
“We alert fellow Muslims in Somalia that some festivities to mark Christian Days will take place around the world in this week,” said Sheikh Ali Dhere during the press conference, adding: “It is prohibited to celebrate those days in this country.”
Mr Aden, on his part, stated that all security and law enforcement agencies had been instructed to counter any such celebrations.
He added that copies of the directive were delivered to hotels and other meeting places in Mogadishu.
The officials did not say anything on whether non-Muslim foreign workers or residents could celebrate or not.
It is the first time that a Somali government bans the celebrations since the last central government collapsed in 1991.

20 officers arrested over bribes

Twenty police officers have been arrested on allegations of extorting money from suspects and victims during the festive season.
The officers were arrested between December 21 and 23, and they are currently detained at Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, Wakiso District.
Deputy police spokesman, Patrick Onyango said: “People, especially motorists, have been complaining of extortion from our police officers during the festive season. This time round, we decided to carry out an operation in the festive season to arrest these corrupt officers and indeed we have.”
Most of the arrested were from Kampala Metropolitan Police Area and Nakasongola and Buliisa districts. “Some officers erected illegal road blocks and they were asking for bribes from motorists, not aware that our officers from the Professional Standards Unit were monitoring them,” he said.
Two officers arrested in Mijeera on Kampala-Gulu Highway were found with Shs575,000 and 52 driving permits they had taken from motorists. “You can imagine they created an office in Mijeera Trading Centre where they were receiving the bribes,” he said. He said the officers will be charged with soliciting for bribes in the police disciplinary court.
Often officers claim they demand bribes during the festive season because they aren’t paid before the Christmas season. But recently, Public Service officials said they would pay civil servants their December salaries before the festive season to enable them have funds to prepare for holidays.
By yesterday, police officers’ salaries had been sent on their accounts. At least 7,048 complaints against police officers were registered by the PSU between January 2010 and December 2012, and the cases have been rising at average of 15 per cent annually since the unit was established in 2007.
The 2012 Annual PSU report indicate that of the 2,709 complaints were registered by the PSU, 950 were allegedly mismanaged.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Sudanese students group want Salva Kiir to step down

The Chairman of the Nuer Students Union in Kenya Kueth Machar Nyak leads other students in addressing a press conference at a Nairobi hotel on the 24th of December, 2013 where they condemned the Juba violence that has seen several people killed and others displaced. 

A group of South Sudanese students in Nairobi now say President Salva Kiir should step down before any peace talks can begin because “he is no longer a representation of peace.”
At a press conference in Nairobi, the students under the banner of ‘Nuer Students’ Union’ (though the group argued it comprises of all South Sudanese) accused Kiir of using his private guards known as ‘Doot Beny’ to kill those considered as enemies.
“It is senseless that a sitting president would order his private army to commit massacre of thousands of Nuer civilians simply because his main opponent hails from the Nuer tribe,” charged Nyak Kueth Machar, the Chairman of the group and a namesake of South Sudan’s chief antagonist Riek Machar.
“It is a condition; we do not currently recognise him as the president because he is no longer a representation of peace.”
South Sudan descended into chaos on December 16 when an attempted coup, according to President Salva Kiir, morphed into a countrywide conflict mainly pitting soldiers loyal to the government against those loyal to Riek Machar, a former Vice President sacked earlier in the year.
Although both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar say they are ready for talks, the students comprising of 30 tall men and two women gathered at Nairobi’s Serena Hotel and leveled accusations after accusation on Kiir’s government before reminding the world that the problem began in 2012. Then they called on every international body related to South Sudan to intervene.
“We believe the world watched all steps the President took since 2012. They were all aimed at causing divisions, encouraging tribalism by running affairs of the government along tribal lines,” they said.
Intimidation of political opponents, derailment of reconciliation programmes and “a paralysis” of freedoms were all levelled against Salva Kiir.
“It is for this reason that we ask the UN, EU, and the AU to hold President Kiir and his government responsible for the death of innocent Nuer civilians in Juba.
The Kiir administration though insists that the violation is in fact perpetuated by the rebels loyal to Machar. Second, the conflict that has largely been depicted as a contest between the Dinka and Nuer has put the entire country in jeopardy.
On Tuesday, the UN warned South Sudan of crimes against humanity if the situation continued.  The global Organization reported that at least 45,000 South Sudanese civilians have sought protection at badly overstretched UN bases amid brutal fighting that has spread to half of the young nation’s 10 states.
“The estimated number of people displaced in the current crisis in South Sudan has risen to 81, 000. Given the limited access to civilians outside population centres, the number is likely to be significantly higher,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation update.
The UN boss asked the Security Council to nearly double the size of the UN mission in the country.

Mass grave discovered in South Sudan's Unity State

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir. The United Nations on Tuesday said a mass grave had been discovered in Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan's oil-rich Unity State.

The United Nations on Tuesday said a mass grave had been discovered in Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan's oil-rich Unity State, following a surge of violence in the world's youngest nation.
"We have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba," UN rights chief Navi Pillay said in a statement.
The European Union has expressed concern over the ongoing conflict in the state of South Sudan.
"I am extremely concerned that South Sudan risks spiralling into a disaster for both its own people and the region. Such a situation can, and must, be avoided," the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, said in a statement.

Bebe Cool, Goodlyfe reconcile

(L-R) Mowzey Radio, Bebe Cool and Weasel  during the
 (L-R) Mowzey Radio, Bebe Cool and Weasel during the Ug-Rwanda night show.

Kampala- There was a time when Bebe Cool and Goodlyfe did not see eye to eye.
The wee hours of Thursday, at a concert dubbed ‘Ug-Rwanda night’, proved a win not just for social integration but for the artistes. They proved that they have put their differences behind them.
For the first time Bebe Cool (Moses Ssali) and Goodlyfe, comprising Weasel (Douglas Mayanja) and Mowzey Radio (Moses Sekibogo), shook hands, smiled for the cameras and even shared not just the stage but a microphone.
This attracted cheers from fans. Bebe Cool went on to sing Goodlyfe’s hit song titled Fitting.
The reconciliation comes in the aftermath of the ‘Battle of Champions,’ which took place on December 6 at Kyadondo Rugby Club, where the artistes squared it out in a concert that attracted a mammoth crowd. The concert was sponsored by Nation Media brands.
Bebe Cool and the Goodlyfe members have for long been at loggerheads, arising from what the latter calls disrespect for Goodlyfe.
It started with a song titled Zuena, released by, Goodlyfe, dedicated to Zuena Kirema, Bebe Cool’s wife.
Bebe said on social network recently: “I would like to officially announce the end of beef (hatred) with Goodlyfe. Let us build the music industry together. ”
Goodlyfe and Bebe Cool will be performing together, for the first time on Boxing Day at Kiwatule Recreation Centre.

UPDF soldier on the run after killing three in love tragedy

Moses Awongo, a UPDF soldier attached to Mbuya Army Barracks
 Moses Awongo, a UPDF soldier attached to Mbuya Army Barracks at Mulago hospital. He is one of the victims of the Kinawataka shooting.

KAMPALA- Police and other security agencies are hunting for a UPDF soldier, who shot dead three people, including his lover, injuring another three, after suspecting his girlfriend of having another lover.
Pte Patrick Odongo, attached to Mbuya Army Headquarters, allegedly shot the people at 10:15pm on Sunday night at Kinawataka in Nakawa Division, Kampala city.
The dead have been identified as Caesar Kele, Scovia Akello and her five-year-old son only identified as Junior. The injured people have been taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital for treatment while the bodies of the dead are in Mulago mortuary for a post mortem.
Suspect on the run
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi said after the shooting, the suspect took off with his gun, and the hunt is on to arrest him.
“Detectives have visited the scene and they have recovered 12 cartridges. We suspect that he used an AK47 rifle to shoot his victims,” Mr Ssenkumbi said yesterday.
Mr Ssenkumbi added: “Pte Odongo is armed and dangerous. We advise the public to inform security agencies immediately when they see him in their vicinity.”
Police investigations indicate that Pte Odongo picked an argument with his lover identified as Akello, who he accused of having another boyfriend in the bar at Kinawataka at around 6:30pm.
“The angry soldier went back to the barracks, picked his gun and walked back to his bar where he shot his victims,” a police report stated.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Mr Andrew Kaweesi, is now reported to be in talks with the army management to ensure that soldiers do not move out with their guns in civilian places unless they are on duty.

Dangerous spots you should avoid

KAMPALA- Police say during the festive season criminals work hardest and these are the spots in different parts of the country where they operate most.
Northern Bypass
The 21-kilometre road near the city centre is one of the most dangerous places in the city. The road has no lights at night and stretches of uninhabited wetlands, which gives room to criminals to operate freely. Pedestrians are advised not to use it late in the night.
Entebbe Road
Entebbe Road links people to prominent entertainment places. During the festive season, thousands flock these entertainment places. However, many consume much alcohol and then drive. Police say these drunk drivers often fail to drive on their lanes, thus knocking cars driving from the oppose side. Most accidents are reported around Katabi, Kibuye and Lubowa.
In the central region, criminals are very active, especially on the highways where they target travellers.
Mpigi District
On Kampala-Masaka Road, the section where Mpanga forest is located is the most dangerous, according to Mr Phillip Mukasa, the Katonga region police spokesman.
Criminals set up roadblocks and rob motorists. He said motorists carrying large sums of money should move during day time and seek police escorts.
Lwengo District
The road in Lwera may be straight and smooth, but heavily infested with criminals. Since it is smooth, many motorists drive recklessly, causing accidents.
Mityana District
Nswanjere near a man-made forest, Wabigalo and Kikonde Tea Estate are very risky areas. There are cases of rape, murder and robbery reported during festive seasons, especially at night.
Mubende District
Police in Mubende say revellers should avoid walking at night alone in Kiganda and Kibaati villages in Mubende Town Council. They are areas where lives and property can be easily lost to criminals.
Mukono and Buikwe Districts
The section of Jinja Highway which passes through Mabira Forest is an area where thugs rob travellers. This section of the road is also an accident blackspot.
Kamwenge District
Kakabala village on the road to Kamwenge District is a nightmare to many heavy truck drivers. With its sharp bends, many drivers lose control of their vehicles and they roll to the valley.
Kanyandungu on Fort Portal-Kamwenge road is a hilly place with has heavy traffic, but it is dilapidated. As trucks struggle to climb the slope, criminals offload merchandise from them.
Sebitoli near Kibaale Forest on Kampala-Kyenjojo road is another place where criminals rob people.
Jinja District
Police on Jinja-Iganga Road are always registering cases of robbery and accidents around Kakira. It is a place surrounded by sugarcane plantations, which aids criminals’ escape after committing the crimes.
Mr Sam Lubega, the Busoga region police spokesman, says Kazimingi village especially near the railway line in Walukuba, Jinja District, is a safe haven for criminals. Mr Lubega says if revellers are to use it during the festive season, they should move in a big group.
Budaka District
Kamonkoli is known to be a spot that many vehicles are involved in head-on collision. Most accidents are caused by vehicle connecting to the Iganga-Mbale road.
Kiryandongo District
Kafu-Gulu road stretch, which is under construction and often covered by dust, prevents motorist from seeing objects near them, casing accidents.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ugandan Students Confined To University Campus As Egyptian Crisis Escalates

Ugandan students in Egypt are reportedly confined to their university campus to protect them from the escalating violence in the country. There are more than 300 Ugandan students at Al-Azahar University, which is found in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Hundreds of Egyptians have been killed in the clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi, since his ouster.
 Hundreds of Egyptians have been killed in the clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi, since his ouster.

The students are pursuing various studies in the fields of medicine, education, engineering and Islamic studies amongst others. In October this year, 25 other students won scholarships to study at the same university. However, their travel was delayed as a result of insecurity following the arrest of Mohammad Mursi, the president of Egypt and leader of Muslim brotherhood.
Sheikh Ali Hassan, the Al-Azahar University representative in Uganda says the Egyptian government has deployed special police to guard Al-Azahar University against any attack. He says as a result of assured security at the university, the students are taking their studies safely but are not allowed to go out of the university. Sheikh Umar Sserunjoji, the Principal of Abdul Noor Islamic Center, which contributed 12 students to on the scholarship program, says both the Egyptian Embassy in Kampala and Ugandan embassy in Egypt have approved the travel of new students after reinforcing security at the universities.
He says he has now communicated to the students adding that, they are expected to fly to Egypt to kick start their studies. Sserunjoji explains that the Ugandan Embassy officials had visited the universities and found the security of Ugandan students assured. He says although there is increased security, no student is allowed to go out of the university. He claims that all the students get food, medical services and other supplies within the university premises.
Abdul Latif Mutebi, Abdul Salaam Kakooza and Jamilah Nalubega are some of the 25 Ugandan students cleared to go and study in Egypt. They are expected to fly out of the country this week. Despite the fact that they have spent several months without knowing when they will travel, they are excited but fear the security situation in Egypt would affect their studies.
Mutebi says he is ready to go and pursue Islamic Studies in Egypt after failing to understand the Ugandan English-based curriculum. Musa Wamala, a parent to one of the children faults the African Union for failing to resolve the Egyptian Crisis. He says the failure to resolve the crisis is threatening the progress Egypt had made in terms of infrastructural development since many buildings have been set ablaze in Cairo and Alexandria.
He also says the increased insecurity will have an impact on Uganda since her students study from insecure universities.
At the weekend, three prominent Egyptian activists were jailed for engineering the 2011 uprising which toppled Hosni Mubarak’s government. Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel were found guilty of organizing a recent unauthorized protest and were jailed three years triggering fresh tension.

‘Salva Kiir not honest’ says Riek Machar supporter

Former Minister for Education in South Sudan Stephen Par Kuol speaking during the interview on December 23, 2013. PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI
 Former Minister for Education in South Sudan Stephen Par Kuol speaking during the interview on December 23, 2013.

A pointman of South Sudan’s fugitive former Vice President Riek Machar has accused President Salva Kiir of not being honest in calling for talks to end the crisis in Africa’s youngest nation.
Mr Stephen Kuol, a Minister in the troubled Jonglei State of South Sudan told the Drive Hot Blog on Monday that President Kiir is “not serious” about talks because those he should be talking with have either been scared away or have been put in custody.
“Salva Kiir was just under pressure from the region, from south Sudanese themselves and the international community to accept dialogue. It wasn’t his initiative and up to now I don’t think he is serious,” Mr Kuol said in an interview in Nairobi.
“There is an agreement that there should be dialogue. What is not clear now is whether President Salva Kiir will release political prisoners. The way forward is this: Salva Kiir must release all political prisoners so that they participate in the dialogue. It should not even be a contest between Riek Machar and Salva Kiir.”
The said political prisoners are top politicians in the SPLM, the ruling party, who Kiir accused of influencing a mutiny supposedly engineered by Machar. But Kiir terms them as ‘rebels’ who should be put away as per the law.
“Those who may want to take the law into their hands, the long arm of the government will get them,” Kiir said last week.
“Those who have killed a person or persons will be taken to court and face the law. It's right of every South Sudanese to be protected,” said Kirr.
Mr Kuol is the minister for Education in Jonglei State, even though the area has now fallen under the control of rebels loyal to Machar.
South Sudan has been in chaos for the last one week when soldiers allied to Machar fought the army under President Salva Kiir. Kiir later announced that it had been a failed coup attempt but still offered to hold talks with his opponent.
But the conflict has since morphed into what looks like a tribal contest between Dinka and Nuer, communities that dominate South Sudanese politics, leaving a humanitarian crisis in its wake.
Thousands of South Sudanese citizens have been seeking refuge at UN missions around the country while foreign countries have been evacuating their citizens.
On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the Kenya Defence Forces to evacuate more than 1,600 Kenyans stranded in Juba.
Foreign Affairs PS Karanja Kibicho on Monday said the government will increase flights to three starting Tuesday to evacuate Kenyans stranded in South Sudan as the situation there remains volatile.
On Monday, Medical charity organization Doctors without Borders (MSF) announced that it was taking the situation in South Sudan “very seriously” and had sent more emergency medics to help.
But the situation in other parts mainly controlled by the rebels remains uncertain. Kenyans caught in trouble in far-flung parts of South Sudan continued to cry for help on Monday.
Ms Jane Owino told the Nation she has been trapped in a humanitarian camp in Bentiu, Unity State but were running out of supplies.
“We have been here for the past five days. The UN mission here has been giving protection, but there is no water and food is scarce,” she said adding she was in the company of about 200 people many of who are Kenyans.
Ms Owino who said she has been a clothes dealer in South Sudan since 2011 is a frequent traveler between Juba where she lives and the Unity State.
“Right now, we can’t leave because there is no transport and it doesn’t look safe because there has been fighting in this area.”
Bentiu is about 900 kilometres north of Juba and the South Sudanese government has admitted that it was no longer controlling Unity State meaning there was no guarantee for safety of those stranded there.
“Bentiu is not currently in our hands. It is in the hands of a commander who has declared support for Machar,” a Spokesman for the South Sudan government tweeted.
Although the Kenyan government ordered the military to evacuate stranded Kenyans in South Sudan, the mission was mainly limited to Juba and emergency support for those in accessible UN Mission camps. On Sunday, another group of Kenyans claimed they had been trapped at Yirol after escaping Jonglei via a boat.
“We have been stuck here for the past five days and we are running out of water. We have been surviving on biscuits and there are no vehicles,” Mr Martin Wabweni told the Drive Hot on phone from Yirol, a town about 300km north of Juba.
“The vehicle drivers refused to continue fearing for their safety. Since then, the number has increased. We are about 80 Kenyans but the whole group is about 180 people. We have been accommodated at Comboni missionary centre here but we are afraid it may get worse,” he said

Luzira prisoners should go teach sanitation at Makerere

But how can Biku harass the country’s top and oldest university like that?” my maid said as she switched channels in disgust from the local news that was showing the bedbugs problem at Makerere.
“Since it is the oldest then it is understandable that the have bedbugs,” commented the minister’s maid who did not seem interested in the subject either.
“But can’t all those clever students fight the bed bugs?” insisted my maid. “It is understandable if the villagers in Busoga get harassed by jiggers but students at the highest institution of learning!”
“Stop comparing tomatoes and mangoes,” retorted the minister’s maid.
“What?” my maid was thrown off balance.
“You heard me,” said the minister’s maid. “Makerere is an institution while Busoga is an area, so you cannot compare the two. After all, some students at Makerere come from Busoga. So you can compare Busoga to Acholi for example and Makerere to another institution.”
“Like which one now?”
“Well, think of an institution where many people live and sleep having come from different parts of the country, and also within Kampala city. Luzira prison for example.”
“Kyokka you!” exclaimed my maid. “How can you compare the university to the prison where most inmates are illiterate?”
“That is what comparison is for, you don’t compare two things that are equal,” explained the minister’s maid. “So bedbugs are a sanitation issue in an institution with many residents.
The best place to learn from is prison. Several years ago, Ugandan prisons were so filthy that you could hardly tell the difference between the warders and the prisoners. In some villages, you could find prisoners being marched to go and work in people’s fields and the only way to tell the officer herding them is that he had a gun, otherwise they were all equally shabby in their rags.
But today, Uganda Prisons have sorted out their mess and both prisoners and warders are clean in their respective uniforms. I used to disagree whenever honourable said that these days anywhere you go in this country where there is a prison, the neighbouring population is happy and healthy because they benefit from some of the prisoners’ facilities. But when we paid a visit to one of his relatives in Luzira recently I started to believe. You know Madame refused to go, saying she cannot go anywhere near a prison. So I accompanied honourable and I was impressed by the level of hygiene in Luzira.”
“You mean the prisoners are cleaner than the university students?” my maid asked wide eyed.
“Yes, that is why you were right when you said Makerere and Luzira are not equal, though for you you thought Makerere was the better off.
But in sanitation terms, Luzira is far ahead of Makerere. The cells are disinfected, even though the disinfectant really smells like poison, but it is disinfectant or the same. The prisoners bathe everyday and their uniforms are clean.
No wonder, the women prisoners even hold beauty contests and do the catwalk these days. They even plait and fashion their hair, and all use makapad sanitary towels. But there is no minimum sanitation standard in Makerere’s hostels. So if you want to rid Makerere of filth, the quickest way to do it is to ask the prisoners to teach the students how many people can live in one place.”
“How do you think that can be done, since the students are doing different courses. Take them to prison for orientation in cleanliness?”
“No, that would be resisted since the students feel they are very important and think their intellectual status would be insulted to be sent to Luzira to learn sanitation,” argued the minister’s maid. “Instead the prisoners should be taken to Makerere and teach sanitation right on the ground. I think every floor in every hall of residence and hostel should have a couple of inmates from the prison to teach the clever students how to clean their surroundings. If you see the rubbish around the halls of residence these days you really wonder what kind humans can stand such filth.”
“But wont the prisoners escape once sent to live in the university?”
“No, the prison authorities know how to select those who are at low risk of escaping,” explained the minister’s maid. “Someone who has been in prison for five years and has only one year to go cannot dream of escaping because he would lose all the money the prison has been saving for him over the five years that he has been working for. Even at the rate of one thousand per day, that is quite some money.
Secondly, it would be such a serious matter and once caught he would be in worse trouble. People who have been in prison for a while are certainly smarter than your Bad Black who jumps bail and has to serve the sentence without rebate when apprehended. Those prisoners who have served several years in Luzira are the answer to resolving the filthy conditions in which the very clever people of Makerere are living.”

Sunday, 22 December 2013

TZ woman changing lives abroad

A journalist, author and former UN worker, Ms Scholastic Kimaryo, clarifies a point during an interview with this paper in Pretoria, South Africa recently. She says that her work with Unicef in South Africa focused on supporting the emerging democracy by incorporating the rights of children into the new Constitution.

She has come a long way. Her experience around gender sent her on a journalistic and diplomatic journey to South Africa where she settled until today. A life coach and author, Ms Scholastic Kimaryo, told her story to Drive Hot Blog on Sunday in Pretoria recently
Tell me about yourself
I was born in Kibosho, Moshi Rural, in 1949 in a family of three girls and three boys. In my community, I was the first girl to go beyond primary school.
My father did not want to waste his money from coffee by sending a girl child to school, it was only after the local parish priest intervened that I was allowed to continue with standard five.
I was lucky in secondary school in that the government shouldered the burden. Fortunately, I was very good in class and excelled at a missionary school.
I later joined Tabora Girls High School which was under Barbro Johansson. Madam Johansson helped us so much, she wanted the girl child to do well, and we did not disappoint. 
Afterwards, I joined the then University of East Africa in Nairobi in 1969, where I did a degree in home economics. During my studies, I wrote articles for various publications and it was not surprising that I would soon land at Uhuru, Mzalendo and Nationalist newspapers. I was later told to go and work for Daily News and Sunday News where I also ran a column on home economics issues. As a journalist, I rose to become secretary general of the Tanzania Journalists Association (Taja). In October 1977, the United Nations General Assembly declared that 1979 would be an international year of the child.  
The aim was to remind and ask all governments to put structures that would improve the wellbeing of every child. Working for newspapers and also under the public service, I was sent to write about the year and, among other things, I interviewed the Unicef head, Mr Alex Tosh. That changed everything and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, that set off your next phase as a UN worker. How was the experience?
In 1977, I was appointed the first executive secretary of the Tanzanian Commission for children funded by Unicef. 
Although I had written many articles prior to that appointment, this was the first organisation where my writing would make a difference. We proposed and implemented a number of child-related projects, found foreign donors; we translated a book-‘Mahali Pasipo na Daktari’-which was distributed all over the country. We were so successful that Mwalimu Nyerere declared that 1980 would be the national year of the child. I stayed on and progressed to be head of Unicef in the country and thereafter I was seconded to UN where I worked for various UN agencies, mainly in Southern Africa. After 23 years, I was promoted to be the UNDP Representative to SA, effectively responsible for the UN agencies in the country. I had wanted to join politics in the 1980’s but then UN policies did not allow us to participate.
So, I worked for Unicef for 23 years and UNDP for eight years in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, where I was the first Unicef representative after the country attained its independence, Liberia during Charles Taylor’s reign, Kenya and New York.

Gays, lesbians to spend life in jail as new Bill passed

Kampala. You engage in homosexuality, you rot in jail, according to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by Parliament on Friday.
An excited Parliament debated and overwhelmingly passed the Bill which criminalises sexual intercourse between same-sex partners.
The legislation provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality, which covers gays and lesbians. A proposal to put the punishment to 14 years in jail was rejected by the House.
According to the new law, a person commits homosexuality if he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual device.
The offence is also deemed to have been committed if he or she uses any object or sex device to penetrate or stimulate sexual organs of a person of the same sex or if he or she touches another person with intent to commit the act of homosexuality.
“A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life,” the passed Bill reads in part.
The MPs say legislation is to protect the traditional family setting by prohibiting sexual relations by persons of the same sex and to strengthen the nation’s capacity to check emerging threats to traditional family values.
However, the law was passed without quorum despite Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s plea that Parliament was not sufficiently constituted to vote on the Bill. The Bill was introduced in Parliament on

UN says it is not abandoning South Sudan

South Sudanese women and children queue for water being distributed from a UN reservoir at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Juba on December 21, 2013. PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA

 South Sudanese women and children queue for water being distributed from a UN reservoir at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Juba on December 21, 2013

The United Nations is moving “non-critical” staff from South Sudan's capital, Juba, to Entebbe in Uganda, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) announced on Sunday.
The relocation comes as fighting intensified in many parts of the world's youngest country.
UNMISS added that it is continuing to protect more than 20,000 civilians sheltering at its compounds in Juba.
The mission said it is also planning to reinforce its military presence in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, from which all UN civilian staff have been evacuated.
Reinforcements are also being sent to Pariang in oil-rich Unity State, where rebel forces are said to be strong.
“We are not abandoning South Sudan,” said Hilde Johnson, UN special representative for South Sudan. “We are here to stay, and will carry on in our collective resolve to work with and for the people of South Sudan.”
Ms Johnson also directed a message to potential enemies of UN forces.
“To anyone who wants to threaten us, attack us or put obstacles in our way,” she said, “our message remains loud and clear: we will not be intimidated.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday demanded an immediate end to violence in South Sudan, warning that tens of thousands remained vulnerable.
"I demand that all political, military and militia leaders stop hostilities and end the violence against the civilians," Ban told a news briefing in Manila as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the Philippines.
He called on South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his rival, sacked vice president Riek Machar to "find a political way out of this crisis" and order their followers to lay down arms.
Six days of fighting between followers of both sides have left at least 500 dead in the capital of the small but oil-rich African nation, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
Two UN peacekeepers were killed on Thursday after rebel forces attacked a UN camp where civilians had taken refuge.

Several injured as cargo train derails in Kibera

A view of the scene where a cargo train derailed in Kibera on December 22, 2013. PHOTO | KIARIE NJOROGE | NAIROBI NEWS
A view of the scene where a cargo train derailed in Kibera on December 22, 2013. PHOTO 

cargo train on Sunday morning derailed while passing through Kibera near Nyayo Highrise estate in Nairobi, crashing into nearby houses and injuring several people.
Both St John Ambulance and Kenya Red Cross confirmed through their twitter accounts that they had dispatched ambulances to the area.
However, the rescue operation was hampered by the large crowd of people who had gathered, according to a Nation reporter at the scene.
The injured were rushed to the nearby Kenyatta National Hospital

Storms kill 2 in southern US, thousands lose power

The Books-A-Million store is seen damaged by heavy wind and rain during a major storm in Monroe, La., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  A storm system swept across the central and southern U.S. on Saturday, bringing tornadoes and wind gusts that ripped roofs from barns and hurled trees into power lines, officials said. At least two people were killed.
A man died after his mobile home overturned in northern Mississippi, said Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith. Another man was killed when his car hit a tree that had fallen across a county road in southeastern Mississippi. A woman who was in the car was critically injured, Jasper County Coroner Randy Graham said.
Wind caused the roof of a fitness center in a strip mall to collapse in Senatobia, 40 miles south of Memphis, Tenn. No injuries were reported.
"I think it buckled the back part of it," Tate County Emergency Management director Kim Brownlee said. "There's water pouring in the back of that place."
At the storm's height, more than 22,000 people lost power in northern Mississippi, though that number was beginning to fall late Saturday night.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of residents lost electricity after heavy rain and strong gusts of up to 60 mph whipped northern Louisiana. Some areas had as much as three inches of rain, said National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Adams.
High winds ripped the front facade off the Books-a-Million bookstore in the northern town of Monroe, 100 miles east of Shreveport. The area in front of the store was full of storm debris.
To the northwest in Union Parish, Sheriff Dusty Gates said damage was widespread across the parish of 28,000 residents. Trees fell on houses, across roads and on power lines. No injuries were reported by late Saturday, although some areas were cut off and not accessible due to bad weather.
"There are still several areas we have not been able to access to check on," he said.
National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Parker said a possible tornado hit the town of Downsville mid-afternoon on Saturday. The Weather Service has yet to confirm it was a twister.
Downsville Mayor Reggie Skains said a number of barns and chicken houses were damaged on the edge of his village of 250 people, including a barn on his farm.
"We had about a $500,000 barn over there and it blew about half of it away," Skains said by phone.
Downsville resident Albert Mayo said he was napping when the storm came through.
"I thought the roof was going to come off, there was so much pressure," Mayo said.
More than 40,000 customers lost power in northern parts of the state. Claiborne Electric Cooperative saw more than half of its 23,000 customers lose power when a transmission line was blown down, disrupting power to three substations.
In Arkansas, at least five people were injured and two dozen homes were damaged after two apparent tornadoes touched down.
St. Francis County Sheriff's dispatcher Leslie White said a suspected tornado damaged three homes and injured three people late Saturday afternoon near Hughes, a town of roughly 1,400 residents about 35 miles southwest of Memphis, Tenn. She didn't know the severity of the injuries.
David Cox, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Jackson, Miss., said another apparent tornado struck near Dermott, Ark., which is in the far southeast of the state. Two people were injured and about 20 homes were damaged, he said.
The National Weather Service said severe storms with damaging winds were possible early Sunday morning in northern Georgia, including Atlanta. A flood watch for the region was in effect through Monday.
The squall line continued to produce gusty winds as it moved across Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky on Saturday night, with multiple reports of winds stronger than 50 mph. Downed trees and power outages were widespread in those states, as they were in states to the west.

Bunge drops sim card tax as mobile firms condemned

Dodoma. Parliament yesterday scrapped the controversial sim card tax and agreed to raise excise duty on telecommunication services by a further 2.5 per cent. The move will raise internet costs and puts to an end six months of confrontations between wananchi and pressure groups and the government.
The intention of mobile phone companies, which also opposed the sim card tax and moved to court to block TRA from imposing it, came into question as MPs revealed that the firms had agreed to “donate” Sh30bn to the government in return.
The fate of the court case, now with the Revenue Appeals Tribunal, remains unclear as the move to scrap the tax means there will be no reason to go to court. The firms lost the first case at the Tax Revenue Board and lodged an appeal last week.    But even as the MPs approved the Excise Management and Tariff (Amendment) Bill 2013, they warned the government about its tendency to ignore advice on matters that touch on the lives of the people.
The amendments moved by the Finance deputy minister, Ms Saada Mkuya, dropped the Sh1,000 monthly sim card tax, subjecting the government to a Sh148 billion deficit in revenue collection projections.
To compensate for this, the government proposed a rise in excise duty on telecommunication services from 14.5 per cent to 17 per cent.
According to Ms Mkuya, the higher excise duty should enable the government to net Sh148 billion. The mobile telecommunication industry has agreed to give the government the Sh30 billion balance. But MPs have raised questions over the generosity of the companies that, only few months ago, said they were incapable of collecting the Sh1,000 sim card tax on behalf of the government.
“Why, all of a sudden, have the companies become so generous that they have volunteered to give the government Sh30 billion when it is the same companies that were protesting the sim card tax?” asked Mr Rajab Mbarouk Mohammed (Ole–CUF).
Other MPs opposed the excise duty hike, noting that though they wanted the government to raise money for water and electricity in the rural areas, the move would add to the burden of Tanzanians.
“During the budget we opposed the increase to 14.5 per cent because it would hurt poor Tanzanians,” said Ms Christine Lissu as she tabled the opposition speech, “but today the government wants to raise it to 17 per cent while the rate does not exceed 12 per cent in the rest of East Africa.”
Mr Salehe Pamba (Pangani–CCM) said the government needs to get into the habit of involving stakeholders before making decisions, especially on taxation issues that directly affect the people.
Mr James Mbatia (Nominated–NCCR-Mageuzi) said the sim card tax conflict is evidence of how uncoordinated the government is.
“It is amazing that the Finance minister (William) Mgimwa, who backed the law that introduced the sim card tax, disowned the same law a few days after the protests started,” he said.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Barack Obama warns South Sudan after US servicemen wounded

US army soldiers stand guard as a US army aircraft remains on the runway awaiting the arrival of American nationals who are being evacuated due to recent unrest and violence in South Sudan, on December 21, 2013, in Juba. PHOTO | SAMIR BOL
US army soldiers stand guard as a US army aircraft remains on the runway awaiting the arrival of American nationals who are being evacuated due to recent unrest and violence in South Sudan, on December 21, 2013, in Juba.

US President Barack Obama on Saturday warned South Sudan's rebel forces against a military coup after four American servicemen were wounded in an attack on their aircraft in the increasingly unstable country.
"Any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community," the White House said in a statement.
Obama stressed that South Sudanese leaders "have a responsibility to support our efforts to secure American personnel and citizens in Juba and Bor", the capital and a rebel-held flashpoint town.
The president's comments came after three CV-22 Osprey aircraft came under fire as they headed to Bor to help evacuate Americans from South Sudan, which is teetering on the brink of civil war.

The attack damaged the aircraft, forcing them to divert to Uganda. The wounded were then flown to Nairobi for medical treatment and are now in "stable condition", the Pentagon said.
The attack underlined the increasingly dangerous situation in South Sudan, where at least one United Nations base has also come under attack in recent days - with the deaths of two Indian peacekeepers and possibly dozens of civilians.
This handout picture released and taken on December 21, 2013 by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Public Information Office shows Indian Ambassador to South Sudan Parmod Bajaj (R) paying respect during a memorial ceremony for the two soldiers from the Indian Battalion killed on December 19 in Akobo, Jonglei state.  PHOTO | UNMISS
This handout picture released and taken on December 21, 2013 by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Public Information Office shows Indian Ambassador to South Sudan Parmod Bajaj (R) paying respect during a memorial ceremony for the two soldiers from the Indian Battalion killed on December 19 in Akobo, Jonglei state. 
The United States, Britain, Kenya and Uganda have been carrying out evacuation missions for their nationals.
Oil companies have also flown out their employees after the death of at least five South Sudanese oil workers Wednesday, with Chinese state oil company China National Petroleum Corp confirming it was pulling out its staff.
Oil production accounts for more than 95 percent of the country's fledgling economy.
South Sudan, the world's newest country, split from Sudan in 2011 after a two-decade civil war that left two million people dead. But it has never been able to heal its own ethnic rivalries.
The fighting has both ethnic and political dimensions, as troops loyal to President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, battle forces backing his sacked vice president, Riek Machar, a Nuer.
Kiir accuses Machar of having tried to mount a coup, but Machar denies that and claims Kiir is conducting a violent purge.
At least 500 people have been killed in Juba alone in six days of fighting.
A woman holding her child arrives among a group of Kenyans who returned to Nairobi after fleeing fighting in South Sudan on December 21, 2013. PHOTO | JOHN MUCHUCHA
A woman holding her child arrives among a group of Kenyans who returned to Nairobi after fleeing fighting in South Sudan on December 21, 2013. 
The US aircraft that came under fire, CV-22 Ospreys, are flown by US Air Force Special Operations forces to conduct rescue missions. They are also used by the Marines.
The United States has also deployed 45 combat-equipped troops to South Sudan to protect its embassy and personnel.
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have fled their homes, many seeking shelter at UN bases amid warnings the impoverished nation was on the brink of all-out civil war.
"I am afraid. I just can't imagine being forced to become refugees again," said Susan Nakiden, a South Sudanese woman among the thousands sheltering at a UN base in Juba. The mother of three said she had already been forced to flee her home during the Sudanese civil war.
Local resident John Luga said people were living in fear, whatever their clan.
"Whether they are Nuers or Dinkas, the suffering is for all, the future is not certain," he told Drive Hot Blog
South Sudan's embattled government said a top army commander in the northern Unity State, Major General James Koang Choul, had defected to Machar's fast-growing rebel force.
"We have lost contact with the commander... and there are reports he has joined the forces of Riek Machar," Sudan People's Liberation Army spokesman Philip Aguer told Drive Hot Blog
Aguer also insisted that government forces were in control of the area around Bor, about 200 kilometres north of Juba, and an army operation was under way to take back the town seized by rebels this week.
"There is fighting, but we are supported by air units," he said.
He also insisted that the key oil-producing Unity state remained under government control despite rebel claims they had taken it.
But as oil workers flee, the loss of the state capital in a region awash with guns and a long history of rebellion is a major blow.
"The potential for oil wealth to exacerbate the current power struggle should not be underestimated," said Emma Vickers of Global Witness, an international campaign group.
"If rebel forces were to capture the oil fields, they could effectively hold the government to ransom."
US Secretary of State John Kerry has dispatched his special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, to the region to encourage talks between the warring factions.
African ministers have also stepped up pressure on Kiir to start talks with Machar.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an end to hostilities and urged the leaders of Sudan's warring factions "to resolve their personal differences through dialogue immediately".