Top of the Morning: Angelina Jolie, Diplomat; Sudan and South Sudan Close to War; DPRK Casts Away Food Aid

Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest. 

‘The Prevailing Logic of War’ Between South Sudan and Sudan

Diplomatic gears are kicking into place as violence is escalating between Sudan and South Sudan. The United States (which holds some sway over South Sudan) is calling for Juba to pull back its troops from a Sudanese oil field. Meanwhile, the Security Council was briefed on the situation by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who is leading mediation efforts. “Mbeki Tuesday brushed aside the lawmaker’s comments, saying a resumption of negotiations is the only option.  He conceded, however, that border hostilities have escalated to the highest point since the two countries split nine months ago. “It’s very very unfortunate that they have got themselves in this state of war.  It’s very unfortunate.  It doesn’t help either country.  There’s not a problem between the two countries that cannot be resolved through negotiations,” he said.  The African Union expressed grave concern late Tuesday at what it called the “prevailing logic of war.”  A press release called for immediate steps to ease tensions, and urged both countries to adopt a non-binding security centerline for the border.” (VOA

Ready for a North Korea Nuclear Test?

If last week’s #launchfail wasn’t enough to convince you, Pyongyang has officially reneged on a deal inked in February with the United States which traded food aid for a suspension of North Korea’s uranium enrichment program. “North Korea said on Tuesday that it was abandoning an agreement in made in February with the United States, in which it promised to suspend uranium enrichment, nuclear tests and long-range missile tests. The North Korean Foreign Ministry said that it “resolutely and totally” rejected the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation of its failed rocket launching last week, and that it would continue to launch rockets to try to place satellites into orbit. The ministry’s statement hinted, but did not make clear, that the North may now conduct a long-range missile or nuclear test. No longer bound by the deal, “we have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures,” the ministry said in the statement, which was carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. “The U.S. will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences.” (NYT

Angelina Jolie: Now an Actual, Formal Diplomat

The actress has gone from being a figurehead “Goodwill Ambassador” to being a representative of the UN Refugee Agency. “The UN refugee agency announced on Tuesday that actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie will take on a new and expanded role for UNHCR as Special Envoy of High Commissioner António Guterres. During a decade of service as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie has conducted more than 40 field visits around the world, becoming an expert on the phenomenon of forced displacement and a tireless advocate on behalf of refugees. ‘In her new role, she is expected to focus on large-scale crises resulting in the mass displacement of people, to undertake advocacy and represent UNHCR and Guterres at the diplomatic level, engaging with relevant interlocutors on global displacement issues,’ spokesman Adrian Edwards told journalists in Geneva. He said Jolie would focus on complex emergencies and work to facilitate lasting solutions for people displaced by conflict. “High Commissioner Guterres is grateful to Ms. Jolie for accepting this role at a critical time in global displacement. Her new status as Special Envoy is effective immediately,’ he added. (UNHCR