Sharp Escalation of Conflict Between Sudan and South Sudan.
That Renewed War Between South Sudan and Sudan that People Have Been Warning About? It looks like it is very nearly here. “Two Sudanese warplanes dropped ‘many bombs’ Monday on the oil-rich city of Heglig, as long-range artillery targeted southern army positions in the disputed town, said southern army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer. He did not give a casualty figure. He also said Monday that Sudan’s air force killed five civilians in aerial attacks Sunday over Heglig. Aguer also said that the town of Bentiu in South Sudan’s Unity State was hit and that the conflict has spread to several southern states bordering Sudan, including Western Bahr el Ghazal…’Today they bombed our positions in Heglig and the oil installations in Heglig,’ he said Monday. ‘We are waiting for them in the killing zone and they are not coming.’ But he said the north’s army is now 23 kilometers (some 14 miles) from Heglig, which is claimed by Sudan but was seized last week by South Sudanese forces in fierce fighting that southern officials say killed at least 240 Sudanese soldiers and 19 South Sudanese troops. ‘We know that Sudanese troops are advancing toward Heglig,’ he said.” (ABC http://abcn.ws/J78Sv7)
Annual Child Death Rate Drops by 4 Million Since 1990
We always like relaying the good news: Save the Children and the Overseas Development Institute released a new report today titled “Progress in Child Well-Being: Building on What Works.” The report shows that aid is one of 6 key factors that has helped to significantly reduce under-five mortality in the past 20 years. “Save the Children New Zealand CEO Liz Gibbs said ‘This report clearly demonstrates the positive impact of well-targeted aid. Millions more children are now surviving beyond their fifth birthday thanks to aid, economic growth and good government policy. Where funding gaps exist – for example for primary education or child health – aid can make all the difference.’ Other key factors driving improvements are: commitment and leadership from national governments; social investment and economic growth, well-planned programmes which target the most marginalised groups and technology and innovation.” (Save the Children http://bit.ly/ItyErD)
Surprise Surprise. Jim Yong Kim Snags World Bank Presidency.
Not quite a shocker, but what was really interesting about this race is that is was the first time that the developing world actually put up a decent fight. “[Nigerian Finance Minister] Okonjo-Iweala said that although she expected her challenge to the US’s nomination to fail, the process ‘will never ever be the same again’. ‘So we have won a big victory. Who gets to run the World Bank – we have shown we can contest this thing and Africa can produce people capable of running the entire architecture,’ she said. Kim was a surprise nomination for the role. The 52-year-old is a leading figure in global health and a former director of the HIV/Aids department at the World Health Organization. He moved with his family to the US at the age of five. Brazilian and South African government officials reiterated their support for Okonjo-Iweala on Monday. Before the announcement, South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan said there was a need to ‘look beyond the verbiage of democracy and the claims to democratic process, and ask whether in substantive terms the institution has met the democratic test.’” (Guardian http://bit.ly/J7aPrq)