UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan and gender disparities in agriculture

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Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich

South Sudan “scorched earth” policy revealed in UN probe

South Sudan’s government is responsible for horrendous human rights violations which include a so-called “scorched earth” policy against civilians involving rape and murder, the UN has said. In a report published by the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, investigators recorded more than 1,300 rapes in one state over a five-month period. The country, has been split by civil war since December 2013, and now UN agencies have expressed renewed alarm about the dire humanitarian situation there. Daniel Johnson reports from Geneva.

Two women grind rice outside a water pump station in the area of Koroyomme, Timbuktu. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

“Women feed Africa” but have low access to land

Women are the main producers of food in Africa but continue to have problems accessing land that is typically owned by men; that’s according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN agency has recently launched a partnership with ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, which is focusing on addressing gender disparities in the agriculture sector. Thacko Ndiaye is a senior gender officer at FAO based in Accra, Ghana. She’s been in New York for the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Tsigue Shiferaw asked her why there is a need to empower women in agriculture.

Emmanuel Mborie-Idie. Photo: UNifeed

South Sudan: War forcing children to take on parental roles

Children from South Sudan have had to take on adult responsibilities in refugee camps, according to the United Nations. Many who have fled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have lost their parents in the civil conflict that has beset the country over the past two years. The UN estimates that 2.3 million people have been driven from South Sudan during that time. Janie Cangelosi has the story of one young boy who now lives in a camp in the DRC.

Presenter: Daniel Dickinson
Production Assistant: Sandra Guy
Duration: 10’00″

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