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Refugee Girls Trailblazing: Brenda Shina:
By Emmanuel Munduga – ANCHOR  

Brenda Shina (Source: ANCHOR)

Brenda Shina is a shy 18-year old. A South Sudanese refugee who came to a settlement in Uganda in 2016 at the age of 14 after the collapse of the peace agreement which was signed in 2015 between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar - friends turned foes. A fierce battle ensued between their loyalists in 2016 in a clash dubbed the Battle of Juba. The stench of death hung in the air as the dead lined the streets. The fierce fighting spread to other towns including Yei towards the southwest of Juba where the U.N human rights office reported that about 114 civilians were killed by pro-government forces between July 2016 and January 2017, figures which were dismissed as “baseless” by the SPLA. According to the U.N., the SPLA also committed an unknown number of rapes, torture and looting.

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The Untamed Wild event was a celebration of hope and love. Organized by Dwelling Places and Drew Tete Limited, the art exhibition was a first for many. Not the least for Patrick Munduga, ANCHOR’s Executive Director who had the honor of being invited as Chief Guest to his first art exhibition. Yikes!

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Following the deaths of 18 civilians in a displaced people’s camp run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the city of Malakal on February 18, reporters are beginning to piece together details on the incident.
According to the Daily Beast, “The evidence so far strongly indicates that soldiers from the government forces of President Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), possibly working with militias, planned, prepared, and carried out the attack.”

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In South Sudan’s two-year old civil war, oil was a key factor in fueling the war economy. But reports are emerging that elephants may have contributed to this war economy. As reported last week by Bloomberg News, South Sudan's wildlife service says at least 500 elephants were killed during the fighting over the past two years.

This comes in the wake of a warning by Major-General Philip Chol Majak, the country’s director of wildlife services, that South Sudan has suffered severe losses to wildlife.

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This week marks an important step forward for international justice and accountability for atrocities in East and Central Africa. The International Court completed its confirmation of charges hearings in the case of Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA, is a notorious armed group known for committing atrocities in Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the DRC and funding its activities in part through elephant poaching and ivory trafficking. Ongwen was charged with 70 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual and gender-based crimes and the recruitment of child soldiers.

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