South Sudan's government has allocated $40 million to speed up the integration of its soldiers with armed opposition fighters to create a unified national army as the country emerges from a five-year civil war.
This comes amid face-to-face talks between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in the capital, Juba. Their talks continue Saturday on another key part of a peace deal that is yet to be resolved, the number of states.
South Sudan's government had pledged $100 million to help fund the peace process, and the $40 million is part of that.
The international community has been pressing the rival sides to form a coalition government as a crucial part of the peace deal signed last year. A November deadline to form that government was extended to February.
The civil war killed close to 400,000 people.
Climate-related disasters have increased exponentially in Africa over the past two decades, hampering Africa's overall socioeconomic development, the African Union (AU) said on Wednesday.
"Despite improvements, the economic and social growth achieved so far in Africa is very fragile and susceptible to climate risks and disasters hence negating the progress made towards achievement of national goals and overall attainment of Agenda 2063 and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," the AU said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
"Over the past 20 years, climate-related disasters have increased exponentially in Africa," the AU said, adding that the vulnerability of the African continent was recently evident when more than 1,000 people were killed across Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe due to Cyclone Idai.
Noting an estimated 2 billion U.S. dollars economic loss from cyclone Idai, the 55-member pan-African bloc also stressed that Cyclone Kenneth followed Idai in quick succession, in which Mozambique was struck again, in addition to Comoros.
It recalled a recent World Bank report that many African countries have made significant development achievements in the last few decades with annual growth averaging 4.5 percent, "but increasing weather, water, and climate risks threaten these gains."
"Since 1970, Africa has experienced more than 2,000 natural disasters, with just under half taking place in the last decade," the statement said.
Countries recovering from protracted civil wars and disasters, and small island states are particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards, it said.
Building resilience to natural and human-induced hazards have gained significant momentum on the continent, the statement said. "Work on resilience building is gaining momentum on the continent. The policy environment is encouraging but the implementation of resilience policies is faced with some technical and resource constraints."
The AU emphasized the crucial importance of the adoption of global climate-focused agendas such as the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.
"Translating these policies into action is being undertaken through overarching continental programs on resilience," the statement said.
African states have to redouble their efforts in mobilizing domestic resources to achieve resilience targets, it said.
"Similarly, the international community should continue to play its vital role in supporting resilience building in Africa," the statement said. "Additional efforts is required to build technical capacity of African states to build their resilience to climate change and disaster risks."
The UN senior envoy in Somalia on Monday called on the government to enhance the fight against corruption which is an obstacle to development and erodes public trust.
James Swan, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia welcomed the country's progress in strengthening the rule of law and building accountable and transparent institutions and underlined the importance of continuing to work on these areas.
"Corruption is a major obstacle to development. It undermines efforts toward state-building, peace and reconciliation. It erodes public trust and weakens state institutions' ability to deliver to their people," Swan said in a statement issued to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day.
He said the UN is very encouraged by the recent signing into law by President Mohamed Farmajo of the bill on the establishment of the anti-corruption commission and the elaboration of the national anti-corruption strategy. "These are commendable steps forward for Somalia," said the UN envoy.
He said a key instrument to sustain, manage and track countries' fight against corruption is the UN Convention against Corruption, the world's only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. According to Swan, although Somalia is yet to sign and ratify the Convention, the UN welcomes steps that are being taken towards this goal, such as the progress with the anti-corruption commission and the anti-corruption strategy.
He said the UN system has established an anti-corruption platform with international financial institutions and other development partners to provide technical and advisory services to Somalia in its efforts to curb corruption.
Other UN programs mobilize resources to support the country's anti-corruption efforts across the country, Swan said, centered on institutions and awareness-raising and on the judicial aspects of anti-corruption, such as criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation and assets recovery in line with the Convention.
At least 96 people were killed and 90 others were wounded by wild animals that raided farms and residential areas in Tanzania from July 2018 to July 2019, a senior official revealed on Sunday.
Adolf Mkenda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said the number of people killed and wounded by wild animals was on increase compared to previous years.
Speaking at a meeting held in the Lake Victoria shore city of Mwanza to discuss best ways of controlling human-wildlife conflicts, Mkenda said wild animals killed 39 people and wounded 37 others from July 2017 to July 2018 across the country.
He mentioned elephants, lions, hippos and crocodiles as the leading killers, adding that during the 2018-2019, the animals destroyed 13,644 hectares of farm crops compared to 637 hectares of farm crops destroyed in 2017-2018.
The official said most of the victims were killed by animals who invaded residential areas and others were killed after they had encroached wildlife corridors.
"The successful anti-poaching drive has resulted in on an increase of animals like elephants that are now invading farms and residential areas, wreaking havoc to villagers," said Mkenda.
He said the government was taking measures aimed at ensuring that villagers living adjacent to game reserves would not be attacked by wildlife.
Meurus Msuha, the Director of Wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said the meeting that brought together wildlife conservation experts and stakeholders in wildlife was aimed at finding best ways of minimizing human-wildlife conflicts.
At least 26 people have been killed in floods unleashed by heavy rains in different parts of Uganda, the Red Cross said on Monday as authorities urged people in affected areas to relocate.
Seventeen flooding deaths have been confirmed in the western district of Bundibugyo. Another nine people have died in the mountainous districts of Sironko and Bududa in the east, where residents also face mudslides that can destroy entire enclaves, said Irene Nakasiita, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Red Cross.
Ugandan government officials have acknowledged the continuing threat from flooding and say relief is forthcoming to affected areas. Residents are being urged to move away from areas where rivers and streams have burst their banks.
More than 6,000 people have been displaced in Bududa, a rugged area in the foothills of Mount Elgon where mudslides have killed hundreds of people over the years. Some there have resisted the government's attempts to have them relocated to lowlands elsewhere, saying they find it hard to vacate their ancestral lands.
"The risk of more flooding and landslides is real," Musa Ecweru, the government minister in charge of disasters, said in a statement Thursday.
Hundreds of acres of plantations have been destroyed and an unknown number of livestock lost in the flooding and mudslides in Bududa and Sironko, Eweru said.
In March 2010 at least 100 people died in mudslides in Bududa, and injuries or deaths have been reported every year since then during the wet season.