NATIONAL NEWS

UN asks South Sudan to remove new taxes that led to a pause in food airdrops

Apr 29, 2024, 7:34 AM

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — The United Nations has urged South Sudan to remove newly imposed taxes and charges that led to the suspension of U.N. food airdrops for thousands of people who depend on outside aid.

The U.N Humanitarian Affairs Agency said Monday in a statement that the pausing of airdrops in March had deprived of food 60,000 people who live in areas that are inaccessible by road, and their number is expected to rise to 135,000 by the end of May.

The U.N said the new charges would have increased operational costs to $339,000 monthly, which it says is enough to feed over 16,300 people. The new charges introduced in February are related to electronic cargo tracking, security escort fees and new taxes on fuel.

“Our limited funds are spent on saving lives and not bureaucratic impediments,” Anita Kiki Gbeho, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, said.

U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in New York that the taxes and charges are also impacting the nearly 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, “which is reviewing all of its activities, including patrols, the construction of police stations, schools and health care centers, as well as educational support.”

The U.N says the South Sudan government had said it would remove the new charges and taxes but had not committed to it in writing since February.

An estimated 9 million people out of 12.5 million people in South Sudan need protection and humanitarian assistance, according to the U.N. The country has also seen an increase in the number of people fleeing the war in neighboring Sudan, further complicating humanitarian assistance to those affected by the internal conflict.

____

Follow AP’s Africa coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

National News

Fitness guru Richard Simmons died Saturday at age 76. (AP)...

MARK KENNEDY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TV’s silly fitness guru Richard Simmons dies at 76

Richard Simmons, TV's court jester of physical fitness who built an empire by urging the overweight to exercise and eat better, has died.

9 minutes ago

Associated Press

Richard Simmons, a fitness guru who mixed laughs and sweat, dies at 76

NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Simmons, television’s hyperactive court jester of physical fitness who built a mini-empire in his trademark tank tops and short shorts by urging the overweight to exercise and eat better, died Saturday. He was 76. Los Angeles police and fire departments say they responded to a Los Angeles house where a […]

59 minutes ago

FILE - Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., greets supporters at an election night party Nov. 8, 2022, at Loo...

Associated Press

Minnesota Republican Tayler Rahm drops out to clear path for Joe Teirab in competitive US House race

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Republicans got a straighter path to potential victory Saturday in what is expected to be Minnesota’s closest congressional race when GOP-endorsed candidate Tayler Rahm dropped out of a primary fight against the better-funded Joe Teirab, who already had tacit backing from key House leaders. Rahm, a political newcomer and defense attorney, said […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

New York’s first female fire commissioner says she’ll resign once a replacement is found

NEW YORK (AP) — The first female commissioner of the Fire Department of New York said Saturday that she plans to step down because it’s time to “pass the torch” after two years in the job. Laura Kavanagh didn’t say when she plans to resign, but she said in a statement that she plans to […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Then First lady Melania Trump speaks to a small group of supporters as President Donald Trum...

Associated Press

This year’s RNC speakers include VP hopefuls, GOP lawmakers and UFC’s CEO — but not Melania Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former first lady Melania Trump will attend the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week, making a rare political appearance. But unlike in years past, she is not expected to address the gathering where her husband, former President Donald Trump, will formally accept the Republican nomination. While in the White House, Melania […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Alec Baldwin thanks supporters in first public comments after early end to trial

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Alec Baldwin made his first public comments to thank his supporters Saturday after the stunning early end to his involuntary manslaughter trial. “There are too many people who have supported me to thank just now,” Baldwin said in a brief Instagram post that accompanied a photo of him sitting in […]

3 hours ago

UN asks South Sudan to remove new taxes that led to a pause in food airdrops