JUBA – South Sudan’s prominent civil society activist Edmund Yakani has welcomed the pledge by the Ukrainian government to send food aid to some African countries facing acute and severe hunger after raising funds from EU states.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday said his government intends to dispatch around 60 ships to African nations in need of urgent food aid such as Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
“We plan to send at least 60 ships from Ukrainian ports to the countries most threatened by famine and drought,” said the Ukrainian president.
Zelensky said he had raised $150 million from more than 20 countries and the European Union to export food to Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
In a video message broadcast during the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron promised €6 million in additional aid for Ukrainian grain exports, which are vital for supplying many African and Asian countries.
The French president also recalled the “immense tragedy” of the famine of the 1930s.
“From yesterday to today, the Ukrainian nation shows its determination and forces our admiration. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine (…) threatens the world with a food crisis,” Macron said.
In a statement reacting to the news, Yakani who is the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) welcomed the decision of the Ukrainian government and praised the Ukrainian people for standing in solidarity with people in African despite the Russian invasion.
“CEPO appreciates the Ukrainian president on matters of the food insecurity. It is impressive that with all negative military behaviors of Russian on Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky was able to take these remarkable decisions of addressing food insecurity in some African countries like our South Sudan and others,” he said.
The South Sudanese activist further decried power struggles in Africa which he said are to be blamed for the violent conflicts which have resulted in the ongoing conflicts in several African countries such as Ethiopia and South Sudan.
“The targeted African countries are all violent conflict states. The food insecurity experienced in the target countries was a result of violent conflict caused by their political elites. It is shame to leaders of these countries to continue fighting senseless wars that lead to food insecurity which is to be addressed by Ukraine which is facing serious imposed war by aggressive nation Russia,” Yakani said.
“The food assistance expected from Ukraine should act as remainder to the African countries facing the violent armed political wars like our country South Sudan. The food insecurity in African was mainly due to senseless violence,” Yakani stressed.
The prominent South Sudan activist who has previously called for end to conflicts in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia further called on the targeted African countries including his own South Sudan to stop conflicts to avoid further suffering of these countries’ citizens.
“Finally, CEPO is urging the war-hit African states to stop the armed violence like in South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia,” he added. - Sudans Post