South Sudan

Aid agencies working in northern South Sudan are worried about refugees from Sudan's war-torn Blue Nile State who are reaching under-resourced camps in increasingly poor health. In recent weeks over 35,000 people have flocked to a site 50km from the border known as Kilometre 18 (KM18) by aid agencies - the distance to the nearest refugee camp (Jamam) holding over 30,000 people.

The first batch of 700 South Sudanese have returned to Juba from Israel, as part of a policy to deport Africans and protect the state's Jewish identity. Israel and its military ally South Sudan, which gained independence in July 2011 after decades of civil war, both claim that the process has been one of 'voluntary repatriation'. While some among the first planeload of 124 people were very guarded about their feelings of returning to their new but still extremely impoverished nation, several more

An 'exceptional' airlift of almost 12,000 South Sudanese ended with a final flight from Khartoum on Wednesday but thousands more continue to live in makeshift conditions while they, too, await transport to the South, officials said. One hundred Southerners took the last chartered plane from Khartoum to South Sudan's capital Juba, Jill Helke, chief of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, said.

South Sudan has shut down more than 20 private universities, placing the future of higher education on the spot in a country where public universities are partially operational. The move that has left thousands of students confused is part of streamlining the higher education system. Country's minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Peter Adwok Nyaba, said the institutions have been operating on letters of no objection that were only meant to enable them to acquire and develop more

Top negotiators for Sudan and South Sudan met Tuesday 29 May for their first talks since deadly border fighting last month took them to the brink of war, even as Juba accused Khartoum of fresh air strikes. Teams from both sides are in the Ethiopian capital to restart the African Union-led talks which were stalled by heavy clashes last month, the worst fighting since the South won independence last July.