Global perspective Human stories

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan peace process, mental health in Somalia and Sudan's child soldiers

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan peace process, mental health in Somalia and Sudan's child soldiers


Engagement of regional countries “good thing” for South Sudan peace process

The engagement of countries in eastern Africa in a process aimed at revitalizing the peace process and bringing an end to conflict in South Sudan is a “good thing” the head of global UN peacekeeping operations has said. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who is the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, was speaking on Wednesday in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, following a meeting with the country’s President Salva Kiir. Daniel Dickinson reports from Juba.

The UN held a capacity-building workshop for mental health professionals in Baidoa. Photo: UNifeed

Somali health professionals grapple with mental health stigma

Many Somalis commonly called “crazy” are actually suffering from mental illness, often brought on by years of conflict and loss. That’s one of the lessons learned at a recent UN workshop for mental health professionals in Baidoa, the capital of Somalia’s South West state, organized by the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNSOM. The training sessions held over three days in late July, aimed to help staff from the city’s main prison, psychiatric hospital and other facilities, to overcome the stigma often associated with mental health disorders.

UNICEF’s Sally Burnheim, Chief, Advocacy and Innovative Partnerships speaking in Geneva. Photo: UN News/Daniel Johnson

“Smart tech” used to teach Sudan’s former child soldiers

An innovative project that has given former child soldiers access to education in Sudan shows the value of embracing technology for sustainable development. According to the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, these vulnerable youngsters have been able to follow the country’s national curriculum using solar-powered electronic tablets. The initiative is being rolled out to displaced communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Greece, as UNICEF’s Sally Burnheim told Daniel Johnson.

Presenter: Matt Wells

Production Assistant: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10'00″

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