UN ex-official warns of ethnic cleansing in south of Sudan

Updated 18 January 2013

UN ex-official warns of ethnic cleansing in south of Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan: A former top UN official in Sudan on Friday warned that “ethnic cleansing” is going on in the southern part of Sudan, where the people are suffering from hunger, disease and bombing in two war-torn states.
Just back from a trip to Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, where conflict between rebels and Sudanese government forces has raged for over a year, Mukesh Kapila called on the international community to come to the aid of the some 1.5 million people living in these states that border South Sudan.
“The ethnic cleansing is largely complete.... Rebel areas are depopulated and largely empty,” said Kapila, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan in 2003-2004.
His comments came prior to the publication Friday of a statement by anti-genocide charity the Aegis Trust, for which he serves as a special representative.
In Blue Nile, where Kapila estimates 450,000 people are affected by the conflict, fields and villages have been razed, he said, and the population is described on Sudanese radio as “black plastic bags” that must be cleared out of the area.
In South Kordofan, where as many as one million people are affected, Kapila said he saw people “living in caves and cracks and eating once every three days.”
The people of the two states two states fought alongside South Sudan during the country’s bloody second civil war (1983-2005). After the South seceded in 2011 fresh conflict broke out between rebels and the Sudanese government, blocking crucial aid from reaching the resource starved region.
“We saw people sitting at the side of the road, with too little energy to even become refugees, (people) who have given up,” Kapila said. It is estimated that up to 170,000 people have fled the conflict and made their way to camps in South Sudan.
Kapila left his UN post in 2004 — before the partition of Sudan — after speaking out on “genocide” in Sudan’s western state of Darfur, where the UN says an estimated 300,000 people were killed by Sudanese forces and allied militia.


UK testing ibuprofen as coronavirus treatment

Updated 04 June 2020

UK testing ibuprofen as coronavirus treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat breathing difficulties

LONDON: Scientists in London are running a drugs trial to test if ibuprofen is an effective treatment for hospital patients with COVID-19.

The teams at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s hospital and researchers from King’s College London believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat breathing difficulties.

Struggling with breathing, and the demand on ventilators in intensive care units, have been two major challenges regarding COVID-19. Researchers hope that the low-cost painkiller could reduce the reliance on ventilators.

The trial, called Liberate, will treat half the patients with ibuprofen on top of their usual care. The researchers will use a special formulation of ibuprofen that some people already take for arthritis.

Previous studies in animals have shown that it might treat acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is one of the complications caused by severe COVID-19 infections.

Prof. Mitul Mehta from the King’s College London team said: “We need to do a trial to show that the evidence actually matches what we expect to happen.”

At the onset of the pandemic, there were concerns that ibuprofen would aggravate the infection, with French Health Minister Oliver Veran advising patients to take paracetamol instead.