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100,000 Trapped in Surrounded South Sudanese Town due to violence, says UN Refugee Agency reports

If farmers are unable to reach their fields, Spindler says, harvests will rot, the upcoming planting season is likely to be missed and there will be no crops next year

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FILE - Children carry belongings as they go to a refugee camp in South Sudan, May 2, 2012. The United Nations refugee agency reports that renewed violence has trapped more than 100,000 residents and refugees in Yei, which now is surrounded by government forces. VOA
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The United Nations refugee agency reports that 100,000 people are effectively trapped by violence in the South Sudanese town of Yei. With no one allowed in or out, it warns, the town could soon face a food shortage.

Until recently, Yei — located in Central Equatoria state — has been largely spared from the violence and attacks that have gripped South Sudan since December 2013.

But, the UNHCR says, conditions for the inhabitants of Yei and surrounding areas have deteriorated since renewed conflict between government and rebel forces broke out in July.

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UNHCR spokesman William Spindler says the situation came to a head earlier this month when more than 30,000 people in surrounding areas flocked to Yei, following deadly attacks and looting of property.

FILE - South Sudanese policemen and soldiers stand guard along a street following renewed fighting in South Sudan's capital Juba, July 10, 2016. VOA
FILE – South Sudanese policemen and soldiers stand guard along a street following renewed fighting in South Sudan’s capital Juba, July 10, 2016. VOA

He tells VOA that government forces are surrounding the town.

“They are restricting access into the town and also preventing people from leaving — presumably because they suspect them of siding with opposition forces,” Spindler said. “Now people are not allowed to leave to go and tend to the fields and the crops. And this potentially could be disastrous.”

If farmers are unable to reach their fields, Spindler says, harvests will rot, the upcoming planting season is likely to be missed and there will be no crops next year.

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He says the displaced already are feeling the sting of having had to abandon their homes, with food prices soaring as commodities disappear from the market.

“Many internally displaced people have reported that their food stocks have been looted,” Spindler said. “Two local hospitals are functioning at reduced capacity. Lack of high-energy food for malnourished children and breastfeeding mothers is becoming critical.”

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Aid agencies in Juba are responding by gathering food, non-food items, drugs and other essential supplies, he says. However, the operation is stalled as agencies wait to be granted access to Yei.

The situation adds to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, where some 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes since the conflict began. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)