After Madagascar, Cyclone Freddy returns to hit Mozambique After Madagascar, Cyclone Freddy returns to hit Mozambique

After Madagascar, Cyclone Freddy returns to hit Mozambique

Mozambique, a country in southeastern Africa still recovering from the effects of the first storm, is about to suffer a second attack from Tropical Cyclone Freddy overnight from Friday to Saturday, according to a regional meteorological center.

The United Nations monitoring station on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean has warned that Freddy will "gradually intensify to reach the stage of a tropical cyclone or even an intense tropical cyclone" over the channel . of Mozambique before making landfall overnight from Friday to Saturday.

Freddy is expected to intensify this Thursday as it approaches the coast of Mozambique, with winds at sea averaging 110 km/h, gusts of 155 km/h, and heading northeast. It is expected to make landfall in Zambezia Province , the country's second most populous province.

Its reappearance baffled meteorologists with its constant changes of direction and multiple records. Freddy intensified four times, a first for a Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone. It also holds the world record for "accumulated cyclonic energy", a measure that gauges the strength of a cyclone over time.

Freddy hit eastern Madagascar last month before swooping down on Mozambique and then retracing its steps to bring heavy rain to Madagascar, killing 21 people across the two countries.

The deluge affected around 213,000 people and destroyed more than 28,000 homes in the Mozambican capital of Maputo and neighboring provinces, according to Mozambique's National Institute for Disaster Risk Management. The United Nations meteorological agency said warnings and preparations had reduced the risk to human life.

Freddy seemed to have dissipated over the past few days before reappearing, skirting the Mozambique Channel. He was initially heading for Madagascar for the second time, but changed course to return to the African continent.

The French meteorological agency Mรฉtรฉo-France said in a bulletin on Tuesday that Freddy, who is picking up speed, also poses serious weather risks for Toliara, the capital of Madagascar's Atsimo-Andrefana region, with strong winds and seas that remains "dangerous due to the cyclonic swell" . Freddy is currently soaking southern Madagascar.

The United Nations meteorological agency said Freddy was on course to become the longest-running tropical cyclone in history after crossing the entire Indian Ocean for a month.

Cyclone season runs from November to April in the southwest Indian Ocean and climate scientists say climate change is intensifying cyclones, making them longer, wetter and more frequent.

South Sudan: in 2023, "it's make or break", warns the UN

The provisional government of South Sudan, the youngest state on the planet still plagued by violence after a civil war, must absolutely implement its peace agreement this year to hold "credible" elections in 2024, urged Tuesday the UN envoy to that country.

"We consider 2023 to be the year of make or break, and a test for all parties to the peace agreement," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ' envoy and chief of staff told the Security Council. United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Minuss), Nicholas Haysom.

The South African diplomat welcomed that "the transitional government has confirmed its commitment to implement the peace agreement in accordance with the timetable of a roadmap concluded" between rivals of this African country born in 2011 of the partition of Sudan , with the support of the United States .

Mr. Haysom underlined that Juba "had made it clear that the timetable would not be pushed back" between now and "credible and for the greatest number of people" elections now scheduled for the end of 2024.  "We must strive to create or expand political and civic space to allow these elections to take place ,” he told reporters.

One of the main obstacles was the drafting of a new Constitution, which will be "a crucial opportunity for the people of South Sudan to agree on the provisions that will allow them to live together harmoniously, avoiding a repetition of civil wars that marked the last decade" .

The drafting process must give voice to all South Sudanese, including opposition groups, the hundreds of thousands of displaced people and refugees, women , youth, people with disabilities and other marginalized communities. . "It's especially important that they apply themselves to figuring out how they can live together and discover that they have a common destiny ," he said.

He called on the government to immediately reconstitute and fund the National Constitutional Review Commission , and he said parliament must end its long recess.

Minuss, one of the costliest UN missions in the world with an annual budget of $1.2 billion, has been “requested by the government to provide assistance to South Sudanese for their own elections” along with “civil society , political parties and the media ," insisted the envoy.

After the end in 2018 of a civil war that began in 2013 and which caused at least 380,000 victims , President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar formed a transitional government and agreed to join forces into a single army to protect their people hard hit by conflict and climatic disasters.

However, armed violence continues to bloody this oil-rich country but where the majority of people live below the poverty line .

Mr. Haysom acknowledged that there are still "conflicts with an increasingly ethnic or tribal dimension, which, as President Kiir has noted, threaten to undo a hard-won peace" .

At his side, a United States ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood , expressed his "serious concern at the increase in violence against civilians in South Sudan during the period covered by the Minuss report. : year-on-year, killings of civilians increased by 79%, abductions of women and children by 464%, and conflict-related sexual violence by 360%" .

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