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WHO Warns of a Coming Meningitis Outbreak in West Africa

UNICEF, MSF, WHO and the IFRC are urging vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production of the meningitis vaccine. “‘In just the first six months of 2015, there have been 12,000 cases of meningitis C in Niger and Nigeria, and 800 deaths. At the same time, there has been a critical shortage of vaccine,’” said Dr Myriam Henkens, International Medical Coordinator, MSF. ‘The campaigns consequently were limited to the critically affected age groups and areas, and even so, had to be delayed until vaccine supply became available and we believe next year will be worse. We need vaccine manufacturers to plan production of multivalent vaccine now to allow sufficient lead time and capacity to meet this demand.’” (WHO http://bit.ly/1Ipqgqp )

Here’s How Many Yemeni’s The UN Can Reach With Humanitarian Aid If Only There Were A Pause in Fighting…The latest attempt at a humanitarian pause in Yemen “has not been respected by any party to the conflict,” the U.N. humanitarian chief said Tuesday, adding that a plan to reach 3 million Yemenis with aid is ready to go if only the fighting would stop. Stephen O’Brien briefed the Security Council and repeated the call for an “unconditional freeze” in the months-long fighting between a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite Houthi rebels in the Arab world’s poorest country. A five-day humanitarian pause announced by the Saudi-led coalition quickly fell apart early Monday. An earlier pause announced this month by the U.N. also failed.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1fFcPf4)

Quote of the Day: Obama, at the AU… “I have to say Africa’s democratic progress is also at risk from leaders who refuse to step aside when their terms end,” Obama told delegates from across the continent.

“Let me be honest with you – I just don’t understand this. I am in my second term … I love my work but under our constitution, I cannot run again. I actually think I’m a pretty good president: I think if I ran I could win, but I can’t.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fFcXet)

Obama in Africa

During his visit to Ethiopia, U.S. President Barack Obama took the time Tuesday to meet with Ethiopians who have benefited from U.S. development initiatives. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D9lC3N)

On Burundi: “When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife, as we’ve seen in Burundi,” said Obama during his remarks to the African Union. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Mt6OPC)

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Ethiopia “cannot unleash the full potential of its people” if it jails journalists and restricts legitimate opposition groups. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1ON4iD9)

Africa

Cameroon will send around 2,000 extra troops to the north of the country to fight Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist movement behind bloody cross-border raids and suicide bombings, state television said Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1h3o81F)

A high court in the Ghanaian capital Accra sentenced a man to a 10-year prison term Tuesday after he confessed to having planned to kill President John Dramani Mahama. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ON68nm)

War-torn Somalia will not be able to hold full elections due next year, lawmakers said Tuesday, although it remained unclear whether some kind of voting process would still be held. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ON60Ek)

In between the run-down buildings in a seemingly inauspicious part of Lagos, a city of around 21 million, tech start-ups are taking root and creating a buzz that is drawing international venture capitalists and more established digital firms. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D9lvVI)

Mozambique’s president travelled to the country’s northwest where fighting between government troops and opposition fighters has forced hundreds to flee to neighboring Malawi, state-run radio reported on Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Mt8yZ2)

Kenya will be getting new support to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS among adolescent girls. President Obama announced Sunday that Kenya would be included in the DREAMS project. It’s funded by the U.S., the Nike Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (VOA http://bit.ly/1ON452z)

Corruption is pervasive throughout the asylum process in South Africa, according to a report published this month. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D9lAZC)

Thousands of small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe fear they will be going hungry this winter after abandoning traditional staples like maize, sorghum and groundnuts for tobacco, a cash crop known locally in this southern African nation as “green gold.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1D9lxNm)

Proposed laws to allow the seizure of land and property to redress the imbalance of ownership between black and white South Africans, could be unconstitutional and subject to the whims of ministers, rights groups told parliament on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1ON4oKK)

Former Tanzanian prime minister Edward Lowassa on Tuesday defected from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, accusing it of “oppressive leadership”, less than three months ahead of a general election scheduled for October 25. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JsNml2)

MENA

The United Nations human rights office is “deeply disturbed” by death sentences handed down in a trial of former officials who served under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, it said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1h3oa9K)

Since March, nearly 25,000 people a day have slipped into hunger in Yemen, and every second person – or nearly 13 million people – is now struggling to find enough to eat, according to Oxfam. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1ScMerq)

Human Rights Watch condemned as an “apparent war crime” on Tuesday a Saudi-led air raid in Yemen last week that it said killed at least 65 civilians in residential compounds. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1SLmGwC)

Insurgents have launched a major offensive on government-held areas in northwestern Syria in a bid to advance towards a coastal region vital to President Bashar al-Assad’s control of the west, a monitoring group and activists said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Mt6TTc)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said the formation of a safe zone inside war-torn Syria, free from the Islamic State group, would help the return of 1.7 million refugees. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Mt6U9G)

A dissident Moroccan journalist on Tuesday ended a monthlong hunger strike protesting his treatment by the government after an official said he could get a new passport in three days, a member of his support committee said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ON63Qw)

Asia

Thailand has hit back after being blacklisted in a US report for the second consecutive year for not combatting modern-day slavery, arguing it has made serious steps to tackle human trafficking. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1GZ1tZb)

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday his government would make available loans of up to 1 billion pounds to Indonesia to help finance infrastructure projects. (VOA http://bit.ly/1ON4278)

South Korea on Tuesday declared the effective end to a deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome that killed 36 people, triggered widespread panic and stymied growth in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ON4n9O)

The nationwide death toll from this month’s flash floods in various parts of Pakistan rose to 81 on Tuesday as floodwater inundated hundreds of villages, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless, authorities said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ON4mTe)

The Americas

Forensic experts in Colombia have begun a search for dozens of bodies at a landfill site believed to be one of the largest urban mass graves in the world. (BBC http://bbc.in/1D9l51M)

UN experts have called on the government of the Dominican Republic to stop the “arbitrary deportations” of Dominicans of Haitian descent, warning that its actions risk violating international laws as well as the country’s own constitution. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1ON46n8)

Brazil’s penitentiaries are notorious for rampant overcrowding and violence endured by all inmates. But advocates say few prisoners are as vulnerable as transvestites and transgender people, who are often singled out for taunting and physical and sexual abuse. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ON4mCI)

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday called for citizens to break the pacts of silence that have covered up human rights violations during the 1973-1990 military dictatorship, praising a former soldier who helped the investigation into the burning death of a U.S. resident. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D9lwsP)

…and the rest

Rescuers found 13 dead migrants on a boat off the coast of Libya with more than 500 others aboard, an Italian coast guard spokesman said on Tuesday, giving no details about how they had died. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Mt6RLk)

A prominent Russian human rights group said on Tuesday it is closing down its operations this week because of a repressive law, but has come up with a plan to continue its work. (AP http://yhoo.it/1h3o9T9)

Opinion/Blogs

Did Obama Avoid the Difficult Questions in Kenya? (OZY http://bit.ly/1gjtaqP)

Obama just pulled off two important firsts for a sitting US president (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1D95wH8)

Justin Forsyth: ‘If NGOs stay politically correct, we won’t have an impact’ (Guardian http://bit.ly/1DMktdb)

On corruption and mass atrocities (Reinventing Peace http://bit.ly/1MtbHYI)

Did You Hear About the Great Ebola Land Grab? Expect a Wave of Mystery Plagues (East African http://bit.ly/1Mt4A2I)

This Nicaraguan native community endured Spanish conquest. Will it survive modern times? (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1SLcnZi)

Drones: a force for good when flying in the face of disaster (Guardian http://bit.ly/1gjFI1d)

4 Ways Your Phone May Be Fueling Instability Around the World (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1MtbTr8)

The things we do: The connection between sleep and poverty (People, Spaces, Deliberation http://bit.ly/1MtbTYd)

Where should money go to manage global health’s ‘silent epidemic’? (Devex http://bit.ly/1DMS72G)

Look Out Pelley, Muir And Holt. Rapping Reporters Could Give You A Jolt (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1ON957v)

Learning by un-doing: the magic of immersion (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1DMRYfr)
Feeding West Africa: An Agenda for Regional Trade (Africa Can End Poverty http://bit.ly/1gk94fO)

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Aid Agencies Warn of New Burundi Refugee Flow

Humanitarian agencies in the region are already stretched thin. “Tanzanian refugee camps and relief workers, struggling to help tens of thousands of Burundian refugees, fear a new wave may pour across the border because of the violence that hit Burundi’s presidential election on Tuesday, aid agencies said. A policeman and an opposition official died in violence marring the start of the election, in a nation already hit by opposition boycotts and protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term…Some 80,000 Burundian refugees have entered Tanzania since Nkurunziza announced in April he would seek a third term, the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children said.” (TRF http://bit.ly/1COeQAx)

An HIV Breakthrough…A girl infected with HIV at birth has been in remission for 12 years after stopping her treatment. “Now a young woman of eighteen and a half, she was infected at birth by mother-to-child transmission and is now in virological remission, despite not having taken any antiretroviral therapy for the last twelve years. Monitored in the French ANRS pediatric cohort, this young woman seems to have benefited from the treatment that was initiated shortly after her birth and was continued for almost six years before being stopped. Her case suggests that long-term remission after early treatment may be achieved in children infected with HIV at birth, as demonstrated in 20 adults in the ANRS VISCONTI study.” (Institute Pasteur http://bit.ly/1TORU8t)

Another Horrid Example of Violence Against Women in India…More than 100 women have fallen victim to this kind of witch hunt in Assam. “A 63-year-old woman in India was beheaded Monday after a mob of more than 200 people accused her of witchcraft. The incident took place at a village in the eastern state of Assam, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported. Seven people have been arrested for the lynching, which occurred after the woman was dragged out of her house and attacked.” (Time http://ti.me/1TORZZD )

Quote of the day: “It is a bit of a crisis of the postwar settlement for multilateralism to adapt … it’s not so easy to invent an alternative to the UN. The UN has to be made to work,” said former UNDP head Helen Clark about the changing world around the UN. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1GA1Usx)

Africa

A policeman and an opposition official died in violence marring the start of Burundi’s presidential election, already hit by opposition boycotts and protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1OvgRTp)

Traditional rite-of-passage ceremonies in South Africa left 32 boys dead and more than 150 hospitalised, local authorities said Tuesday, as the annual initiation season drew to a close. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HHja3l)

The U.N. refugee agency reports increasing numbers of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon are moving away from the volatile border area to a UNHCR camp in a more secure region farther inland. (VOA http://bit.ly/1COqMCn)

Zimbabwe’s government said it has approved $971 million in foreign investments in the first half of the year versus $555 million a year ago, but a law handing majority control of businesses to locals was putting off investors. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1OvgRmh)

Nigeria’s presidency said on Tuesday that the World Bank had pledged to spend up to $2.1 billion to rebuild the northeast of the country that has been devastated by Boko Haram militants. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1VqTteq)

During an address to the nation, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said security and trade will top the agenda during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the country later this week. (VOA http://bit.ly/1COqMlD)

The trial of Chad’s former ruler Hissene Habre on war crimes charges has been adjourned until September 7 after the presiding judge appointed three new lawyers on Tuesday for the defence. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1COeV7p)

Hollywood actor George Clooney launched an initiative on Monday to track down and help bring to justice those funding and profiting from Africa’s deadliest conflicts in a bid to fight corruption in war zones. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1COeVEm)

Some 65 percent of Zimbabwe’s 14 million people now rely on the informal sector to survive, according to the African Development Bank. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1COeUAk)

Aid dependency, weak governance and protracted conflict mean that Central African Republic is in danger of becoming “the case study of a failed state”, a report warns. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1GA1SkB)

MENA

A UN aid ship docked in Yemen’s devastated port city of Aden Tuesday, bringing in desperately needed relief supplies after four months of fierce fighting between rebels and loyalist fighters. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HHj7V1)

The International Organization for Migration reports an extortion racket is flourishing in war-torn Yemen. The IOM says traffickers, armed groups and others are kidnapping vulnerable Ethiopian migrants on their way to Saudi Arabia and holding them for ransom. (VOA http://bit.ly/1OvsXvN)

Greek authorities say a boat carrying 150 to 200 migrants has been located adrift in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and two merchant ships have reached it to offer help or evacuate the vessel if necessary. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Ovt0Yt)

Asia

Thailand’s human rights body has named as a commissioner the wife of a lawyer who disappeared 11 years ago after criticizing police conduct. (AP http://yhoo.it/1VqTpvb)

Eleven members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party were sentenced Tuesday to long prison terms after a court convicted them of insurrection over a protest last year that turned violent. (AP http://yhoo.it/1VqTq2h)

The Laos football federation pledged Tuesday to investigate a local club over allegations teenage African players were trafficked to the communist country and forced to sign contracts without adequate pay. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1VqTqPG)

A new $100 billion international development bank backed by developing countries launched in Shanghai Tuesday, in what official Chinese media called a challenge to Western-backed international lenders. (VOA http://bit.ly/1COqOtT)

The Americas

A Honduran spring is happening, led by young people mobilising over the social networks, who are flooding the streets with weekly torch marches against corruption and impunity. (IPS http://bit.ly/1Ih3Ewq)

President Michelle Bachelet’s push to relax strict abortion laws in socially conservative Chile has created a rift inside her ruling coalition and key elements of the reform are likely to be scratched. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1GA2lmF)

…and the rest

A diverse coalition of 24 leading British scientific institutions has issued a communique urging strong and immediate government action at the U.N. climate change conference set for Paris in December. (IPS http://bit.ly/1GzMJ2M)

The Rockefeller Foundation is adding $64 million more to an already $100 million initiative that recognizes cities for their ideas on physical, social and economic resilience. (AP http://yhoo.it/1VqTsXO)

A key United Nations body granted accreditation to civil society organization Freedom Now, overturning an earlier rejection of an application by the U.S.-based group that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OvsZnq)

Pope Francis said he had “great hopes” that a fundamental agreement to tackle climate change would be reached in Paris later this year and that he believed the United Nations needed to play a central role in the fight against global warming. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1GA25nT)

Opinion/Blogs

Five ways aid agencies can better communicate with those they help (IRIN http://bit.ly/1COpCqq)

Sustainable development is failing but there are alternatives to capitalism (Guardian http://bit.ly/1MiUrW8)

The How Is As Important As the What When It Comes to Technology for Development (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1IhcRVF)

The Political crisis leaves Burundi on the Brink of Economic Collapse (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1g2GG1J)

Three concerns ahead of Côte d’Ivoire poll (IRIN http://bit.ly/1COqI5n)

Confessions of a humanitarian: the consultant’s manifesto (Guardian http://bit.ly/1IhcD0H)

Will Development Finance Serve Africa? (Addis Fortune http://bit.ly/1g2GwYh)

Science is a perfect but overlooked target for aid (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1g2GBLm)

Obama rewarding oppression in Cuba (CNN http://cnn.it/1MiUSzO)

Playing the EU asylum lottery (IRIN http://bit.ly/1GzN19L)

17 suggestions for supporting peacebuilding in fragile states (Guardian http://bit.ly/1OvtwFI)

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With no peace process to speak of, the fighting in South Sudan has escalated in recent weeks. Four civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed on Tuesday when two mortar bombs exploded inside a U.N. compound in the town of Melut in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, the U.N. reported on Wednesday as rebel forces and government troops battled for control of a strategic oil hub…Fighting has recently intensified in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity states as government troops and rebel forces fight for control of territory. At stake are the Upper Nile oil fields of Paloch, which the rebels said they were poised to seize on Wednesday. As the country’s last remaining functional oil fields, they are crucial for South Sudan’s increasingly vulnerable economy. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HhQCKD)

A Tiny Glimmer of Hope for Rohingya Refugees Adrift at Sea...Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to provide temporary shelter and assistance to thousands of Rohingya migrants still stranded at sea in Southeast Asia, but they have stopped short of offering to find their boats and bring them ashore. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1HhLlme)

ISIS Captures UNESCO Heritage City…Destruction of Artifacts to Follow? “Islamic State insurgents stormed the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, fighting off pro-government forces who withdrew after evacuating most of the civilian population, state television said. The capture of Palmyra is the first time the al Qaeda offshoot has taken control of a city directly from the Syrian army and allied forces, which have already lost ground in the northwest and south to other insurgent groups in recent weeks. The central city, also known as Tadmur, is built alongside the remains of a oasis civilization whose colonnaded streets, temple and theater have stood for 2,000 years.” (WaPo http://reut.rs/1dlMr9y)

Quote of the Day: “(With child marriage) we are sanctioning rape, we are sanctioning abduction, we are sanctioning a modern form of slavery, it’s trafficking, it’s forced labor.” – Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer whose mother and sister were both wed as children in her native Zimbabwe. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1HhS0wI)

World responds to Rohingya crisis

Turkey says it is donating $1 million to the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. refugee agency to help ease Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis and is exploring ways of organizing a humanitarian aid operation to reach Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis stranded at sea. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HhQGtU)

Gambia’s government says it is willing to resettle Muslim Rohingya migrants stranded at sea after fleeing predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. (AP http://yhoo.it/1dkOx9y)

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militants on Wednesday condemned Myanmar’s “savage Buddhists” and urged Southeast Asia’s Muslims to come to the aid of Rohingya Muslim boat people. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HhQxGH)

Africa

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza delayed parliamentary and local elections until June 5, following protests and a coup attempt. (VOA http://bit.ly/1efTosI)

An unidentified gunman on Wednesday shot at United Nations vehicles in Mali’s capital Bamako and targeted a house where U.N. staff were staying, wounding a guard, the world body said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1dkPYF7)

At least 65 people are confirmed to have died in a nearly five-month-old cholera outbreak in Kenya, with infections also continuing to rise in the capital Nairobi, health officials said Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HhQECl)

The only international observers during Ethiopia’s elections Sunday will be from the African Union, with opposition parties already feeling the AU observers are not demanding enough in their criticism of Ethiopia’s election process, which is dominated by the ruling party. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Lm3GCB)

It’s becoming more and more difficult to find food in Cameroon’s Far North region, residents say, not only because the annual lean season is underway, but insecurity caused by Boko Haram has severely disrupted farming and cross-border trade. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1AmeEXA)

Opposition leader Adrien Houngbedji was on Wednesday elected head of Benin’s national assembly, possibly threatening the president’s hopes of pushing through a controversial amendment to the constitution. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HhQDhv)

Nigerian prosecutors on Wednesday withdrew murder charges against a 15-year-old girl who was accused of using rat poison to kill the 35-year-old man she had married. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HhQF9a)

Guinea’s opposition leader said on Wednesday he was “disappointed” by talks with President Alpha Conde aimed at ending a political deadlock which has led to deadly nationwide protests. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1dkOHhb)

A journalist and rights activist known for his outspoken criticism of the humanitarian crisis in southeastern Niger has been arrested for “collaborating” with Boko Haram Islamists, the interior minister said Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HhQD1f)

Malawi police on Wednesday said they had arrested four people suspected of murdering an albino man five months ago to sell his bones for witchcraft. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1dkOBWR)

As the eLearning Africa conference gets underway in Addis Ababa, there is a growing recognition that online courses can boost further education access. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1HhLCWp)

MENA

U.N. aid agencies report the humanitarian impact of the nearly two month Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen and a blockade of fuel and other imported relief supplies is enormous. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Lm3KSY)

Iran will allow the United Nations to inspect a Yemen-bound aid ship at the regional U.N. hub in Djibouti, Tehran’s deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday, offering a chance to avert a showdown with Saudi-led forces. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1dkOyKD)

Asia

Nepal must take lessons from earthquake-hit countries such as Mexico and strictly enforce existing building laws as it prepares to rebuild from two major quakes, a senior United Nations official said Wednesday. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Lm3MKs)

China’s heyday as the “world’s factory” is fading as labor costs rise and export demand has faded. To address that and other challenges, the world’s second-largest economy has unveiled a plan to beef up its presence as a global manufacturing power. (VOA http://bit.ly/1efTrVm)

The Philippines is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, and it has vowed to eradicate the practice; the recruitment of children for use in combat is officially prohibited under two laws pertaining to child labor and abuse. But progress is slow. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1HhLypr)

Nepal must take lessons from earthquake-hit countries such as Mexico and strictly enforce existing building laws as it prepares to rebuild from two major quakes, a senior United Nations official said Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HhQwCK)

The Americas

Rescuers in Colombia are continuing to search for victims of a landslide which hit the town of Salgar on Monday but hopes are fading for more survivors. The number of bodies retrieved from the debris in north-western Antioquia province rose to 78. (BBC http://bbc.in/1Amesrs)

Uruguay has created a commission to probe human rights violations perpetrated from 1968 to 1985 as the government cracked down brutally on a leftist rebellion. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1dkOHOb)

The decapitated body of a blogger known for denouncing corrupt politicians has been found in a rural zone in southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, police said Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HhQGdl)

Rising seas, thawing permafrost and longer wildfires caused by warmer global temperatures threaten U.S. military bases and will change the way the U.S. armed services defend the country, President Barack Obama is set to say on Wednesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HhQx9V)

…and the rest

France gave broad backing on Wednesday to an EU scheme to share out asylum-seekers among EU states to deal with a surge of migrants, after a week of ambiguity that reflected growing public opposition to immigration. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1dkQ6Eq)

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday it had visited two men captured in a part of eastern Ukraine hit by separatist conflict and that they were now in hospital in the capital Kiev. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HhQD1h)

Opinion/Blogs

Europe is Totally Ignoring the Root Causes of Migration Across the Mediterranean (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1Amm8tQ)

From Quarantine To Appeasement–Howard French takes big issue with Gayle Smith’s USAID nomination.  (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/1GpTtoL)

Doing development differently: Breaking the glass ceiling (Devex http://bit.ly/1GpTNDS)

Oh dear. Another unreadable European Report on Development. Good stats on finance (FFD) though. (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1Bcwyr4)

Nigeria’s bill targeting FGM is a positive step, but must be backed by investment (Guardian http://bit.ly/1efT9Os)

The U.N. at 70: Time to Prioritise Human Rights for All, for Current and Future Generations (IPS http://bit.ly/1efTe4N)

In EU, 0.7 percent aid target under threat (Devex http://bit.ly/1HtTWoz)

Financing for development: this year’s big debate (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1GpTQzJ)

Getting beyond the mirage of external validity (Development Impact http://bit.ly/1BcwqI4)
A Vision for the African Development Bank (Addis Fortune http://bit.ly/1HhRv62)

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South Africa facing backlash after attacks on foreign refugees

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African securitySouth Africa facing backlash after attacks on foreign refugees

Published 22 April 2015

South Africa is facing criticism from other African nations after a series of attacks against immigrants in the country suggested a new wave of xenophobic violence.Asurge of attacks on foreigners living in camps within the cities of Durban, Johannesburg, and other parts of the country has resulted in the deaths of six people, the displacement of 5,000, and the looting and damage to foreign-owned shops. It is estimated that between two and five million refugees and migrant workers reside in South Africa, amongst a population of fifty-one million.

South Africa is facing criticism from other African nations after a series of attacks against immigrants in the country suggested a new wave of xenophobic violence.

As theGuardian reports, a surge of attacks on foreigners living in camps in the cities of Durban, Johannesburg, and other parts of the country has resulted in the deaths of six people, the displacement of 5,000, and the looting and damage to foreign-owned shops. Most of the people affected have been “refugees and asylum seekers who were forced to leave their countries due to war and persecution,” according to an unnamed United Nations (UN) commissioner for refugees.

“It is not every South African who says go away, not at all,” said South African president Jacob Zuma, who cancelled a state visit to Indonesia to handle the crisis and reassure critics. “It is a very small number who say so. We don’t want the countries in the region where the citizens are going to look at each other in a hostile manner. We want to live as sisters and brothers.”

Given the country’s history of human rights abuses and skepticism across the continent regarding the truth in Zuma’s words, South African vehicles were stoned in Mozambique, and South African companies have been threatened with forced closure by the newly elected All Progressives Congress party in Nigeria. Protests have also been held at the country’s embassies throughout the continent.

In Mozambique, a group of 200 protesters were involved in an incident in which “Demonstrators blocked the road for half an hour, refusing to allow cars with South African registration plates to pass,” according to AFP.

In Zimbabwe, protesters marched outside of the South African embassy with a petition that read: “We, the people of Zimbabwe standing in solidarity with our brethren in Africa, strongly condemn and denounce the cruel, senseless and gruesome xenophobic slaughter of foreign nationals and the looting of their properties in South Africa.”

Further, numerous South African touring musicians have also had to cancel, including BigNuz in Zimbabwe, Kelly Khumalo in London, and others.

Much of the latest anti-immigrant violence has been viewed as a response to a speech last month by King Goodwill Zwelithini, the traditional leader of the Zulu ethnic group. In it, he linked the migrant population to crime in the country and said that “they must take their bags and go.” He has since claimed that his words were misinterpreted.

It is estimated that between two and five million refugees and migrant workers reside in South Africa, amongst a population of fifty-one million.

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