News in the Humanosphere: Blood on the Streets of Bangui

Rosalia and her family live in the burnt-out shell of a light aircraft at Bangui International Airport. (Credit: UNHCR)

Fighting between rival sectarian groups in the Central African Republic has killed eight people and wounded 25 others, as gunfire and explosions rang out in the capital for a second day, the United Nations and Red Cross said.  Fighting continued on Thursday, as Muslim Seleka fighters clashed with a Christian militia in the capital Bangui, in the worst bout of violence since a UN peacekeeping force took over last month. Witnesses said that machine gun and heavy weapons fire rang out overnight and into Thursday morning, forcing the country’s Red Cross branch to suspend its operations to retrieve the dead and wounded. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUEKvM)

World Bank gets serious about infrastructure…President Jim Yong Kim says he is launching a new initiative to meet the massive infrastructure deficit developing countries face — estimated at $1 trillion a year through 2020. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vUFKjA)

Talkin’ ICC Referral Blues

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Nairobi on Thursday to crowds cheering him home, a day after becoming the first sitting president to appear before the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity charges. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUDngD)

The European Union and Japan are encouraging the U.N. Security Council to follow the recommendations of a stunning inquiry into North Korea’s human rights and refer the country’s situation to the International Criminal Court. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vUEoW0)

Former Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed “The Terminator”, will face trial next year for war crimes including using child soldiers and sex slaves in his rebel army, the International Criminal Court said on Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1s0yY9i)

Ebola’s Latest

The World Health Organization adjusted its number on Thursday for the total death toll in the West African Ebola outbreak, revising down its previous total by 14 after an adding error. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1s0A98U

Ebola-hit Liberia has suspended nationwide elections in the latest measure to combat an epidemic which has shut down society in three west African nations, restricting travel and forcing the cancellation of public events. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1s0zq7E)

Sierra Leone’s president on Thursday assailed the global community’s slow response to Ebola as United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called for a “20-fold” increase in resources to battle the epidemic. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1s0z9RW)

Pressure was growing on Thursday for the UK government to screen travellers at airports for the deadly Ebola virus despite reassurances from ministers that stringent measures are already in place. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUDFnC)

Health authorities shut down a hospital in the Zimbabwean capital on Thursday to isolate a patient who is being tested for Ebola, an official said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUEVY4)

A top US health official urged swift action Thursday to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from becoming the next AIDS epidemic, as the health of an infected Spanish nurse deteriorated. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1s0zjJ4)

Liberia children orphaned, ostracized by Ebola (AP http://yhoo.it/1s0zF2t)

Africa

Rights watchdog Amnesty International said that Africa’s most developed country, South Africa, still has “unacceptably” high numbers of women dying from largely avoidable deaths during pregnancy. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUDKrH)

Gas-rich Mozambique will sell off a new batch of energy concessions later this month, with market watchers predicting the government will demand a greater share of the profits than ever before. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1s0xRXd)

The United States is urging the United Nations to sanction individuals in South Sudan who are accused of blocking peace in the world’s newest country. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vUEGMG)

The United Nations Thursday asked the Democratic Republic of Congo government to launch judicial investigations into atrocities committed by former rebels of the M23 group in the country’s volatile east. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUFa5g)

Over the last three decades, Burkina Faso’s poorest farmers have produced food for half a million people by restoring some 300,000 hectares of degraded land with innovative techniques to conserve water and soil, according to a report. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1s0zxjx)

Ivory Coast aims to become the rice bowl of West Africa as it ramps up production and processing of the regional staple food with an eye on beginning exports in 2018 and generating more than a million jobs, a government official said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/ZgLcjM)

MENA

At least 21 people were killed in riots across Turkey, the deadliest street unrest in years, after the Kurdish minority rose up in fury at the government’s refusal to protect a besieged Syrian town from Islamic State. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vTKXrZ)

The UN’s Palestinian refugee agency is to make its largest ever financial plea to donors, it said on Thursday, asking for $1.6 billion to rehabilitate war-battered Gaza. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1s0yQqx)

Suicide bombers targeting Yemen’s powerful Shi’ite Houthi group and an army camp killed at least 67 people in two separate attacks on Thursday, hours after a political crisis forced the new prime minister to step down. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1s0xnQQ)

More than a million Syrian refugees in Turkey may go without food, medicine and shelter unless there is an increase in international funding, the U.N. refugee agency said. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1s0xWtV)

Establishing a no-fly zone or a safe zone inside Syria, proposals Turkey has been advocating to a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, has not been discussed by NATO, the alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vUDCZg)

Asia

As waters continue to recede after floods that have affected more than 2.5 million Pakistanis, health experts warn a further crisis may be unfolding with thousands of communities at risk of vector and water-borne disease. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vUGQff)

Democratic lawmakers in Hong Kong demanded anti-graft officers investigate a $6.4 million business payout to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Thursday, as political fallout grows from massive student-led protests calling for democracy in the Chinese-controlled city. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vUDg4L)

The Red Cross said Thursday it was analysing how to resume its Ukraine operations a week after halting work in the conflict-torn country following the death of a Swiss staffer. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vUF3H5)

The Americas

Uruguay’s government on Thursday received the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in the South American country. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vUEHjv)

Thousands of protesters marched across Mexico, joining relatives of 43 missing college students to demand their return amid fears a police-backed gang executed them. (VOA http://bit.ly/ZSzUUc)

The El Niño weather phenomenon is expected to occur in the next 1-2 months and last into next spring in the Northern Hemisphere, though it will likely be weak, the Climate Prediction Center agency of the National Weather Service said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1s0y7Wf)

Opinion/Blogs

These maps reveal how long you probably have to live (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1s0zWm6)

Ebola outbreak: how can you help? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1s0Akkw)

All those external validity issues with impacts? They apply to costs too! (Impact Evaluations http://bit.ly/ZgMBqH)

Should the voices of senior consultants feature more prominently in public debates on international development? (Aidnography http://bit.ly/ZgMGe5)

“Action almost never achieves its purpose.” (Find What Works http://bit.ly/ZgMMCs)

The highs and lows of peacekeeping in South Sudan (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/ZgMNGo)

IMF changes its tune on infrastructure (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/1o21h9b)

Why we sometimes need to reinvent the wheel (KM on a dollar a day http://bit.ly/1o21k4U)

Women’s economic empowerment and Australian aid: more work to be done (Devpolicy Blog http://bit.ly/ZgN2kE)

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.