News in the Humanosphere: South Sudan boots top U.N. official

UNMISS Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer visits Bentiu IDP Camp with Dutch and British Ambassadors. (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)

The U.N.’s Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, was unexpectedly kicked out of the country. This is a truly bizarre move from a government that seems to be sinking to new lows. “’We, at the U.N., were informed by the Sudanese authorities some days back about their intention to expel Mr. Lanzer,’ Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary General Farhan Haq said. Haq said the government of President Salva Kiir did not explain why Mr. Lanzer is being expelled. He said the United Nations finds the decision ‘confusing.’ ‘Mr. Lanzer was already set to leave South Sudan this coming month … to take up his position as a regional humanitarian coordinator in the Sahel region of West Africa. In fact, just last week the secretary-general announced the appointment of Eugene Owusu of Ghana as Mr. Lanzer’s replacement in South Sudan. So it’s confusing why at this stage South Sudan would take this decision to expel him,’ Haq said.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1JfQa5u)

Big energy companies back carbon pricing plan
In a surprise move, six major international energy firms wrote an open letter to the top U.N. Climate diplomat pledging their support for setting a price on carbon emissions. “Europe’s top oil and gas companies urged governments around the world to introduce a pricing system for carbon emissions, as governments meet in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to work on a UN deal to fight climate change. Criticized for not doing enough to tackle climate change, the chief executives of BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and France’s Total said carbon pricing “would reduce uncertainty and encourage the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions widely.” In a joint statement, the companies acknowledged “the current trend” in greenhouse gas emissions is too high to meet the United Nation’s target for limiting global warming by no more than 2 degrees. (SMH http://bit.ly/1JfPXiW)

Quote of the Day
“No one should have to live like this, people are really suffering. … They are being strangled slowly, they have no hope for the future and nowhere to go.” —the actor Matt Dillon who is in Sittwe, Myanmar to championed the cause of the long-suffering Rohingya. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Q0atrL)

Stat of the day
May was the bloodiest month so far this year in Syria, with at least 6,657 people killed throughout the war-ravaged country, a monitor said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KI6Q6i)

Africa

Cameroon has begun a mass vaccination program to combat a measles epidemic. Medics said the outbreak is getting worse because parents are failing to have their children vaccinated against the preventable disease. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Fpok0m)

Rising greenhouse gases have boosted rainfall in the Sahel region of Africa, easing droughts that killed 100,000 people in the 1970s and 1980s, in a rare positive effect of climate change, a study said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HHhUdF)

Al-Qaida’s North Africa arm has claimed responsibility for two attacks against the United Nation’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Mali this week, the Mauritanian Al-Akhbar news agency reported. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HHhHqP)

A man condemned to hang when he was 16 because of confessions extracted under torture has been pardoned after 10 years on death row, Nigerian and international human rights activists said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KI6Pz6)

MENA

Thousands of tons of food aid for Yemen have been diverted from the port of Aden because of heavy fighting there, U.N. officials said on Monday. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1HHeqI0)

At least six people were killed when dozens of tents at a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley caught fire on Monday, security sources said. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Q0b6l6)

Libya’s public finances, wracked by a dramatic loss in oil revenue that has been exacerbated by a power struggle between rival governments, are foundering. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1KI3IHj)

The first video of a French woman kidnapped in Yemen months ago surfaced on social media Monday, showing the distraught 30-year-old pleading with the presidents of France and Yemen for rescue. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Q0b5O4)

A Cairo court on Monday adjourned the trial of three Al Jazeera television journalists for four days after hearing the prosecution’s closing argument that their reporting had endangered Egypt’s national security. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1KI3L6d)

Humanitarian organizations are preparing to launch a fundraising appeal for $500 million for the crisis created by the Islamic State group in Iraq, UNICEF said on Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HHhIes)

The United Nations said it would be forced to slash or shut down almost half its aid operations in Iraq without an immediate injection of new funds, at a time when a humanitarian crisis triggered by Islamic State insurgents is intensifying. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HHhUdw)

Asia

Authorities in Bangladesh filed murder charges Monday against dozens of people for their roles in the 2013 collapse of a garment factory building that killed more than 1,100 people. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KI6JHF)

Concerns over a dangerous respiratory illness have led South Korean health authorities to isolate more than 680 people who may have been exposed. China and Hong Kong also are taking steps to halt the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which has killed hundreds of people in that region since its emergence in 2012. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Fpoi8V)

China’s capital Monday began imposing the country’s toughest ban on indoor smoking in hopes of stemming a looming health crisis. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Q0b4K2)

The Philippine president said Monday that charges will be filed against all those responsible for last month’s factory fire that killed 72 people, and blasted government agencies for failing to do their duties. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KI6M6r)

More than 700 migrants found packed aboard an overcrowded boat in the Andaman Sea were still being held offshore by Myanmar’s navy on Monday, more than three days after the converted fishing vessel was intercepted off the country’s coast. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KI6NHx)

The Americas

Close to 4,000 people marched through New York City’s East Harlem demanding the release of Oscar López Rivera, a 72-year-old Puerto Rican activist currently serving out his 34th year in prison. (IPS http://bit.ly/1KI3LDh)

Some 400,000 people in Colombia’s bustling port city of Buenaventura lost power after a key electrical tower was destroyed – an act military officials blamed on FARC rebels. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HHhJiy)

...and the rest

The United Nations said Monday that more than 6,400 people had been killed in conflict-wracked Ukraine, and despite a slowdown in fighting, millions more are suffering from abuses and hardship. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HHhO5I)

The EU has come under fire for failing to set a deadline for its own financial commitments to aid, a move that activists say could threaten wider talks on funding an ambitious development agenda. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1HHeuri)

Efforts spearheaded by the United Nations to reach a global deal to fight climate change are “inadequate,” a French minister said on Monday in a sign of growing frustration before Paris hosts a major meeting later this year. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KI6Nak)

Opinion/Blogs

The end of mass famine? (Reinventing Peace http://bit.ly/1Kyrbrp)

Targeted aid can make a positive difference (Devex http://bit.ly/1AJ4wZ3)

Navigating the a[i]d industrial complex (Wait…What? http://bit.ly/1AJ569d)

What if growth had been as good for the poor as everyone else? (ODI http://bit.ly/1AJ4Hni)

The Caregivers’ Disease (London Review of Books http://bit.ly/1I5sbD4)

Empty promises mean African mothers are dying of preventable diseases (Guardian http://bit.ly/1FYpjs0)

Cognitive dissonance in the development community (Devex http://bit.ly/1I5soWL)

Podcast: Elisabeth Caesens on mining in the DR Congo (Congo Siasa http://bit.ly/1KysqXA)

Sepp’s rule: It’s not over till Blatter himself sings (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/1JeDThD)

The former Deputy Mayor of LA and Director of LA’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, describes the lessons from LA’s experience with gang violence reduction that can be applied in dealing with violence and extremism globally. (CAI http://bit.ly/1JfR026)

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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.