News in the Humanosphere: Fighting in Mozambique forces hundreds to flee country

Mozambican soldier waits in line with an AK-47. (Credit: U.S. Marines/flickr)

Hundreds of Mozambicans have fled into neighboring Malawi after renewed fighting between government troops and fighters loyal to the opposition party Renamo, officials from both countries said Monday. Nearly 700 Mozambicans from the country’s northern region crossed into Malawi’s Mwanza district two weeks ago, Malawian District Commissioner Gift Rapozo told The Associated Press. “Their homes were torched and most of them had nothing so they had to run away,” he said. Rapozo said the refugees were all considered civilians for now. (AP http://yhoo.it/1fAhWwW)

Off the blacklist
The State Department on Monday took Malaysia and Cuba off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery, leaving the U.S. open to criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in its annual human trafficking report. (AP http://yhoo.it/1D653Wj)

#FacePalm of the day
Obama, twice in one news conference, called the Ethiopian government “democratically elected.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1OxsjNA)

Quote of the day: China slams Obama in Africa edition
“The U.S. used to be a dominant power in Africa. Four years ago … to some extent, the remnants of colonialism make the U.S. feel China is a threat instead of another constructive power to bring welfare to the land. … Let’s hope Washington plays its cards fair and square, and does not make the land an arena for major-power rivalry.”
—Liu Zhun. (Global Times http://bit.ly/1OLm4qa)

Africa

South Sudan’s warring factions may face further international pressure to end their conflict if they do not reach a peace deal by Aug. 17, President Obama said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1I52BMs)

 

President Obama told Ethiopia’s leaders on Monday that allowing more political freedoms would strengthen the African nation, which had already lifted millions out of a poverty once rooted in recurring famine. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1D654cE)

 

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Mauritania on Sunday to attend a summit, despite an international arrest warrant issued against him in 2009 over charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1gZY6w6)

 

Burundi’s main opposition leader Agathon Rwasa took his seat as parliament met for the first time Monday since legislative elections last month, saying he would “play the game” despite criticizing the polls as not credible. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1fAhT4q)

 

Congo Republic’s opposition parties have convened an Alternative National Forum in rejection of a government-sponsored conference that opens the door to President Denis Sassou Nguesso seeking a third term next year. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1gZXZRk)
From milk churning in Zimbabwe to rose growing in Ethiopia, private equity investments in Africa have returned to pre-crisis levels and should keep rising as funds seek bumper returns in far-flung markets. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1gZY07R)

MENA

In agreeing to cooperate to clear Islamic State forces out of a 60-mile-long strip of northern Syria along the Turkish border, the United States and Turkey have taken a major step toward increasing pressure on the militant group and easing their differences on the Syrian conflict. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1Oxtk8w )

 

A Syrian journalist working for pro-government media was killed early on Monday as he was reporting on clashes in east Damascus, state media and a monitoring group said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1D654cO)
Clashes in Yemen are reportedly continuing despite a fragile five-day truce declared by the pro-government Arab-led coalition coming into effect. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1OxsGrn)

Asia

Pakistan on Monday resumed executions by hanging two murder convicts following a one-month break during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that ended last week. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1D6538L)

 

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Monday laid the groundwork for next year’s polls, urging Congress to persist with reform efforts that targeted graft and led to a peace deal with Muslim rebels. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1D654JL)

The U.S. government’s decision to keep Thailand on its list of worst human-trafficking centers for an unprecedented two straight years highlights the suspected role of Thai officials in the trade despite government efforts to stop it. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1D6578z)

The death toll from monsoon rains in northwestern Myanmar that triggered heavy flooding has climbed to 14, with thousands of others affected. (AP http://yhoo.it/1gZYdrw)

The Americas

Parents and relatives of 43 Mexican students missing for 10 months and presumed dead marched Sunday to demand the government resume the search for the young men. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1D651hc)

Sixty mass graves have been uncovered in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero during a search for 43 student teachers abducted last September, official documents have revealed. The attorney general’s office says the remains of 129 bodies have been recovered from the graves. (BBC http://bbc.in/1gZWmmJ)

A Chilean judge on Monday ordered the arrest of five more former soldiers for allegedly burning alive a teenage photographer seized at a protest against the late dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1986. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1fAhQpd)

...and the rest

Two suspected cases of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus Syndrome (MERS) have forced a hospital in northern England to shut its emergency wing, health officials said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1fAhWNF)
Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide. (NPR http://n.pr/1D651O6)

Opinion/Blogs

Kenya: Obama’s Visit Exposed Our Infrastructure Deficit (Daily Nation http://bit.ly/1fA5qxt)

Developing Nations Set to Challenge Rich Ahead of SDG Summit (IPS http://bit.ly/1OLeI5Y)

This academic debate about worms has an important lesson for the future of global poverty (Vox http://bit.ly/1Innvpq)

These are refugees, not migrants, arriving in their thousands on Greek shores (Guardian http://bit.ly/1gZVAG7)

Can you defeat a ruler whose family has been in power for nearly 50 years? Some lessons for Togo’s opposition (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1MS65FJ)

Progress despite adversity: women’s empowerment and conflict in Colombia  (ODI http://bit.ly/1gZYACA)

Caveats, costs and complexities shadow first malaria vaccine (Reuters http://reut.rs/1IpJ7G5)

Prisoners of Corruption in Africa (Premium Times http://bit.ly/1OLmtsT)

Forests May Be Our Last Chance to Slow Climate Change (The Conversation Africa http://bit.ly/1LOrO4h)

Book Review: Doing Good Better (Marginal Revolution http://bit.ly/1KtGIfW)

This book will change the way you think about cash transfers for the poor (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1MS64RU)

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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.