News in the Humanosphere: South Sudan’s president has 15 days to sign peace deal, U.S. says

President of South Sudan Salva Kiir. (Ragnhild H. Simenstad, UD/flickr)

South Sudan president Salva Kiir refused to sign a peace deal signed by the main rebel movement and supported by the IGAD regional body. Now, his old ally the U.S. is threatening him with punitive measures if he does not sign the accord in 15 days. Here is the quote from National Security Adviser Susan Rice: “given the high cost of South Sudan’s conflict to regional stability and the security and livelihoods of South Sudan’s people, the United States insists that there must be consequences for those who continue to stand in the way of peace.“ (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Nqwlcw))

Growing momentum to tackle peacekeeper abuse
A new push against what the U.N. secretary-general calls the “cancer” of peacekeeper sexual misconduct, after the issue flared again last week, has a troubling weakness: Countries’ lack of interest in prosecuting their troops who serve in U.N. missions, even though the responsibility is theirs alone. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TQSq3O)

Stat of the day
In 2012, an estimated 6.9 million women in developing regions were treated for complications resulting from unsafe abortion, according to new research by Susheela Singh and Isaac Maddow-Zimet of the Guttmacher Institute. (Via Guttmacher  http://bit.ly/1NsmvH4)

Africa

Mali’s U.N. peacekeeping mission deployed troops around a northern separatist stronghold on Tuesday, seeking to prevent an escalation of clashes between rebels and pro-government militias that threaten to torpedo a June peace accord. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1MvP3P7)

A pro-government militia in Mali said it killed 20 separatists in three days of fighting that the U.N. peacekeeping mission said undermined efforts to pacify the northern region of the country. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1hljUmx)

South African police officers fired rubber bullets at parents protesting outside a primary school on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Tuesday, wounding at least six people, local media said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1J15myS)

A South Sudanese rebel spokesman said President Salva Kiir refused to sign Monday’s peace deal aimed at ending the country’s 20-month civil war because he is afraid of power sharing. (VOA http://bit.ly/1EzLT6C)

Regional power Uganda told South Sudan’s warring factions on Tuesday to put their egos aside and make peace, a day after President Salva Kiir refused to sign a deal to end a 20-month-old conflict. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1J15n62)

A shortage of meningitis C vaccine is threatening to jeopardize the ability to cope with a potential outbreak of the disease in Africa, international public health organizations, including the World Health Organization, have warned. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1MvPFo0)

Mauritania’s new anti-slavery law could be undermined by proposed legislation threatening the freedom of non-governmental organizations which act on behalf of victims and a lack of political and judicial will to end the practice, activists said. (TRF http://bit.ly/1MvQQno)

Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court are set to decide on Wednesday whether Kenya cooperated in the court’s collapsed case against President Uhuru Kenyatta, or failed to provide key evidence to prosecutors. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1NsnOpv )

MENA

A leading international rights group said Tuesday that all sides fighting in Yemen have left a “trail of civilian death and destruction” in the conflict, killing scores of innocent people in what could amount to war crimes. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TQSqAR)

Asia

Pakistan and Afghanistan must intensify efforts to halt spread of the crippling poliovirus, including better screening of travelers heading abroad, the World Health Organization said. (VOA http://bit.ly/1EzLTn6)

Bangladeshi authorities say they have arrested three suspected Islamic militants suspected in the killings of two prominent secular bloggers, including one person accused of planning the murders. (VOA http://bit.ly/1MvPAAK)

The Americas

Cuba put its civil defense system on alert on Monday due to a yearlong drought that is forecast to worsen in the coming months and has already damaged agriculture and left more than a million people relying on trucked-in water. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Ktq1Mn)

Hundreds of thousands of people living south of the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, could be at risk from an eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano, officials say. (BBC http://bbc.in/1K3xdmp)

The White House announced on Monday new funding to fight the heroin problem gripping New England and other parts of the country. (NPR http://n.pr/1hKnfeE)

...and the rest

Greece must show “much more leadership” to tackle an escalating crisis in which 160,000 refugees and migrants have reached its shores so far this year, the United Nations said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TQSDUx)

The German Red Cross said Tuesday it will distribute hygiene kits to migrants to try to prevent disease from spreading as they arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TQSpgg)

Opinion/Blogs

U.N. should take responsibility for Haiti’s cholera woe (CNN http://cnn.it/1J162V4)

Secret aid worker: there is still racism within humanitarian work (Guardian http://bit.ly/1WBKF61)

Can the church shift the balance to renewable energy in the Philippines? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1TQFoU2)

Refugees or migrants? The distinction is important and often misunderstood (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1TQFtak)

Latin America Should Lead in Protecting the Planet’s Oceans (IPS http://bit.ly/1hKd35P)

As sex workers we welcome Amnesty’s policy – it will help empower us (Guardian http://bit.ly/1MvP4mn)

Struggling with sexism in Latin America (BBC http://bbc.in/1NqvV5Y)

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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.