News in the Humanosphere: U.N. warns of developing famine in Yemen

A boy carries a bag of sugar to his family during a food distribution by Yemeni volunteers in Taiz, Yemen. (AP Photo/Abdulnasser Alseddik)

World Food Program said a study it carried out showed food security was at its most precarious for Yemen’s 1.3 million internally displaced people. The agency, in a statement, said it has reached 3.5 million people with food supplies since the conflict erupted, “but fighting makes deliveries difficult and dangerous.” More than 1.2 million children are suffering from moderate to acute malnutrition and over half a million children are severely malnourished, it said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1J7UgYZ)

More allegations against U.N. peacekeepers in CAR
New allegations of rape involving the U.N. peacekeeping unit in the Central African Republic were revealed. … “A new series of disturbing allegations of misconduct have recently come to light,” U.N. spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci told reporters. “The events allegedly took place in recent weeks. These new allegations concern a report that three young females were raped by three members of a MINUSCA military contingent.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/1HXYZuq)

Meanwhile
The French government considers withdrawing more of its troops from Central African Republic by the end of the year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LmVe9v)

Photos of the day
Fashion and flair at Eritrea’s largest metal market (Guardian http://bit.ly/1JkGIIJ)

Quote of the day
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza warned rebels Thursday that they would be crushed by God. “They will be scattered like flour thrown into the air – as the God of heaven is a witness, the Burundians will be at peace.”  (AFP http://yhoo.it/1TVOdBh)

Africa

South Sudan’s warring rivals will bring “disaster” on themselves and the region if no peace deal is signed, the African Union warned. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LmVpBW)

Guinea Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz named a new prime minister on Thursday in a bid to end a power vacuum after he dismissed Domingos Simoes Pereira last week, according to a presidential decree read on state radio. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NxKox8)

Tanzania has suspended about a quarter of its recruitment agencies in a bid to crackdown on human trafficking after complaints that girls sent as domestic servants to the Middle East were used as sex slaves and forced to work without pay. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NHxKtf)

International envoys urged a rapid resolution to a move by Somali lawmakers to impeach President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – the latest crisis to threaten the country’s stability as it struggles to rebound from two decades of chaos and war. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NxKK6W)

A South Sudanese journalist was shot dead while leaving a newspaper’s office late on Wednesday, his colleagues said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NHxIBD)

A drought and a surge in demand for electricity have left the residents of Equatorial Guinea’s economic capital of Bata virtually without power for two weeks, authorities and residents said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NxL19S)

Mauritania became the last country to abolish slavery 34 years ago, but despite ever harsher laws which now declare the practice a crime against humanity, a deeply ingrained resistance has made the shackles hard to break. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LmVrK1)

U.S. philanthropist Howard Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren, is pouring millions of dollars into power projects in war-torn Congo, betting that private investment can bring development where the United Nations and aid agencies failed. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NHxI4s)

For nearly two decades, the Lord’s Resistance Army stalked the grasslands of north Uganda, abducting children as soldiers and sex slaves in its war against the government. Now at peace, the land is being put to a new use: large-scale agriculture. (TRF http://bit.ly/1NHxISb)

Sub-Saharan African countries are increasingly issuing hard-currency bonds with staggered rather than one-off repayments, seeking to minimize the risk that volatile commodity prices will play havoc with their finances. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NxKGEc)

MENA

The United Nations said that Israel’s decisions to impose up to 20 years prison for people throwing stones and to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike threatened to worsen an “already-precarious human rights situation.” (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1LmVpln)

MERS coronavirus infections have soared in Saudi Arabia ahead of the hajj pilgrimage, killing three people and forcing a Riyadh hospital to close its emergency ward, officials and newspapers said Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KxNdcc)

A car ferry carrying just over 2,400 Syrian refugees arrived on the Greek mainland on Thursday as a wave of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty continued unabated, straining a country that is already in economic crisis. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1EFbriF)

The cash-strapped U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) promised to start the school year on schedule, allowing more than 500,000 kids in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to return to their classrooms between Aug. 24 and Sept. 13. (IPS http://bit.ly/1LmVg1e)

Asia

Indian authorities detained and later released two key Kashmiri separatist leaders Thursday ahead of talks between Indian and Pakistani security advisers, while a third remained under house arrest. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NxLGYW)

Lawmakers decided Thursday to delay voting on a bill that could have resulted in the removal of parliament’s embattled speaker, temporarily easing a political crisis gripping Myanmar ahead of national elections. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TZT0MB)

The Americas

At least 125 people have been killed in El Salvador in the last three days, authorities said Wednesday as a wave of violence continues to plague the Central American nation. (AP http://yhoo.it/1EF9S4u)

Indigenous protesters wielding spears in southeastern Ecuador sent police and soldiers fleeing Wednesday in a clash that Interior Minister Jose Serrano said injured eight security force members. (AP http://yhoo.it/1EF9TFt)

Colombia’s new law on femicide is a key step to combat violence against women, but forensic experts and prosecutors will need to change the way they investigate gender-related killings to win convictions, officials said. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1EF9W48)

Haitian election authorities disqualified two more candidates for disruptions during legislative elections earlier this month, bringing the total of barred candidates to 16 so far. (AP http://yhoo.it/1EF9VNq)

Up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gases would be kept out of the atmosphere if the U.S. government stopped leasing federal lands to fossil fuel companies, according to a study. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1EF9WBh)

Colombia’s Marxist rebels indefinitely extended a month-old ceasefire on Thursday as peace talks resumed in Havana, with the government still pledging not to conduct air raids on rebel camps. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TZTfaz)

...and the rest

Sweden is urging Amnesty International to study its pioneering prostitution law, amid disappointment over the human rights group’s vote to back the decriminalization of the sex trade, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LmWeup)

An anti-corruption watchdog says only four of 41 countries that signed an anti-bribery convention 16 years ago are actively investigating and prosecuting companies that bribe foreign officials to win contracts, or dodge taxes and local laws. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NxL7yr)

Britain and France announced new measures on Thursday to prevent undocumented migrants from entering the Channel Tunnel, while stepping up joint police operations against the people-smugglers who profit from their desperation to reach Britain. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NxKpRu)

The European Union is urging major emerging industrialized powers to make public their emissions targets ahead of a key climate conference in December. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NHABCB)

Opinion/Blogs

U.N. peacekeepers who rape and abuse are criminals – so treat them as such (Guardian http://bit.ly/1HY1zAJ)

EU pays price for lack of migration planning (IRIN http://bit.ly/1E7jBWD)

Talking about war makes it more likely. Look at South Sudan. (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1TVVDo0)

The World That Is Not Fair On Climate Change (The Observer http://bit.ly/1JkNQoD)

Propaganda or proper journalism? China’s media expansion in Africa (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1TVWGV1)

Why Applying a Gender Lens Is Key to Addressing Africa’s Challenges (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1TVWDZs)

Whatever happened to those heroes? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1J7c3Sl)

Obama Too Failed to Recognise That Africa Is Not a Homogenous Entity (New Times http://bit.ly/1hsMFxF)

The AP’s controversial and badly flawed Iran inspections story, explained (Vox http://bit.ly/1NHKFeL)

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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.