News in the Humanosphere: Coup in Burkina Faso over, hopefully

President Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso. (Credit: U.N. Photo/Ryan Brown)

Burkina Faso’s interim president declared Wednesday he is once again in charge of the country a week after a military general and his supporters overthrew him and his transitional government. Interim President Michel Kafando had been arrested by members of the presidential guard a week ago, and later sought refuge at the residence of the French ambassador. “During this ordeal we have fought together and in freedom we triumph together,” Kafando said in a declaration to the nation as presidents of neighboring countries arrived in Burkina Faso. “We are proud of the intrepidity of the Burkinabe people, in particular its youth.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1NTgcOh)

U.N. week is about to kick off
World leaders are about to converge on the United Nations in their largest numbers yet.  More than 150 presidents and prime ministers will attend this year’s General Assembly, which also marks the U.N.’s 70th anniversary. There will be no shortage of crises for the leaders to discuss. (VOA http://bit.ly/1LwmfGW)

Quote of the day
“Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants. We must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels, the main driver of this global problem.”
—Leonardo DiCaprio in joining pledge by groups to divest from fossil fuels. (TRF
http://yhoo.it/1OuuuF9)

Africa

More than 20 people were killed in a bomb attack in the garrison town of Monguno in remote northeast Nigeria, witnesses and the country’s main relief agency said on Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Pv0qXd)

The elite soldiers behind a coup in Burkina Faso and regular troops loyal to the government signed an agreement overnight to avoid an outbreak of violence as mediators were due to arrive in the capital, said a traditional leader involved in the deal. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NTgapy)

Burundi’s government ruled out Wednesday talks with key opposition groups, rejecting calls by the influential Catholic Church for all sides to negotiate to ensure no return to civil war.  (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Pv0si1)

Thousands of people in Sierra Leone were entering a second week in makeshift camps Wednesday after being made homeless by severe flooding caused by torrential rain last week. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Pv0nL9)

A South African prison that once held Nelson Mandela is being evacuated after two prisoners died from a disease carried by rats, authorities said on Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LxKQuJ)

The United Nations is now planning for its Ebola response to last into mid-2016, suggesting the battle against the virus that has killed more than 11,000 people won’t be over by year-end, according to a report Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Pv0ruu)

MENA

European Union leaders pledged $1.1 billion to help U.N. agencies support Syrian refugees who remain in the Middle East at a crisis summit on migration, the meeting’s chairman Donald Tusk said early on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Pv0tSX)

Scientists are slipping 3-D cameras into Syria to local activists and residents to scan antiquities. A U.S.-funded project aims to provide local conservators with resources to help safeguard relics. Inside Syria, volunteers scramble to document damage to monuments and confirm what remains. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Jpwoip)

Asia

Bangladesh said it has met the conditions put forward by the United States for better safety and workers’ rights in its factories that were essential to regain preferential trade status the impoverished South Asian nation lost in 2013 after two disasters killed 1,500 garment workers. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Jpwp5T)

Cambodian land concessions granted to companies last year affected nearly 80,000 people, displacing many of them and increasing poverty, the NGO Forum on Cambodia says in a new report. (VOA http://bit.ly/1PsI5u2)

The Americas

Colombia will shift its focus in the fight against illegal drugs by funding the planting of legal crops, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Tuesday as the government halts aerial fumigation in one of the world’s top cocaine producers. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NTiSLZ)

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is facing the lowest popularity ratings of her political career, but she’s dismissing rumors that that she’ll resign. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Pv0qqi)

A group of former Volkswagen employees in Brazil has filed a civil lawsuit against the German carmaker. The former employees accuse the firm of allowing its workers to be detained and tortured under Brazil’s military rule from 1964 to 1985. (BBC http://bbc.in/1NT5ibp)

The Colombian government and FARC rebels will sign a definitive peace deal within six months to end a half-century of conflict, President Juan Manuel Santos said, as the two sides announced a major breakthrough. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Pv0tCz)

...and the rest

World leaders attending a U.N. peacekeeping summit next week hosted by President Obama will offer thousands of troops to shore up missions worldwide, a U.S. official said Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Jpwkzm)

A United Nations initiative that encourages men to fight for gender equality is getting on the road. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NTg2Xb)

Former Manchester United star Eric Cantona says he will make one of his homes available to migrants arriving in France. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NTiKfu)

IMF chief Christine Lagarde pressed Ukraine’s hold-out creditors such as Russia and a handful of Western investment houses to write off some of the crisis-wrecked country’s massive debt. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JpyIG7)

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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.