News in the Humanosphere: Concerning developments in Mozambique

In recent years, the country appeared to be defying its traumatic past. Left badly scarred by colonialism and 15 years of civil war, Mozambique has enjoyed political stability and rapid economic growth thanks to valuable deposits of gas and coal. But long-simmering tensions between former rebels and the government have taken a worrying turn. Escalating fighting and allegations of human rights abuses have prompted warnings of a return to war.  There are now regular attacks by gunmen along Mozambique’s main north-south highway. More than 10,000 refugees have fled to neighboring Malawi, fearing reprisals from the military. And the leader of Renamo, the former rebels turned political opposition, has declared he will seize control of six provinces this month. (GlobalPost

Meanwhile…The United Nations refugee agency reports fighting between government and opposition forces in Mozambique is prompting growing numbers of refugees to flee to neighboring Malawi. (VOA

A Landmark Day for Myanmar…”Myanmar’s parliament elected Htin Kyaw as the country’s new president Tuesday in a watershed moment that ushers the longtime opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi into government after 54 years of direct or indirect military rule.” (AP

More of the same from Europe…Hundreds of dejected migrants returned to a transit camp in northern Greece on Tuesday after Macedonian authorities blocked their attempt to cross the border or drove those who did get across back to Greece. (Reuters

Quote of the Day: “We cannot manage the world through aid relief in the place of diplomacy and political solutions,” said actress Angelina Jolie, under the pouring rain at a press conference in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. (AP


Somali al-Shabab fighters have seized a small port in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, the latest sign of a resurgence in activity by the Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa nation. (Reuters

Police arrested at least six protesters on Tuesday in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma during a peaceful demonstration over the jailing of two fellow activists, campaign group Human Rights Watch said. (Reuters

The number of Zimbabweans requiring food aid has risen to 4 million, up from 3 million initially, a state-owned newspaper said on Tuesday, as the southern African nation grapples with its worst drought in more than two decades. (Reuters

South Africa’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the government against a ruling that the state had made an error in letting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir leave the country despite a court order barring him from doing so. (Reuters

Gunmen from al-Qaida’s North African branch drank beer at a beachside bar before launching a shooting rampage at an Ivory Coast resort town that left at least 18 people dead, the group’s third major attack in West Africa in four months. (Reuters

A Nigerian government push to strangle the Boko Haram insurgency has shut down the cattle trade that sustained the city of Maiduguri, leaving many residents with no livelihood, including many of the two million people displaced by the war. (Reuters

South Sudan will cut the number of staff at its embassies across the world to save costs, its foreign affairs ministry said on Tuesday, as conflict and low oil prices take a toll on government finances. (Reuters

Mauritania has vowed to ramp up its fight against slavery, becoming the second African country to approve a United Nations treaty designed to give countries the legal muscle to combat forced labour and trafficking. (Reuters


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s snap decision to pull warplanes from Syria on Tuesday rearranged the lines of the grinding conflict — and solidified Moscow’s influence not only on the battlefield but also at the negotiating table. (WaPo

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Morocco’s foreign minister he was angered and disappointed by a demonstration in Rabat he said was a personal attack on him over remarks he made about the disputed territory of Western Sahara. (Reuters

United Nations human rights investigators on Syria said on Tuesday that preparing prosecutions against war criminals should not be delayed until the end of the conflict, now entering its sixth year. (Reuters


Prosecutors in Thailand called their first witnesses Tuesday in a major human trafficking trial with 92 defendants, including an army general, implicated in smuggling, kidnappings and the deaths of dozens of people. (AP

The number of child laborers aged 14 or below in India dropped to 4.5 million in 2011 from 12.6 million a decade before, said the country’s labor minister, urging lawmakers to approve planned changes to existing legislation to curb the problem. (Reuters

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for murdering a Muslim preacher in Bangladesh, an online group that monitors extremist activity said on Tuesday, the latest killing declared by the militant group in the South Asian nation. (Reuters

An all-parties conference convened by Pakistan’s oldest Islamic political party and attended by powerful religious groups asked the government on Tuesday to retract an “un-Islamic” law that gives unprecedented protection to female victims of violence. (Reuters

The Americas

The number of bodies recovered from a mass grave in southeastern Venezuela near where a group of miners went missing has risen to 17. (AP

Barack Obama’s historic visit to Havana next week may be the closest he comes to a Nixon-goes-to-China moment, but he also has another more practical goal: to make his opening to Cuba irreversible for the next U.S. president. (Reuters

Barack Obama has reversed a previous decision to drill in the Atlantic Ocean. (Atlantic

…and the rest

The resolve of world leaders to end gender inequality will be tested at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, the head of U.N. Women told delegates during the opening session on Monday. (Guardian

The European Union risks compromising its human rights values if it fails to ensure Turkey offers proper protection to all refugees under a deal to curb migrant flows to Europe, the United Nations’ human rights chief said on Tuesday. (Reuters


Could Instability in Libya Bring Down Tunisia? (UN Dispatch

Syria: 5 years on (IRIN

In Solving Global Crises, How Useful Are Hashtags and Likes? (Tiny Spark

Free ARVs Are Not Enough – the Hidden Costs of Treating HIV in Nigeria (The Conversation

Zika and the economics of epidemics (The Intrepeter

Is Myanmar’s new president just a puppet for Suu Kyi? (AP

Are We Entering Into a Long Term Stagnation? (Inter Press Service

What the refugee crisis means for investment in MENA (Devex

Domestic violence in Bangladesh – in pictures (Guardian

Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene For All by 2030 (Inter Press Service

Under the microscope: Health and development claims in Africa & around the world (Africa Check


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