News in the Humanosphere: Skirmish between Ethiopia and Eritrea threatens return to war

Ethiopia’s military was provoked into launching this week’s attack on Eritrean forces in a disputed border area, a government official said Tuesday, but Eritrea accused its neighbor of military aggression. Eritrean forces fired into Ethiopian positions Sunday, leading to a counter-offensive by Ethiopian troops, Ethiopia government spokesman Getachew Reda told reporters. There was a “major military engagement” between Eritrean and Ethiopian forces that lasted until Monday, he said. “I hope this time around they won’t make that stupid mistake of inviting us to wage a full-scale war,” Reda said. (ABC

Tweet of the day: “Brother I cannot help you in matters of a Refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress,”  Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in response to Twitter user who complained to her about his fridge. (BBC

Gaffe of the day: Facebook has apologized for featuring an inverted Philippine flag to mark the country’s June 12 Independence Day after Filipinos pointed out the mistake. (AP


Ugandan police said on Tuesday that a senior officer wounded in an attack by gunmen on a police headquarters in the north on Sunday has died of his wounds, and a witness said security has been stepped up in the area. (Reuters

Zambian wildlife authorities said on Tuesday they had suspended the controlled slaughter of up to 2,000 hippos over the next five years following concerns from animal rights activists who described it as trophy hunting. (Reuters

Ivorian conservation agents are using the threat of eviction and prosecution to extort money from cocoa growers farming illegally in protected forest reserves, victims and rights groups say. (Reuters

With more money in their pockets, Africans are eating more fast food and adopting more sedentary lifestyles, leading to a surge in obesity and associated diseases like diabetes and cancer, experts said on Tuesday. (Reuters


Bahrain suspended the country’s largest Shiite opposition group in a surprise court hearing Tuesday, intensifying its crackdown on dissent five years after Arab Spring protests rocked the island kingdom. (AP

U.S.-backed forces waging an offensive against the Islamic State-held city of Manbij in northern Syria appealed for international assistance for those fleeing the fighting on Tuesday as the forces tightened their encirclement of the city. (Reuters

A rights group says Libyan authorities have committed “shocking abuses” against migrants detained on their way to Europe, leaving them with no choice but to risk the perilous crossing again. (AP

A Goldman Sachs executive footed the bill for prostitutes, and the bank paid for a lavish trip to Dubai for the brother of a decision-maker at Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, a lawyer for the fund alleged, in a case it has brought against Goldman in London’s High Court.  (Reuters

Germany’s government is struggling to win final parliamentary approval for declaring Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia “safe countries of origin.” (AP


Philippine authorities on Tuesday confirmed that Muslim extremist guerillas had beheaded a second Canadian hostage, as they defended their inability to save him despite months of pursuit. (AFP

A British Islamic scholar who toured Orlando this year and had preached in 2013 that “death is the sentence” for homosexual acts left Australia on Tuesday after the government launched an “urgent” review of his visa because of his comments. (Reuters

The Americas

In Guatemala, trafficking children for sexual exploitation is something of a crisis, with 57 percent of victims under the age of 18, according to a new U.N. report. (Humanosphere

Haiti’s interim government has imposed an overnight curfew a day before lawmakers are slated to decide whether to extend the caretaker president’s 120-day term. (AP

A prolonged drought has worsened the hunger problem among Guatemala’s heavily indigenous population. (AP

The office of the U.N. human rights chief is decrying “insufficient gun control” in the United States and urging its leaders “to live up to its obligations to protect its citizens.” (AP

An indigenous community in southwestern Brazil faces imminent eviction from its traditional territories, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, in a case exemplifying ongoing land conflicts in South America’s largest country. (Reuters

Nearly 30 million of Latin America, including many youths and women in precarious jobs in the service sector, run the risk to fall again into poverty. (Prensa Latina

The Colombian government and the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are making progress in peace talks, and a deal to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict is in sight, Norway’s foreign minister said on Tuesday. (Reuters

…and the rest

The European Union’s top envoy to Turkey has resigned, EU officials said on Tuesday, after displaying what a Turkish minister said was disrespect for national values and for President Tayyip Erdogan. (Reuters

Migrant children making the perilous journey to Europe to escape war and poverty face possible beatings, rape and forced labor in addition to risk of drowning in the Mediterranean, UNICEF said on Tuesday. (Reuters

More than 55,000 migrants have died on their journey in the past 20 years, and their families rarely learned of their fate, the International Organization of Migration said on Tuesday. (Reuters

A human rights watchdog called on Poland’s conservative government Tuesday to give assurances it will not back efforts to further tighten the nation’s restrictive abortion law. (AP

The U.N. weather agency is warning of “fundamental change” afoot in the global climate and continued warming, accompanied recently by unusually high rainfall in parts of the U.S. and Europe. (AP

The U.K.’s role in funding for-profit private schools in the developing world has come under attack by the U.N., which fears the spike in private, “low-fee” schools in poor countries could undermine the sustainable development goal of inclusive and equitable education for all by 2030. (Guardian


Trump restricting press access shares similarities with world’s authoritarian leaders (Humanosphere

Marc Lynch discusses the international relations of the Arab Spring…and of hip hop rivalries. (Global Dispatches Podcast

The current human diet is already harming people and the planet, and if we don’t change the way we eat there won’t be enough food for everyone by 2050. (UN Dispatch

Rio Olympics Zika: Opinion divided over threat of virus (BBC

Africa: Why continent’s power problems persist (Vanguard

Climate-proofing agriculture must take center stage in African policy (Inter Press Service

Secret aid worker: ‘It’s time to talk about the dark side of development comms’ (Guardian

Should Save the Children take money from this donor? (IRIN

Are Latin America and the Caribbean on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030? (ODI

The case for action on anemia — leave no one behind (Devex


About Author