News in the Humanosphere: U.N. calls for more peacekeepers in Mali

The U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, July 2013. (UN Photo/Blagoje Grujic)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking some 2,500 more peacekeepers to reinforce the United Nations mission in Mali, which has seen 12 of its members killed in May alone. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday the troops would include a rapid reaction force, an aviation unit and specialists in high-security convoys among other things. “I think it’s clear to everyone that the security situation in parts of Mali have deteriorated. I think the U.N. staff have paid for it in blood,” he said. (AP

Turkey goes to Africa…Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is being accompanied by a huge commercial delegation on his two-nation tour of Africa. Hundreds of business representatives have joined him on his trip to Uganda and Kenya to explore ways and means of intensifying economic ties with these two countries. The meeting with his Ugandan opposition number Yoweri Museveni was even branded “historic” as it was the first official visit ever to Uganda by a Turkish president. (DW


Somali security forces have brought to an end a bomb and gun attack by militants on a central Mogadishu hotel that killed at least 16 people and wounded 55, authorities said on Thursday. (Reuters

More than 300 students at a high school in Burundi have been suspended for defacing a photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza, parents and an official told AFP on Thursday. (AFP

Mozambique’s grain production fell 4.8 percent to 2.39 million tonnes last year from 2.51 million tonnes the previous year, the minister of agriculture said on Thursday, blaming a severe drought. (Reuters

A court in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa released 43 men on Thursday who had been charged with being members of a group that seeks the independence of the Coast region from the hinterland. (Reuters

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari canceled at the last minute a visit planned for Thursday to the oil-producing Niger delta as militants attacked a boat belonging to state oil firm NNPC, the latest violence in the restive region. (Reuters

Authorities in Burkina Faso have arrested six people suspected of involvement in a militant attack in January claimed by al-Qaida’s regional branch in which 32 people were killed at a cafe and hotel in the capital. (Reuters

Nigeria’s vice president on Thursday launched a $1 billion oil pollution clean-up program in the Niger delta, after President Muhammadu Buhari pulled out of visiting the restive region. (AFP

Huge quantities of live chickens and other table birds are stockpiling in Kiossi on Cameroon’s southern border, following a ban on Cameroon table birds by neighboring Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The ban was announced as a result of the resurgence of the avian influenza virus that has claimed 40,000 birds. (VOA


Human Rights Watch on Thursday condemned the decision of Bahrain’s appeals court to double the jail term of Shiite opposition chief Sheikh Ali Salman as a “travesty of justice.” (AFP

The bodies of at least 85 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean have been washed up near the western Libyan city of Zuwara, a Red Crescent official said on Thursday. (Reuters

U.S. efforts to get badly needed aid from Turkey to Syria are being hampered by the ongoing impasse in negotiations and the Syrian government’s continuing siege on areas held by opposition groups, including those supported by Washington. (VOA

Plans to airlift supplies to besieged towns in Syria inched ahead on Thursday amid concern from Russia and others about the safety of aid workers and uncertainty whether Damascus will approve, a U.N. official said. (Reuters

New report says half of all 68 UNRWA schools in Lebanon have been directly impacted by conflict and violence. (UN OCHA

After refusing to pay bail, Egypt’s former top auditor has been detained over allegations he spread false news, his lawyers said Thursday. (AP

Around 20 towns in Syria are currently besieged, mainly by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime but also by rebels and jihadists. (AFP


Pakistan has introduced new policies along its border with Afghanistan, ostensibly to reduce cross-border terrorism. But the measures are also likely to add to human suffering for the thousands of people who frequently travel back and forth for work or medical treatment. (VOA

A judge Thursday postponed the trial of Bangladesh’s former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia while she asks the country’s top court to stop her prosecution in the graft and abuse of authority case. (AP

Philippine communist rebels said Thursday that long-stalled peace talks could be resumed with the government of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte as early as July and that they will demand an end to the U.S. military presence in the country. (AP

Sri Lanka performed final Buddhist rites at the site of last month’s massive landslide Thursday and ended the search for some 100 people believed to have been buried under the broken earth. (AP

An Indian court on Thursday convicted 24 people of involvement in the massacre of Muslims during religious riots in the state of Gujarat in 2002, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was chief minister there. (WSJ

Sri Lanka lifted a ban on issuing passports to its citizens who sought refuge abroad from violent conflict or political persecution, saying the ban issued by a previous government violated the rights of citizens forced to flee for their own safety. (AP

The Americas

A Haitian prosecutor has withdrawn a travel ban he issued against nine former electoral officials and 11 Cabinet ministers in ex-President Michel Martelly’s government. (AP

A throng of protesters demanding food made a run for the Venezuelan presidential palace on Thursday in a rare, apparently spontaneous outburst of anger at the socialist administration within the heart of Caracas. (AP

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government said on Wednesday a move by the head of the Organization of American States to censure the country for breaching democratic norms is an “imperialist” scheme to take the OPEC member’s oil. (Reuters

Three prisoners were killed and 19 wounded in disturbances at the same prison in northern Mexico where 49 died in a riot in February, officials said Thursday. (AP

As Colombia nears a historic peace deal with the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the nation’s authorities are struggling to tame an increase in farming of coca, the raw material used to make cocaine. (Reuters

American cyclist Tejay van Garderen understands the chances that he might contract the Zika virus at the Rio Olympics are minimal and that precautions could be taken to further reduce the threat. (AP

Indigenous people in Panama are using drones as a new weapon to monitor deforestation on their lands as thousands of hectares disappear every year in one of the world’s most biodiverse rainforests, the United Nations said. (Reuters

A commission created to audit Puerto Rico’s debt is questioning the legality of government-issued bonds in a report released Thursday, saying the struggling U.S. territory might not be responsible for paying a portion of the money owed. (AP

…and the rest

International medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Thursday urged Turkey to open its border to some 100,000 displaced Syrians trapped by fighting including a recent Islamic State advance. (Reuters

France will accept 400 refugees per month from Greece as part of the EU relocation deal it signed last year, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Thursday. (AFP

Turkey recalled its ambassador to Germany on Thursday in protest against a parliament resolution declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide at a time when Europe is looking for Ankara’s help in the migrant crisis. (Reuters

France will declare a state of natural catastrophe in the areas most affected by flooding in recent days, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday. (Reuters

The European Union needs to work more with African countries to tackle migration flows into the continent, France’s prime minister said in an interview with a Greek newspaper on Thursday. (Reuters


No, we shouldn’t cancel the Rio Olympics because of Zika. Because, science. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Is good governance key to eliminating poverty? (IPS

Conference rage: ‘How did awful panel discussions become the default format?’ (Guardian

Immigration raids stoke fear, but do they stop illegal immigration? (Global Post

As it expands in Africa, Uber adapts to local markets and adopts cash payments (TechCrunch

The Anti-corruption boom and U.S. foreign policy (CFR

Germany recognizes Armenian genocide. Will this upend the refugee deal? (UN Dispatch

Corruption among development NGOs, Part 1–Getting the facts (Global Anticorruption Blog

Countering violence against women and girls: Is UK aid a ‘litmus test’? (Devex

Community Philanthropy: It’s a thing, and you need to know about it (From Poverty to Power


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