News in the Humanosphere: Attack on U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic leaves two dead

Luis Miguel Carrilho, Police Commissioner of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), visits the Rwandan Battalion in Bangui. (UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis)

Two Moroccan U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic were killed and two others wounded by unknown attackers in the southeast of the country, the U.N. mission there said. The peacekeepers were escorting fuel trucks on Tuesday afternoon about 37 miles west of the town of Obo when they were attacked, the mission said in a statement, adding that the assailants fled into the bush. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2if8a5r)

Parting shots…As the transition from the Obama to Trump administration looms, key agencies and cabinet posts are releasing exit memos detailing the key accomplishments and challenges during the last eight years. Two of particular relevance are Samantha Power’s staunch defense of American engagement at the United Nations and USAID administrator Gayle Smith’s call for a sustained bipartisan consensus on foreign aid. (Gayle Smith: https://www.usaid.gov/exitmemo  Samantha Power: https://usun.state.gov/remarks/7643)

Notable appointment: Raj Shah, a former administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, will be the Rockefeller Foundation’s next president, the U.S.-based philanthropic organization announced. (Devex http://bit.ly/2hVuzZJ)

Notable tossing of hat in ring… Tom Periello, who currently serves as President Obama’s special envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa, announced that he will run for Governor of Virginia. Here is a recent interview about his unusual career path that brought him from a small town in Virginia to human rights work in Sierra Leone to running for Congress. (Global Dispatches http://bit.ly/2hq2zZ2)

Instagram account of the day: The son of the autocrat of Equatorial Guinea is awaiting trial in France, having been accused of looting public funds. His Instagram account is something to behold. http://bit.ly/2iNgNaU

Top Stories

Three teenage girls suspected of planning a triple suicide bomb attack in a town frequently targeted by Boko Haram have been shot dead, a local Nigerian government official said on Thursday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2jek0kH)

Human rights groups said Myanmar’s government is trying to cover up abuses against civilians in a Muslim-majority part of Rakhine State after an investigation panel dismissed claims a government crackdown there amounts to “genocide.” (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hV937p)

A leading Egyptian activist behind the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak was released from prison Thursday after serving a three-year sentence for violating a ban on unauthorized protests. (AP https://yhoo.it/2ifrq2L)

Militias fighting alongside Iraqi troops against Islamic State are committing war crimes using weapons provided to the Iraqi military by the United States, Europe, Russia and Iran, Amnesty International said on Thursday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2jeHshq)

A group of opposition members in Uganda’s parliament petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate the killing of dozens of people in clashes between a traditional king’s guards and security forces in November. (AP https://yhoo.it/2jeEvxH)

Iraqi forces have retaken around 70 percent of eastern Mosul from Islamic State militants and expect to reach the river bisecting the city in the coming days, Iraq’s joint operations commander told Reuters. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2ifnwqA)

Officials say a Malian employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross was killed in an apparent targeted assassination. (Toronto Star http://on.thestar.com/2iNvmeB)  

Egyptian police have arrested four people in connection with the bombing that killed dozens of Christians at Cairo’s Coptic Christian cathedral last month, the Interior Ministry said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2jesXu5)

The wife of an American author who disappeared on a research trip in Afghanistan more than two years ago appealed for his freedom on Thursday in a Pakistani newspaper. (VOA http://bit.ly/2jeJrm7)

Iran has hit back at “unconstructive” Turkish allegations that Tehran’s allies were violating a fragile ceasefire in Syria, accusing rebels of breaking the truce. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iTKG6Q)

The rugged Dakar Rally auto race is about to blaze through Bolivia. But to many Bolivians, the timing could not be worse. Thousands of La Paz residents have been protesting these days. Now they’re also shouting online with the hashtag #AguaSíDakarNo — “yes to water, no to Dakar.” In other words, they wish authorities would pay more attention to a deepening water crisis. (PRI http://bit.ly/2iTRQbi)

Opinion/Blogs

These Stories, Crises and Provocations Will Drive Diplomacy at the UN in 2017 (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2iUg4BW)

Lessons from the Demise of the TPP (IPS http://bit.ly/2hV07i0)

Will a Triple Punch Knock Out Malaria? (VOA http://bit.ly/2jekBCG)

Scars haunt Colombian rebels as they disarm (AFP https://yhoo.it/2hV23Hy)

“Game-Changing” Contraceptive Approved for Self-Injection in Nigeria (K4Health http://bit.ly/2j8rjGg)

Global warming turns up the heat on glacial lake risk in the Himalayas (IRIN http://bit.ly/2j8lSHj)

How thin the reed? Generalizing from “Worms at Work” (The GiveWell Blog http://bit.ly/2hVhIXs)

Is it time to devise a faster response to slow onset disasters? (Devex http://bit.ly/2jeSxiA)

Global trade: three trends to watch in 2017 (ODI http://bit.ly/2jeSbJ3)

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