News in the Humanosphere: All sides accused of war crimes during Aleppo battle

Aftermath of fighting in Aleppo, Syria. Creative Commons

The battle late last year for control over Syria’s war-ravaged Aleppo was a stage of unrelenting violence, with civilians on both sides falling victim to war crimes committed by all parties, read a report issued by the United Nations-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The report documents brutal tactics employed by the parties to the conflict in the country as they engaged in the decisive battle for the once iconic city between July and December 2016, resulting in unparalleled suffering for Syrian men, women and children. (UN News Center http://bit.ly/2lAsqAr)

This is what a famine looks like...Thousands of people at the epicenter of a man-made famine in South Sudan emerged from the safety of the swamps this past weekend hoping to receive emergency deliveries of food. Some families eat once a day if they are lucky, but at least in the swamps, they are safe from marauding soldiers. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2lWXCKU)

Top Stories

Clashes erupted in a densely-packed Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, wounding at least four people, including a three-year-old boy with a bullet-wound to the head, Palestinian security officials said. (AP https://yhoo.it/2mtMGHJ)

At least 160 people have died in three months of clashes between the military and ethnic armed groups in Myanmar’s Shan state, a senior army official said Tuesday, amid efforts to revive flagging peace talks. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2lzrFaL)

Colombia’s Farc rebels say they will begin laying down their arms later on Wednesday as agreed in a peace deal signed in November. (BBC http://bbc.in/2lU4V7M)

Talks between Nigeria and Boko Haram militants over the release of some 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok almost three years ago could extend to negotiating peace in the conflict-hit northeast, said a mediator involved in the discussions. (TRF http://bit.ly/2mtJkoh)

New York plans to open 90 new shelters as city officials struggle to get a handle on homelessness, which has climbed to its highest level in almost a century, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2lztPHt)

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, is likely to lose a confidence vote in parliament this week and stands ready to call a snap election, according to a senior advisor, as the South African kingdom’s economy slows and security deteriorates. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2mtJH2m)

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said his fiscal turnaround plan for the U.S. territory will create $3.8 billion a year in savings, but healthcare spending cuts will fall short of those recommended by the board overseeing the U.S. territory’s finances. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2mtP0P9)

Zimbabwe requires $100 million for emergency road repairs following above normal rains that have severely damaged the urban road network and highways, a government minister said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2mtPxAD)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a draft U.N. Security Council resolution put forward by Western powers to sanction Syria’s government over the alleged use of chemical weapons was inappropriate. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2mtDinx)

As Zimbabwe’s health service buckles amid low levels of public funding and a government freeze on hiring medical staff, volunteers have stepped in to take the strain. (TRF http://bit.ly/2mtPgh5)

Opinion/Blogs

The New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Just Made Some Progress on a Long Stalled Dispute in North Africa (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2lAiI0O)

‘They Really Want to Blow This Place Up’: Scenes From Trump’s State Department (The Atlantic http://theatln.tc/2lAx41)

Colombia peace accord: FARC doubts grow as ‘demobilizing’ zones stumble (CSM https://yhoo.it/2lzgyyx)

Yemen’s silent disaster: A snapshot of life and death in rural Taiz (IRIN http://bit.ly/2lz8w8D)

How the African Union’s Planned Overhaul May Affect Its Ties With China (The Conversation http://bit.ly/2lcU4Y5)

Mobile Money in Myanmar: Going Directly from Cash to Digital (CFI http://bit.ly/2mtQLM2)

Post-quake Nepal: No country for old women (IRIN http://bit.ly/2lX6Hn7)

The Backstory on Brazil’s Extraordinary War on Corruption (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/2mtOMYs)

What Ghanaian cocoa farmers want aid groups to do better (Devex http://bit.ly/2mtQwRm)

How can media inspire accountability and political participation? Findings from massive BBC programme. (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/2lzmBmt)

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