News in the Humanosphere: Turkey detains 15 aid workers near Syrian border

Turkish police on guard after bombing in Ankara in February 2016. Turkey has experienced a lot of terror attacks this year.

Turkish authorities have detained 15 staff of a US NGO working on Syria relief operations – the latest in a series of moves restricting humanitarian aid groups in the country. Observers attribute the crackdown on foreign NGOs to a resurgence in Turkish nationalism and government concerns about Kurdish empowerment inside Syria. Police detained the 15 employees, who were working for the International Medical Corps in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, on Thursday 20 April. Four of those detained – foreign nationals from Britain, India, Indonesia and Ireland – were deported five days later. The 11 others are Syrian and remain in a detention center near Gaziantep, from where they face deportation back to Syria. Turkish authorities cited discrepancies in employment permits as the cause for the detentions, but Rebecca Gustafson, a senior communications adviser for the US-based NGO, said all the staff had valid work permits. (IRIN http://bit.ly/2oNwihY)

Justice served…An African Union tribunal in Senegal has rejected the appeal of former-Chadian president Hissene Habre, who was convicted last year of war crimes and crimes against humanity.Former Chadian president Hissene Habre’s conviction for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture stands. The court overturned his conviction for rape.  Habre will serve his sentence: life in prison. He has been ordered to pay $135 million in reparations to over 7,000 victims and relatives of victims. (VOA http://bit.ly/2qczQ2l)

Top Stories

UK MPs urged Priti Patel to spend more of the overseas aid budget on education, in order to tackle a “global learning crisis.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/2oNsgGH)

At least 25,000 people were displaced after fighting in the town of Kodok, according to a spokesman for the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, one day after the top United Nations official in South Sudan warned of a government offensive on the town. (VOA http://bit.ly/2qcMw9b)

Libya’s U.N-backed government has no clear plan to help prevent more migrants reaching Europe’s shores this summer, European Union officials said, citing confused requests for equipment to patrol its shores. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2qbiyQ0)

The U.N. human rights office says one of its independent experts will travel to Panama next month to investigate tax avoidance and evasion schemes like those revealed by the so-called “Panama Papers” leak. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oQ3pms)

Kenya and Ethiopia used excessive force against Somali civilians amid efforts to halt cross-border attacks by al-Shabab, according to an internal report by aid agencies working in Somalia. (VOA http://bit.ly/2qcu1lz)

Climate change is making drought and humanitarian disasters worse in the Horn of Africa, Oxfam said on Thursday, ahead of a major climate march in Washington to coincide with the first 100 days of the Trump administration. (TRF http://bit.ly/2qbcMy9)

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan welcomed the decision by the Government of Sudan to open a third humanitarian corridor, the second in as many months, for aid to be delivered from Sudan to famine-struck South Sudan. (OCHA http://bit.ly/2qcLVnZ)

The fall armyworm – which decimates fields as it marches ever forward – has spread to Angola as the caterpillar eats its way through southern Africa, U.N. officials said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2qcs2NY)

The Palestinian Authority will no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, Israeli officials said, a move that could lead to a complete power shutdown in the territory whose 2 million people already endure blackouts for much of the day. (CSM http://bit.ly/2qbosAQ)

The United Nations says that it has documented a staggering 54 percent increase in Afghan conflict-related deaths of women and a 17 percent rise in child fatalities during the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. (VOA http://bit.ly/2pqwVCc)

As two environmental activist groups in Trinidad and Tobago powered by young volunteers prepare to ramp up their climate change and sustainability activism, they are also contemplating their own sustainability and how they can become viable over the long-term. (IPS http://bit.ly/2oNrtp5)

Opinion/Blogs

What’s Next for Afghanistan? (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2pmRzB8)

Life and coal: The other way Africa can leapfrog on energy (African Arguments http://bit.ly/2pmbK22)

Ecuadorian Journalist Seeking Asylum in Peru, Still Sees Mission in Writing (VOA http://bit.ly/2qcA2ys)

Why India’s opposition is nearly irrelevant (The Economist http://econ.st/2qcv1WP)

How do you solve half a century of bloodshed in Colombia? – podcast (Guardian http://bit.ly/2qb98nS)

Indigenous Women: The Frontline Protectors of the Environment (IPS http://bit.ly/2oNw36y)

End of Joseph Kony hunt breeds frustration and fear (IRIN http://bit.ly/2oB5sOU)

Photo essay: Rwandan LGBT Community Steps Out of Shadows (VOA http://bit.ly/2qcnneM)

The island where pregnant girls were sent to die (BBC News http://bbc.in/2oBcTpl)

The declining quality of Venezuela’s propaganda (The Economist http://econ.st/2qcycxx)

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