News in the Humanosphere: U.N. uncovers 17 mass graves in DR Congo

Helmet and flack jackets of the members of the 1 parachute battalion of the South African contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Credit: UN Photo/Marie Frechon/flickr)

U.N. investigators discovered 17 mass grave sites in central Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the total to 40 documented in an area where the army has clashed with a local militia, the United Nations said. The sites were reportedly dug by Congolese soldiers after fighting with the Kamuina Nsapu militia in Kasai Central province in late March, a U.N. statement said. “At least 74 people, including 30 children, were reported to have been killed by soldiers as a result of these clashes,” the statement said. A government spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The government has previously denied that soldiers have used disproportionate force against militia members and said the militia had dug the graves. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2oPyDe6)

Stat of the day: A United Nations official said 82 aid workers had been killed in South Sudan’s civil war and the number of its citizens displaced by the fighting now stands at 3.5 million. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2pCCIVL)

Top Stories

The United Nations said that 16 staff members taken hostage by unarmed South Sudanese refugees at a U.N. camp in eastern Congo have been released unharmed. (AP http://apne.ws/2oW2kMO)

Evacuations from besieged Syrian towns resumed after being put on hold by a bombing Saturday that killed at least 126 people. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oVQTo6)

At least seven people have been killed and 20 are missing after heavy rains caused landslides in the city of Manizales, in central Colombia. Thirty homes collapsed in different sectors of the city in the early hours of Wednesday. (BBC http://bbc.in/2oPIK2E)

The Christian governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, lost a bitterly contested race that was widely seen as a test of religious and ethnic tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2oPvjj6)

A Colombian nun who was kidnapped more than two months ago in Mali is being held by the Macina Liberation Front Islamist militant group, Colombian national police said, citing intelligence reports. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2o4xcLJ)

International aid agencies in Nepal are paying the government hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and having to hand out stipends to bureaucrats, to get their projects approved and monitored. They accuse the government of hampering their work, citing year-long delays before aid projects are approved. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2oPqt5j)

Lawyers for a Zambian opposition party leader accused of trying to overthrow the government asked a court to throw out the case, saying the state charges are vague and ambiguous. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2oPDNa6)

The ratio of women to men among India’s young people, which has been low in India compared with Western nations for decades, will drop further in the coming years, the Indian government reported recently. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2pDbI5B)

Opinion/Blogs

Nikki Haley’s ‘Historic’ Debate on Human Rights Left a Small Impression (IPS http://bit.ly/2o4ngBI)

The Crisis in Venezuela, explained (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2oT7WoP)

How to undermine Africa’s independent media (African Arguments http://bit.ly/2oPsOxd)

Only a Fool Would Abdicate America’s Leadership Role at the IMF (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/2oPuk2t)

Immigration law experts say workplace raids don’t really work (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/2oPvquQ)

Displaced and neglected: Ethiopia’s desperate drought victims (IRIN http://bit.ly/2oPtaE6)

Fighting Xenophobia & Inequality Together in the Age of Trump (IPS http://bit.ly/2pCIGpP)

Mexico’s ‘Mama Africa’ welcomes migrants on a long journey (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/2oW4JGX)

Displaced and neglected: Ethiopia’s desperate drought victims (IRIN http://bit.ly/2oPCbwY)

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