News in the Humanosphere: U.N. gives Congo ultimatum to join human rights investigation

Democratic Republic of the Congo has two days to heed U.N. calls to jointly investigate violence in Kasai province, or else it risks having an international human rights inquiry imposed upon it, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said on Tuesday. “The already dire situation in the Kasai provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to deteriorate, spreading to other provinces and across the border with Angola,” rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told the U.N. Human Rights Council. “Unless I receive appropriate responses from the government regarding a joint investigation by 8 June, I will insist on the creation of an international investigative mechanism for the Kasais.” (VOA

The battle for Raqqa begins…The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Tuesday it had launched an operation to capture Raqqa, Islamic State’s de facto Syrian capital, piling pressure on the jihadists whose self-declared caliphate is in retreat across Syria and Iraq. SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters the battle started on Monday and the fighting would be fierce “because Daesh (Islamic State) will die to defend their so-called capital”. The assault overlaps with the final stages of the U.S.-backed attack to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State. It follows months of advances to the north, east and west of Raqqa by the SDF, which includes Arab and Kurdish militias. (Reuters

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The UN Refugee Agency warns that without urgent additional funding, some 60,000 Syrian refugee families will be cut from monthly cash assistance program in Lebanon and Jordan as early as July. (UNHCR

Almost 3,500 people in Uruguay left their homes after heavy rains caused flooding in large parts of the South American country. The worst affected area is the north-western province of Salto, on the border with Argentina, where almost 2,000 people were evacuated. (BBC

The European Union has agreed to give more than 50 million euros to fund a new African joint military force in the Sahel region. (BBC

Kenyan government nurses are on strike over delays in an agreement that will give them pay rises, a union official said, bringing services to a halt in many parts of the country. (Reuters

Venezuela is attempting to resell at a deep discount $5 billion of bonds it originally issued in December through a Chinese brokerage as it struggles to squeeze through a tightening cash crunch, according to investors who were offered the bonds. (WSJ

Hundreds of internally displaced persons in northern Cameroon are deserting camps near the Nigerian border, saying they no longer feel safe after a series of suicide bombings. (VOA

India rejected comments by U.S. President Donald Trump that it joined the Paris climate accord because it would benefit by getting billions of dollars and said it remains committed to protecting the environment. (VOA

The Ugandan military has launched investigations into allegations of rape and exploitation by soldiers who have been searching for notorious rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central African Republic. (Guardian

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe used an address at the opening of the first United Nations conference on oceans to call for an end to sanctions on his landlocked country so it can implement a series of global goals on sustainable development. (Reuters


Inequality Rising: A chat with Chuck Collins on what’s driving the world crazy (Humanosphere

Nikki Haley Wants these Two Reforms at the UN Human Rights Council…(Or Else?) (UN Dispatch

The Continuing Saga of Rwandan Poverty Data (Roving Bandit

How communities respond to terrorism – and overcome fear (CSM

What’s The Rate Of Smoking In The 13- To 15-Year-Old Crowd? (NPR Goats and Soda

Adopting the sustainable development goals is a business opportunity for Australia (Guardian

Instability Widens in Mali and the Sahel Region of Africa (Inter Press Service

Venezuela’s Road to Disaster Is Littered With Chinese Cash (Foreign Policy

Anti-Trafficking Activists Must Be Adaptable to Combat the Ever Changing Problem of Human Trafficking (World Bank Blog

UK charities break silence on damage caused by Lobbying Act (Devex

Are top academic and aid institutions getting away with bad writing? (From Poverty to Power


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