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News in Humanosphere: Man claiming to be Kony deputy surrenders

This July 31, 2006 file photo shows Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Congo near the Sudan border. (AP Photo, File)

Joseph Kony’s deputy is reported to have surrendered to U.S. forces. Will his next stop be the ICC? “The man surrendered to U.S. military personnel in the Central African Republic, where they are helping African troops hunt for Kony and his fighters, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. The man said he was an LRA defector and later identified himself as Senior Commander Dominic Ongwen. Ongwen is considered by some to be Kony’s deputy commander. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes and crimes against humanity. … If the individual proves to be Ongwen, his defection would represent a historic blow to the LRA’s command structure.” (AP

Quote of the Day: “I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water.”  —Bill Gates, via Mashable:

A hospital in Sierra Leone that was closed because of a dispute over risk allowance pay for treating Ebola patients has reopened after staff called off their strike. (Guardian

Johnson & Johnson has started clinical trials of its experimental Ebola vaccine, which uses a booster from Denmark’s Bavarian Nordic, making it the third such shot to enter human testing. (Reuters

Medical charities say they have started trials of untested drug treatments on Ebola patients in Liberia and Guinea for the first time in an effort to control an epidemic that has killed more than 8,000 people in the region. (Reuters

No suspected cases of Ebola have been found in Iraq, despite reports to the contrary in Iraqi media in the past week, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. (VOA

West Africa’s Ebola epidemic could have a positive side by uniting the region’s countries in their response to the “serious challenge,” the acting head of the African Union said. (AFP

Uganda’s LGBT community prepares for round two in the battle for their rights, as new government legislation is expected to outlaw the “promotion” of homosexual acts. (The Guardian

United Nations and Congolese troops launched strikes on Monday against remnants of a Burundian rebel group based in the rugged borderlands of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a U.N. military spokesman said. (Reuters

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh reshuffled three major posts in his government, state television reported, a week after a failed coup attempt in the West African nation. (Reuters

The spokesman for Mozambique’s main opposition party has been arrested after leading a demonstration protesting against the result of last October’s election, police said on Tuesday. (Reuters

China pledged $33 million Tuesday to help modernize Juba Teaching Hospital, which is the main medical center in South Sudan and one of very few hospitals in the young country. (VOA

Solidarity between South Africa and Zimbabwe seems frayed, if not torn, as deportations are threatened for thousands of Zimbabwean nationals eking out a living in the more prosperous country to the south. (GIN

“An army of women” in Ethiopia has been recruited to teach friends and neighbors how to prevent trachoma, an eye disease that’s preventable but still very common in many parts of Ethiopia. (VOA

It’s been four years since DRC authorities issued an arrest warrant for a Mai Mai militia Leader accused of crimes against humanity. Nevertheless, he remains at large. Human Rights Watch has released – what it said – is new information about crimes committed by the militia. (VOA

Thousands of Central African Republic refugees continue to flood into Cameroon, despite a shaky peace deal signed between the warring Séléka and anti-balaka militias. The refugees fleeing the violence are finding relative peace in Cameroon’s refugee camps, but are struggling with growing humanitarian needs and hostile host communities. (VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for a cut of 2,000 troops in its force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the U.N.’s biggest peacekeeping mission. (AFP

UNICEF says children’s education is one of the prime victims of Syria’s ever-worsening war. (VOA

The official Libyan government has banned Palestinians, Syrians and Sudanese from entry because their countries are undermining Libya’s security, the interior minister said. (Reuters

Western states are focusing too much on tackling Islamic State and are forgetting the daily suffering of ordinary Syrians in areas of the country where the medical situation has become catastrophic, a group of Syrian doctors said. (Reuters

The Obama administration said Monday it was reviewing its annual $440 million aid package to the Palestinians because of their effort to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel. (AP

Civil rights groups in India say that often women are victims twice over. Not only are they are looked down upon by the upper castes, they are also forced to do the work by their husbands who find it degrading, but expect the wives to continue with the custom. (IPS

As 14.5 million Sri Lankans prepare to select their next leader, there is growing fear that violence could mar the Jan. 8 elections, billed as the closest electoral contest in the island’s history. (IPS

Police have arrested one of five suspects accused of gang-raping a teenage girl inside a local government office in eastern India, an officer said Tuesday. (AFP

The Americas
Guatemala’s Supreme Court on Monday began a retrial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt for genocide, but in a fresh twist to a bizarre legal saga suspended it as the defense sought the removal of one of the judges hearing the case. (VOA

The United States has ruled out a prisoner swap to secure the release of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. (BBC

Cuba has freed some of 53 people the United States regards as political prisoners as agreed under last month’s U.S.-Cuban rapprochement and Washington wants to see the rest released soon, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Amartya Sen: Universal health care: The affordable dream (The Guardian

Doubling down on dictatorship in the Middle East (IPS

This animation shows you why cluster bombs are so devastating to civilians (GlobalPost

Ebola shuts schools in Sierra Leone but teachers use skills to stop disease (The Guardian

Tony Blair’s business/philanthropy mix remains troubling (NPQ

The Ebola opportunity (Global Policy Journal

Non-violent conflicts in 2014 you may have missed because they were not violent (Political Violence @ a Glance

The IMF’s influence on poor countries’ health systems – and Ebola, explained (The Washington Post

More support needed for local health workers responding to Ebola, advocates say (Humanosphere


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]