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News in the Humanosphere: An emerging crisis in Sierra Leone

Sierraleone President Ernest Bai Koroma. (©Annaliese McDonough/Commonwealth Sectratariat)

So far, things have remained peaceful. But the combination of Ebola and a deepening political crisis is particularly worrisome. “Sierra Leone’s army chief on Monday ordered soldiers to remain in their barracks and warned them to steer clear of a political crisis that has erupted following the controversial dismissal of the West African nation’s vice president. President Ernest Bai Koroma sacked his deputy, Samuel Sam-Sumana, last week, saying he had abandoned his duties by requesting asylum at the U.S. Embassy in the capital Freetown. The ruling All People’s Congress had accused the vice-president of creating his own political movement and kicked him out of the party.” (Reuters

Quote of the Day
“We have been running away from giving any specific date, but I am pretty sure myself that it will be gone by the summer,” —Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, head of the U.N. mission for Ebola emergency response. (WaPo


The Ebola crisis has brutally exposed the “age-old failures” of the humanitarian aid system with the World Health Organization and governments repeating the mistakes of past public health emergencies, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders  has said. (Guardian

A Congolese army offensive against Rwandan Hutu rebels may be advancing rapidly, but many fear it is failing in its main objective of disarming them as the fighters melt away into the forest. (AFP

Ivory Coast’s ruling party on Sunday chose incumbent president Alassane Ouattara as expected to be its candidate for this year’s presidential election. (Reuters

Militants from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb decapitated a Malian this week that they accused of aiding France’s anti-jihadist operation in the region, security sources said Saturday. (AFP

A special court in Senegal sentenced the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade to six years in prison for corruption on Monday and ordered him to pay a $228 million fine, dashing his hopes of competing in elections due in 2017. (Reuters

Five madrassas in Uganda have been shut down over allegations they are training students to become extremists, a Ugandan police official said Monday. A Muslim leader denied the allegations. (AP

The trial of people accused of killing eight Ebola health workers and journalists opened Monday in a remote region of Guinea. (AP


Despite fierce fighting by rival militias around Libya’s capital of Tripoli, peace talks between the factions haven’t fallen apart and there could be an agreement on a unity government in a day or two, the U.N. envoy to Libya said Sunday. (AP

The United States will not take the floor at the main U.N. human rights forum on Monday during the annual debate on violations committed in the Palestinian territories, as part of a previous agreement not to speak. (Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday night apologized to the Arab Israelis in a bid to walk back his controversial comment made at the height of last week’s parliamentary election. (Xinhua

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed an initial agreement on how to share water from the Nile River that runs through the three countries, as Ethiopia constructs a massive new dam it hopes will help alleviate some of its electricity shortages. (AP


As India grapples to stem rising violence against women, activists say classes that confront traditional gender roles and challenge sexism among the youth are key to changing attitudes and curbing widespread gender abuse. (TRF

Hundreds of Afghans protested in Kabul on Monday to demand justice for a woman who was killed by a mob outside one of the capital’s most famous mosques after she was falsely being accused of burning a Quran. (AP

China’s top weather official said climate change could have a “huge impact” on the country.  (VOA

The Americas
A Mexican broadcast news journalist, fired after helping to reveal a conflict of interest scandal that embarrassed the country’s president, said her former employer tried to suppress the report before she published it on her own website. (Reuters
...and the rest
The world’s first academy for humanitarian relief is to be launched, aimed at training 100,000 aid workers from over 50 countries in organizing rapid responses to disasters and emergencies. (Guardian

Meet Jessica Stern, the nat sec wonk and real-life inspiration behind Nicole Kidman’s character in the 1990s film “The Peacemaker” (Global Dispatches Podcast

Podcast: Transforming global health with metrics: Chris Murray (Humanosphere

Lee Kuan Yew is dead. Here are 7 of his most provocative quotes (GlobalPost

Why Ebola continues to plague Guinea, one year later (IRIN

Measurement Matters – Civic Space and the Post-2015 Framework (IPS

The professionalization of development volunteering – towards a new global precariat? (Aidnography

Rhodes Must Fall Everywhere (Africa is a Country

The ODA rule changes: Who’s up and who’s down? (David Roodman

How should aid agencies evolve? Views from developing countries (DevPolicy


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]