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News in the Humanosphere: Deadly protests in Burundi

Women demonstrators try to march to the town center before being dispersed by police, in the Ngagara district of Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)

Protesters in Burundi battled police on Thursday in violent antigovernment demonstrations against a third term bid for power by the president, as security forces tried to stem unrest a week after a failed coup. (AFP

Stat of the day
An increase in income inequality between 1985 and 2005 knocked 4.7 percentage points off cumulative growth between 1990 and 2010 on average across a range of the OECD’s 34 member countries.  (AP

Inequality is a big problem
The widening gap between haves and have-nots in much of the developed world not only raises concerns about the fraying social fabric – it’s also dramatically holding back economic growth, according to a new global study. (AP


Rape and killing driven by revenge is spiraling to new highs in South Sudan after 18 months of fighting and the world looks the other way, according to aid groups working in world’s youngest country. (Reuters

African countries will launch a framework next month to create a 26-nation free trade area by integrating three existing African trade blocs to boost regional trade and investment, a South African minister said on Thursday. (Reuters

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said on Thursday that Western donors are setting degrading conditions for aid to the east African nation and he could be forced in time to tell them: “keep your aid.” (Reuters

Health care systems in West Africa that collapsed during the Ebola epidemic must be rebuilt urgently to provide basic services and confront other killer diseases, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. (Reuters

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday it was stepping up its work in the Lake Chad region, where more than a million people have been forced from their homes by the Boko Haram insurgency. (Reuters

Girls as young as eight in Mozambique and Zambia are forced to go to camps where they are shown how to please a man in bed in order to prepare them for married life, activists said at an international conference on ending child marriage. (Reuters

Hundreds of children are being kept behind bars in Cote d’Ivoire’s overcrowded adult prisons waiting on trial dates due to the country’s broken post-crisis criminal justice system. (IRIN

Congo’s government is bringing in outside experts to investigate the long-term impact of some $6.7 billion in contracts with Chinese companies that critics say could exploit the central African nation’s mineral riches. (AP

Belgium warned Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza on Thursday that it would cut off aid to his government if he went ahead with his bid for a third term in office. (Reuters


Qatar insisted Thursday it was “committed” to improving conditions for its huge number of migrant laborers following an Amnesty report accusing Doha of failing to deliver on promised reforms. (AFP

President Obama gives a wide ranging interview about ISIS, Iran and Israel to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic. (The Atlantic

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, in a move that has been described as the “final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC. (The Independent

The United Nations says it has received reports that Syrian forces in Palmyra prevented civilians from leaving, ahead of its fall to Islamic State militants. (BBC


Thailand could prevent more than 5,000 HIV-related deaths in the next decade if it expanded HIV testing and treatment among gays in Bangkok, where about one in three males who have sex with men is infected, researchers said. (TRF

Chinese fishing boats have been illegally fishing off West Africa, Greenpeace said on Wednesday, adding that Chinese companies expanded operations in Africa from 13 vessels in 1985 to 462 vessels in 2013, but the government said they are within the law. (Reuters

Denied their traditional route out of poverty in the Gulf and often urged on by relatives, growing numbers of young Bangladeshis are joining the waves of Rohingya trying to reach Southeast Asia on horror boat journeys. (AFP

At least 15 people have been killed and thousands more forced from their homes by flooding in southern and central China and more rain has been forecast for coming days, officials said Thursday. (AP

The Americas

The Brazilian government has sent investigators to the southeastern state of Minas Gerais to look into the murder of journalist Evany Jose Metzker. Metzker’s body was found on Monday in a rural area near the town of Padre Paraiso, five days after went missing. (BBC

In some counties in the U.S. South, almost 20 percent of adults have severe vision loss. And those communities are also likely to be among the nation’s poorest. Lack of regular eye care is just one issue. (NPR

Former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe submitted papers to run for president shortly before the election office’s deadline, after repeatedly saying he had no plans to seek Haiti’s top political position. (AP

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet acknowledged her government had endured a difficult few months and sought in her annual State of the Union address on Thursday to regain the political initiative by outlining the details of a raft of new bills. (Reuters

...and the rest

Department for International Development is failing to capitalize on partnerships with the private sector because of a lack of concrete targets and detailed operational plans with a clear focus on reducing poverty, the U.K.’s aid watchdog has said. (Guardian

European gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin imports from conflict zones will be subjected to tougher surveillance procedures under a new regulation adopted by the European parliament. (EurActiv

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is still seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution on potential attacks on smugglers, EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Thursday. (Reuters

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday restricting European Union migrant access to Britain’s welfare system would be an “absolute requirement” when he renegotiates his country’s ties with the bloc.(Reuters

The U.N.’s fund for climate aid to developing countries says it now has enough cash to kick off projects before a key climate summit in Paris. (AP


Poor people are not lazy, so stop debating it (Humanosphere

4 Things You Need to Know to Understand Burundi Now (UN Dispatch

The U.N. at 70: The Past and Future of U.N. Peacekeeping (Inter Press Service

Here is what Tony Abbott has to say to some of the most persecuted people on Earth (GlobalPost

Privatising public services is no way to fund sustainable development (Guardian

The other Grade 3 emergencies apart from Ebola (Devex

Liberating ourselves from our liberators (Africa is a Country

Nigeria: The PDP Thinks about Its Next Steps (Sahel Blog

Are Anticorruption Parties Doomed to Fail?: Purity, Pragmatism, and Reflections on India’s AAP (Glboal Anticorruption Blog

Don’t prevent atrocities in Burundi, respond to today’s realities (Reinventing Peace

What do we know about the long-term legacy of aid programmes? Very little, so why not go and find out? (From Poverty to Power


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]