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News in the Humanosphere: Chad’s former president to stand in historic trial

The former president of Chad will be tried in a court in Senegal, with a Burkinabe judge presiding, all under AU auspices. “Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habre will make history tomorrow when he is tried in Senegal over his regime’s brutality – the first time a despot from one African country has been called to account by another. … Rights groups say 40,000 people were killed during his eight years in power under a regime marked by fierce repression of his opponents and the targeting of rival ethnic groups. Habre, who held power between 1982 and 1990, is charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. (AFP

Fingers crossed
The four remaining patients infected during Liberia’s recent string of Ebola cases have recovered, meaning there are currently no confirmed cases in the country though more than 100 people are still under surveillance, a health official said. (AP

Quote of the day
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her controversial comments to a Palestinian refugee girl. “On Sunday, Merkel said on ARD television it wouldn’t have been fair to other refugees if she’d said ‘because you’ve just met the chancellor, your fate will be resolved faster.’” (AP

A softening Islamic State?
Isis chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has allegedly issued a decree that bans the use of execution videos, used to further the cause of the jihadist extremist militant group and self-proclaimed caliphate. The gory footage may deter young recruits from joining the rank and file terrorist organization, purports ringleader al-Baghdadi. (Examiner


Last-ditch talks between Burundi’s government and opposition aimed at resolving a major political crisis over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial re-election bid appear to be headed for failure, sources close to the negotiations said. (AFP

Three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi’s upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP

Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso received the green light from a political forum on the future of the country’s institutions to try extend his lengthy rule. (AFP

Westgate shopping mall reopened on Saturday nearly two years after gunmen from the Somali militant group al-Shabab massacred at least 67 people inside and held out for four days as security forces laid siege to the complex. (Reuters

The United States will offer to help Nigeria’s new leader track down billions of dollars in stolen assets and increase U.S. military assistance to fight Islamic militants, U.S. officials said, as Washington seeks to “reset” ties with Africa’s biggest economy. (Reuters

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has warned that death row inmates should expect to have their sentences implemented, apparently signalling an end to a three-year unofficial moratorium on executions. (AFP


At least nine Algerian soldiers were killed when Islamist militants ambushed their patrol west of the capital Algiers last week in one of the deadliest attacks in months, the defense ministry said on Sunday. (Reuters

At least 57 civilians were killed on Sunday when Shiite rebels bombarded Yemen’s second city Aden, where Saudi-backed pro-government forces have made gains against the insurgents, a health official said.  (Straits Times

The Islamic State group used poison gas in attacks against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria in late June, a Syrian Kurdish militia and a group monitoring the Syrian conflict said. (Reuters

Italy arrested three Egyptian men who are suspected to have piloted a boat carrying more than 300 migrants to Italy from Egypt, said Italian media, including a 10-year-old Syrian girl who died during the crossing, according to her father. (Reuters

A U.S.-led coalition dropped new leaflets over the de facto capital of the Islamic State group in Syria, promising those below that “freedom will come” to the region, activists said Sunday. (AP

Mains water and electricity have returned to large parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo following a three-week cut after al-Qaida’s local wing stopped water supplies to pressure the government, a group monitoring the war said. (Reuters

Reporters Without Borders on Sunday welcomed the release of two Syrian media activists freed in an Eid gesture, but called for a third man detained with them to also be freed. (AFP


A leader of student protests in Myanmar in 1988 that grew into a nationwide pro-democracy movement will run in a general election in November for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, a party spokesman said on Sunday. (Reuters

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says it has lodged a protest with the Indian government over what it calls a series of “unprovoked ceasefire violations” in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. (AP

Andal Ampatuan Sr., a former Philippine governor and one of the main suspects accused of ordering the killings of 58 people in the Philippines’ worst massacre, has died of a heart attack in a government hospital, his lawyer said. (AP

The Marshall Islands, a small island country at high risk of climate change-induced sea level rise, vowed Sunday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a third within a decade. (AFP

The Americas

Officials and human rights officials say a 11-day-long strike is starting to cause serious food shortages in the Bolivian city of Potosi. (AP


The government of Nicaragua is promoting organic farming, but some farmers are skeptical of the push. (GlobalPost

Former Venezuelan state Governor Pablo Perez said on Saturday he had been barred from holding public office for 10 years, the third ban on an opposition politician in the last week. (Reuters

Colombian officials will soon begin exhumation of a mass grave that could prove to be the largest in the country’s history, authorities said. (AP

A Colombian army officer who was held by rebels for 11 days has been turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. (AP

...and the rest

Inside a foil sachet, which looks more at home in a fast-food restaurant, an exact dose of antiretroviral medicine is helping to protect newborn babies against the threat of infection from their HIV-positive mothers. (BBC


The Guardian view on global development goals: heed the good news, but more needs to be done (Editorial

Did the UN financing for development conference deliver? (Reuters

What Do A Chlorinator And A Condom Tied To A Catheter Have In Common? (Goats and Soda

Partnerships and innovation to defeat malaria: an interview with Dr David Reddy (DevPolicy

Addis: A Good First Step, but a Terrible Last Word, for 2015 (CGD

Global Innovation Fund names first CEO, charts path forward (Devex

Do-gooders, do no harm: What are the best–and worst–ways to help those mired in international conflicts? (Monkey Cage

State-building in western China continues apace (Rachel Strohm

Ugandan To Aid Groups: Don’t Tell Us What We Need — Ask Us! (Goats and Soda


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]