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News in the Humanosphere: Obama makes push for peace in South Sudan

President Barack Obama greets embassy staff and their families during a meet and greet at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, July 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama will discuss a “Plan B” for South Sudan with African leaders today that could include sanctions or other penalties if the country’s warring parties do not forge a peace deal by mid-August, a U.S. official said. (Reuters

A U.S. and Turkey enforced “safe zone” inside Syria?
Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against the Islamic State in northern Syria, according to U.S. and Turkish officials. (WaPo

Big blast in Mogadishu
At least 12 people killed in attack. “The Jazeera Palace Hotel, close to both Mogadishu’s airport and a United Nations compound, was heavily guarded and had been considered one of the safer places in the city, despite previous attacks. But on Sunday afternoon, a suicide bomber, driving on Airport Road, got to within about 100 feet of it before triggering a thunderous blast that ravaged the hotel and sent smoke billowing skyward.” (NYT


At least 19 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the northern Cameroonian town of Maroua on Saturday, a local military commander said, just three days after twin bombings there suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram. (Reuters

Authorities have ordered the closure of mosques and Islamic schools following a series of suicide bombing attacks in northern Cameroon that have left at least 60 people dead, the region’s governor said Sunday. (AP

Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents assassinated a lawmaker and his guards, the president said, hours after  President Obama said the al-Qaida affiliated militants had been “weakened.” (AFP

President Obama told Kenyans on Sunday on his first presidential trip to his father’s homeland there was “no limit to what you can achieve” but said they had to deepen democracy, tackle corruption and end exclusion based on gender or ethnicity. (Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Burundi’s election this week “deeply flawed” and urged President Pierre Nkurunziza to hold a “meaningful, serious” dialogue with the African country’s opposition, the State Department said. (Reuters

The chief executive officer of the Forum for Strengthening the Civil Society (FORSC) in Burundi says President Pierre Nkurunziza should not be part of any unity government. (VOA

A serious clash between Burkina Faso’s presidential guard and the prime minister has left the west African nation on a political tightrope three months ahead of a key presidential election. (AFP

People in Nairobi on Sunday gave a muted and measured response to President Obama’s firm support for gay rights during his visit to Kenya. (AFP


More than 1,300 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Syria, arrived in Sicily on Saturday, after having been picked up in the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said. (AFP

A senior commander of Yemen’s Houthi militia has been captured by southern secessionist forces allied to a Saudi-led coalition, the so-called Southern Resistance movement said on its official Twitter account. (Reuters

In his first public address in a year, embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed Sunday to win his country’s long-running civil war while acknowledging his troops had lost territory to rebel forces and were running short on manpower. (AP

Trash collection resumed in Lebanon’s capital Beirut after an almost weeklong crisis that has seen streets overflowing with waste and the air filled with the smell of rotting garbage. (AFP

Police say gunmen have killed a local employee of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, though a motive for the attack is still unclear. (AP
The Americas

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that the Obama administration’s detention of illegal immigrant children and their mothers violates an 18-year-old court settlement. (VOA

Colombia’s government is suspending aerial bombings of guerrilla camps in a bid to deescalate fighting and breathe new life into struggling peace talks. (AP

Cuban leaders pledged to keep socialism alive but toned down the anti-U.S. rhetoric at Cuba’s first national holiday since re-establishing diplomatic relations with the United States on July 20. (Reuters

...and the rest
Pope Francis on Sunday became the first person registered for next year’s World Youth Day festivities, using an iPad to sign up while addressing thousands of pilgrims and tourists in Saint Peter’s Square. (AFP

The 10 things I learned in the trenches of the Worm Wars (Chris Blattman

New deworming reanalyses and Cochrane review (The GiveWell Blog

Kenya: Exporting Innovation to the World (allAfrica

A Startup for Geeks in Gaza (On the Ground

Obama Walks Fine Line in Kenya on LGBTI Rights (Inter Press Service

What’s In A Namaste? Depends If You Live In India Or The U.S. (Goats and Soda

Obama’s message of hope rings true in call for Africa to flourish (Guardian

Inorganic fertilizer use in Africa: Not too low but not too profitable — Evidence from Nigeria #aidblogs (Africa Can End Poverty

A Millennial Named Bush (NY Times


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]