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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. uncovers 17 mass graves in DR Congo

Helmet and flack jackets of the members of the 1 parachute battalion of the South African contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Credit: UN Photo/Marie Frechon/flickr)

U.N. investigators discovered 17 mass grave sites in central Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the total to 40 documented in an area where the army has clashed with a local militia, the United Nations said. The sites were reportedly dug by Congolese soldiers after fighting with the Kamuina Nsapu militia in Kasai Central province in late March, a U.N. statement said. “At least 74 people, including 30 children, were reported to have been killed by soldiers as a result of these clashes,” the statement said. A government spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The government has previously denied that soldiers have used disproportionate force against militia members and said the militia had dug the graves. (Reuters

Stat of the day: A United Nations official said 82 aid workers had been killed in South Sudan’s civil war and the number of its citizens displaced by the fighting now stands at 3.5 million. (Reuters

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International aid agencies in Nepal are paying the government hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and having to hand out stipends to bureaucrats, to get their projects approved and monitored. They accuse the government of hampering their work, citing year-long delays before aid projects are approved. (Guardian

Lawyers for a Zambian opposition party leader accused of trying to overthrow the government asked a court to throw out the case, saying the state charges are vague and ambiguous. (Reuters

The ratio of women to men among India’s young people, which has been low in India compared with Western nations for decades, will drop further in the coming years, the Indian government reported recently. (NYT


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