Daily Archives: May 8, 2015

Burundi refugees reach 50,000

Listen /

An elderly woman waits among a crowd of other Burundian refugees for assistance in Rwanda’s Mahama Refugee Camp. Photo: UNHCR/K.Holt

More than 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring countries following violence which began in mid-April, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Civil unrest in the Central African country was sparked after the President decided to run for a third term.

Daniel Dickinson reports

The United Nations had warned that President Pierre Nkurunziza’s attempt to seek a third term in the June presidential election was unconstitutional.

But his decision to run was approved by authorities in the country.

Burundians have been demonstrating against his name appearing on the ballot for a third time.

The ensuing violence has led to mass displacements.

Adrian Edwards, the UNHCR Spokesperson, says Burundi is taking a step backwards.

 “Since Burundi’s civil war ended in 2005, it has seen some of the most promising developments in recent refugee history in Africa. Since the eruption of pre-election violence in mid-April, however, there have been alarming signs that this progress is being undone.”

Most of the refugees have fled to Rwanda, followed by Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

UNHCR says women and young people, including a large number of unaccompanied children, are in the majority.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’03”

Liberia Will Probably/Hopefully (!) Be Declared Ebola Free Tomorrow

The WHO is poised to declare Liberia Ebola-free tomorrow, as long as no new cases are discovered. This means its been 42 days since the last known ebola case in the country. Meanwhile, the number of new cases in Sierra Leone and Guinea have reached a new low. “In an update published this week, the U.N. health agency said the situation was “encouraging” but noted officials are still unable to track exactly where the virus is spreading. In Guinea, five of the country’s nine new cases were detected only after the patients died; none had sought treatment in a hospital. In Sierra Leone, only two of the nine cases were identified as contacts of previous Ebola patients.(AP http://yhoo.it/1H4nzzi)

The human cost of cheap manicures…A stunning report shows the terrible conditions faced by nail salon workers in New York City. “The juxtapositions in nail salon workers’ lives can be jarring. Many spend their days holding hands with women of unimaginable affluence, at salons on Madison Avenue and in Greenwich, Conn. Away from the manicure tables they crash in flophouses packed with bunk beds, or in fetid apartments shared by as many as a dozen strangers.” (NY Times http://nyti.ms/1GRGtEb)

Clashes in Burundi…At least four people were killed in Burundi Thursday in clashes over the president’s bid for a third term, as the African Union warned it was not possible to hold an election under such conditions. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Ee2v3n)


Judges in France will investigate claims that French soldiers raped children in the Central African Republic, the state prosecutor announced Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1EdXV52)

Youths in Guinea’s capital blocked roads with burning tyres and clashed with security forces on Thursday, raising pressure on President Alpha Conde ahead of talks with the opposition aimed at resolving a dispute over the timing of elections. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1P46jyo)

A leading Burundi opposition figure said on Thursday that parliamentary elections in May and the presidential vote in June should be delayed because of unrest, provided the vote was held before the president’s current term ends on August 26. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1P46idY)

Tackling an “epidemic” of sexual violence in Uganda, in which disabled women and girls are most vulnerable to abuse, and seeking justice for the victims are at the heart of a campaign launched by the rights group Equality Now on Thursday.  (Reuters http://bit.ly/1EdZct0)

Some of thousands of Nigerians told to leave neighboring Niger in the past week due to threats from Boko Haram militants have died en route from lack of food and water, evacuees said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Ju7Mat)

Fear and poverty are keeping many children in Sierra Leone out of classrooms and on the streets hawking or labouring– another effect of the Ebola outbreak that kept schools closed for nine months. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1P48UbE)

The deputy head of South Africa’s revenue service has resigned, the agency said on Thursday, the latest in a exodus of senior officials which has raised concerns about the efficiency of tax collection. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1P46kCw)

Interviews reveal that the network of former rebels in the Ivory Coast continues to maintain loyalist fighters under their exclusive control. A confidential U.N. arms inventory showed that one former rebel commander possesses enough weapons – from surface-to-air missiles to millions of rounds of ammunition – to outgun the Ivorian army. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1P48FgO)

An interview with former Malawian president Joyce Banda. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1Ee2bS9)


A group of Ethiopians who had been kidnapped in Libya arrived at Cairo airport on Thursday after Egyptian army forces rescued them, state media quoted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as saying. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1EdXSX5)

A renowned construction company in Qatar has fired 90 North Korean laborers — nearly half of its entire North Korean workforce — for breaching its labor regulations. (VOA http://bit.ly/1P48wtY)

Yemen’s mission to the United Nations called Wednesday for a ground intervention to push back a Houthi rebel offensive in the south of a country where conditions are deteriorating after weeks of war. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Ju7JLK)

Yemen: A U.S. operation has killed the senior Al Qaeda figure who issued the claim of responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, according to U.S. sources familiar with the matter and a reported video posted by the group. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1bBUqNR)


Only a fraction of the emergency funds the United Nations has requested for victims of Nepal’s earthquake have come in, U.N. officials said on Thursday, as crises around the world put unprecedented demands on international donors.  (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1P45tSq)

Iran’s Red Crescent will send a ship carrying 2,500 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Yemen, official media said Thursday, following weeks of deadly fighting between Tehran-backed rebels and loyalist forces. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1H4nAmX)

Asian economies will lead world growth in 2015, expanding at a 5.6 percent pace that is level with last year, as recoveries in India and Japan help to offset the slowdown in China, the IMF said in a report Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1IjHquJ)

The Americas

Honduran officials say the United Nations is establishing a local office to monitor human rights in the violence-plagued Central American nation. (AP http://yhoo.it/1H4nNXi)

Police in Mexico have rescued more than 100 migrants kidnapped by a human trafficking gang near the capital. Reports said some of the migrants had been held hostage for five weeks in a house in Mexico State. (BBC http://bbc.in/1EdYRGA)

…and the rest

The European Union has suspended 1 billion euros in funding for Romanian projects because of allegations of corruption and irregularities, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1P45tlx)

Technological advances that have reduced prices and improved efficiency of renewable energy have helped transform the politics around climate change since 2009 when an attempt to forge a global deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions failed, the U.N. climate chief said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Ee2rR7)

The European Union underscored its support on Thursday for an embattled Serbian rights official, under fire from the ruling conservatives who accuse him of harboring political ambitions. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1EdXWGa)


If Labour wins the UK elections, what will it do for international development? (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1GRJqoc)

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Means Business (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1ESmrLv )

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1EdY48H)

The ethics of NGO funding (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1Ju4jsG)

Police Killings Challenge U.S. “Exceptionalism” (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1EdY3S0)

Things might be about to get a whole lot worse in Nepal (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1EdY6gL)

Does maternal health care deliver in your part of the world? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1Ee2VH0)

Are mothers and children missing out on Nepal aid? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1P48SAL)

Human traffickers are targeting Nepal – we must do more to help (Guardian http://bit.ly/1cs2Ybk)

Death by Corruption: The Nepal Earthquake (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/1Ik6pOB)