A Step Toward Peace in South Sudan


What’s old is new again, but this was a long awaited step to peace. “South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar was sworn in as first vice president on Tuesday, hours after he returned to the capital of Juba for the first time since conflict erupted more than two years ago. Machar took up the post under the terms of a peace agreement reached eight months ago, implementation of which had been repeatedly delayed by disputes between Machar and the government of President Salva Kiir. “Now that Dr. Riek has taken the oath of the first vice president, we will immediately proceed with the establishment of the transitional government of national unity,” Kiir said after Machar was sworn in at the president’s office. “I ask you to join me and my brother Riek Machar in peace and reconciliation.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/1rxLIsI)

Somalia Famine Warning…”A group of 23 nongovernmental organizations working in Somalia say the country is in danger of falling into famine, as it did in 2010, because of drought and food shortages. The groups known as the Somalia NGO Consortium released its statement Tuesday, saying the shortages are linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon, which has proven to be one of the worst on record. According to the NGOs, the effects of El Nino on the Horn of Africa have been particularly severe, compounding an already “challenging” humanitarian situation in Somalia. They say hundreds of thousands of people have been affected in Somaliland and Puntland, with many families destitute because of livestock deaths and soaring food prices.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1rxM8Q5)

Irony of the day: Four managers at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission were suspended on allegations of engaging in corruption. (New Zimbabwe http://bit.ly/1XVdaus)


Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has condemned the killing of a senior army officer who was shot along with his wife and bodyguard in an attack that also wounded their child in an expanding wave of violence in the central African nation. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NxsgWE)

The World Health Organization is urging travelers to Angola to get a yellow fever vaccination. An outbreak of the disease in the African country has killed at least 258 people. (VOA http://bit.ly/1XVeEVN)

Uganda’s hopes to produce crude oil by 2018 have been boosted by an agreement to build a pipeline to Tanzania’s Tanga port, a government official said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1VQFVv2)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the need for timely and credible elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a recent meeting with President Joseph Kabila, the State Department said amid concerns by opposition groups that Kabila may be seeking to delay elections. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NQ99C7)



An Egyptian coalition of rights groups said Tuesday that police arrested nearly 250 people during the previous day’s protests in Cairo against the government’s decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. (AP http://yhoo.it/1XVeJZq)

Syria’s war has destroyed agricultural infrastructure and fractured the state system that provides farmers with seeds and buys their crops, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a country struggling to produce enough grain to feed its people. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NQ90hM)

An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 men accused of homosexuality to jail terms of between three and 12 years, legal sources said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NQafh5)


A group affiliated to al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Tuesday for killing a Bangladeshi gay rights campaigner and his friend, the latest in a string of murders of liberal activists and other minorities in the South Asian nation. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1VQFT6o)

China is set to pass a law governing foreign non-government organizations, after state media said legislators recommended it be put to a vote following adjustments to some provisions criticized by foreign governments and civil society groups. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1VQFReV)

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers at a facility on the Pacific nation’s Manus Island is unconstitutional. (AP http://yhoo.it/1VQFVLK)

The prime minister Tuesday called upon all elements in Cambodian society to mobilize to help deal with the worst drought in at least four decades, which has left about two-thirds of the country’s 25 provinces short of water for drinking and other necessities. (AP http://yhoo.it/1XVeMUY)

A Thai court has granted a same-sex couple legal custody of a baby born through a surrogate mother who refused to hand the child over after giving birth. (VOA http://bit.ly/1T2Hdft)

Chinese authorities have placed a disabled rights lawyer under house arrest and prevented a group of foreign diplomats from visiting her, she said on Monday, ratcheting up pressure weeks after the U.S. State Department gave her a bravery award. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1UfjIoT)

Desperately seeking an antidote to a rapidly aging population, Japanese policymakers are exploring ways to bring in more foreign workers without calling it an “immigration policy”. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1VQG5Td)

The Americas

Venezuela’s supreme court has struck down an attempt by the opposition to cut short President Nicolas Maduros’ term in office, ruling that a proposed constitutional amendment to that effect cannot be applied retroactively. (AP http://yhoo.it/1T2Hijr)

…and the rest

Croatia’s anti-graft authorities have filed charges against former Dinamo Zagreb president Zdravko Mamic for tax evasion, corruption and bribery. (AP http://yhoo.it/1XVeFZL)

Eliminating blinding trachoma worldwide within four years is “highly doable” but it would cost $1 billion, the world’s leading eye health experts estimate. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1UfjE8B)


The entire world is changing polio vaccines. That’s a good thing. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1NxbhDH)

Civil society must change itself before it can change the world (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1XV99pX)

Forget the Camerons, the African giveaway is the real Panama Papers story (Guardian http://bit.ly/1SI0qpH)

Reforms making headways as ADB hits another lending record in 2015 (Devex http://bit.ly/1qQyztR)

Panama Papers: Do we need a global tax organisation? (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/1UfgfXi)

It’s Time to Kick Israel Out of Soccer (The Nation http://bit.ly/1T2CSZJ)

Replacing one bad idea with another (Cherokee Gothic http://bit.ly/1NPVPNV)

Universal Basic Income: The Next Generation (Aid Thoughts http://bit.ly/1UfgEZR)

Africa: The Word That Reignited the Western Sahara Debate (ISS http://bit.ly/1NQ0GyA)

Eastern Europe’s Claims for UN Chief Questioned (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1UfjI8o)
Critics slam US ‘incrementalism’ in anti-IS fight (AFP http://yhoo.it/240suNG)