An Improbable Inauguration Day

The new president of the Central African Republic takes office today. This is a major inflection point in the country’s effort to recover from conflict.  Among those attending his inauguration ceremony is Samantha Power and several dignitaries from around the world. “Former maths teacher Faustin-Archange Touadera, 58, was the surprise winner of February’s run-off election in the country that had been wracked by three years of communal violence…The ceremony marks the last stage of the political transition that began after the toppling of Christian former president Francois Bozize in 2013 by a rebellion of the predominantly Muslim Seleka militia. And though a new president has been elected and a new constitution adopted, the country’s parliament is still not in place. The second round of postponed legislative elections is scheduled for Thursday…Previously prime minister under Bozize between 2008-2013, Touadera will face enormous economic and security pressures from the moment he sets foot in the presidential palace.Part of his popular appeal stems from a measure he introduced during his time as premier: paying government salaries directly into bank accounts, ending decades of pay arrears and unpaid wages.” (AFP

WHO Declared Ebola “Emergency” formally over…“The Emergency Committee convened by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan concluded at its ninth meeting that the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and that the temporary recommendations adopted in response should now be terminated. “I have accepted the Committee’s advice,” Ms. Chan said, noting however that a high level of vigilance and response capacity must be maintained to ensure the ability of the countries to prevent Ebola infections and to rapidly detect and respond to flare-ups in the future. Each of the recent flare-ups was immediately and effectively contained. “Ebola response capacity in West Africa is strong,” she said, stressing that the three most-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – now have the world’s largest pool of expertise in responding to Ebola.” (UN News Center

Stat of the Day…The United Nations said on Tuesday it was seeking to re-settle more than 450,000 Syrian refugees, some one-tenth of those now in neighboring countries, by the end of 2018. (Reuters

Celebrity activism of the day: Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has visited the Indonesian jungle to help protect a biodiverse area from deforestation. (AFP


New allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation against U.N. peacekeepers from Morocco and Burundi in Central African Republic, including one that involved a 14-year-old girl. (Reuters

UN food experts warned Tuesday of “alarming” levels of starvation in South Sudan with food prices at record highs after two years of civil war marked by atrocities. (AFP

The European Union plans to cut back its funding for Burundi’s lucrative peacekeeping contingent in Somalia to try to force President Pierre Nkurunziza into talks with opponents and away from the brink of ethnic conflict, diplomatic sources said. (Reuters

A Niger court Tuesday granted bail to presidential challenger Hama Amadou, who was detained in November on shadowy baby trafficking charges but is currently in France for medical treatment, his lawyer said. (AFP

More than 30,000 Malian refugees who have fled conflict for neighbouring Burkina Faso face severe food shortages, the UN’s World Food Programme and High Commissioner for Refugees warned Tuesday. (AFP

Ivory Coast’s U.N. peacekeeping mission plans to double its troop presence in the country’s northeast after clashes this month between farmers and herders killed at least 20 people and sent more than 1,000 fleeing into neighboring Burkina Faso, a U.N. spokeswoman said Tuesday. (AP

Three people were killed and several wounded when an oil pipeline exploded during repair works in Nigeria’s Delta, an environmental group said on Tuesday. (Reuters

It has been 40 days since Ugandan police placed presidential candidate Kizza Besigye of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change under house arrest following that country’s February 18 presidential election. (VOA

Despite a veneer of progressive policymaking, bias against the rising number of men with HIV remains commonplace in Mozambique, deterring many from seeking treatment. (Reuters

From tire chairs to newspaper art, people in Khartoum are finding innovative ways to attempt to tackle the country’s rubbish problem. (Guardian


Hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition, millions lack access to health care or clean water, and some have been drafted as soldiers in the year-old war, the United Nations Children’s Fund said on Tuesday. (Reuters

The hardline Sunni militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Tuesday morning in central Baghdad that police said killed three people and wounded 27. (Reuters

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regrets a “misunderstanding” over his use of the word “occupation” to describe Morocco’s annexation of Western Sahara, which led to Morocco expelling dozens of United Nations staff, his spokesman said. (Reuters

The United States will withdraw virtually all family members of U.S. troops and diplomats from its installations in Turkey, U.S. officials said Tuesday, citing security concerns as the campaign against the Islamic State continues. (WaPo )


One in five children aged 10 to 17 in Myanmar go to work instead of school, according to figures from a census report on employment published on Monday. (VOA

Pakistani authorities detained more than 5,000 suspects, then released most of them, in the two days since a suicide bomber hit a park in the eastern city of Lahore at Easter, killing at least 70 people, a provincial minister said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Hundreds of Islamic extremists resumed protests in Pakistan’s capital on Tuesday over the execution of a man who killed a secular governor, in a show of defiance amid a government crackdown following a suicide attack two days earlier. (AP

Ten Indonesian citizens are being held hostage off the Philippines after their tugboat was hijacked by a militant group demanding ransom, officials said. (Time

China needs to more closely regulate the market for private vaccines within its borders, the World Health Organization said Tuesday after authorities broke up a massive illegal drug ring earlier this month. (VOA

Myanmar’s outgoing government on Tuesday lifted a state of emergency in conflict-hit Rakhine, a parting gesture that coincides with turbulent relations between Aung San Suu Kyi’s new administration and the western state’s powerful Buddhist political party. (AFP

Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining polio-endemic countries, have joined forces to eradicate poliomyelitis by vaccinating their children in synchronised campaigns. (IPS

Eating insects became popular in Cambodia during decades of civil war when starving refugees ate them to stay alive. Things have now improved for insect hunters in the region as they can sell insects at very good price. (VOA

The Americas

Pregnancy and birth in Haiti – in pictures (BBC

…and the rest

Turkey’s state-run news agency says a fire at a refugee camp near the border with Syria has killed three Syrian children and wounded six other people. (WaPo

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he would meet President Barack Obama at a nuclear summit in Washington this week, amid differences over Syria and Turkey’s domestic policy direction. (Reuters

The European Union puts British families at risk by allowing the free movement of dangerous criminals, campaigners who want Britain to leave the bloc said on Tuesday, an argument dismissed as “scaremongering of the worst kind” by EU supporters. (Reuters


The UN Wants You to Know that Lentils Can Save Your Life (UN Dispatch

Secret aid worker: Why do expats earn more than the rest of us? (Guardian

The ‘Girl Boss’ Of USAID Has $22 Billion To Spend And A Tight Deadline (NPR

Asia: A look at where journalists face renewed pressure (AP

New trade deals challenge Africa to step on to the global stage (Guardian

Which countries are most at risk from climate change and how can we help? (IRIN

Growing Up in a Bad Neighborhood Does More Harm Than We Thought (The Upshot

Put the refugee ‘crisis’ in context (Devex

When free education isn’t free: creeping corruption in PNG education (Dev Policy

Global Development and the Internet of Things (Wait…What?