Burundi is Close to the Edge

A trial of political leaders accused of fomenting a coup started on Monday, while tit-for-tat violence is on the increase. The situation is trending poorly as the country teeters close to civil war.  “Former defense minister Cyrille Ndayirukiye was among the 28 people standing trial in the central town of Gitega. Though the coup was swiftly foiled,the government cracked down hard, forcing thousands to flee to neighboring countries and prompting some of the opposition to begin taking up arms. On Dec. 11, an unknown number of gunmen stormed three military bases, killing 15 people, the Associated Press reported. The attackers were trying to seize weapons, the military says. Those attacks were followed by what some analysts say were retaliatory actions by the military in some of the city’s neighborhoods, bringing the death toll to 87.” (CSM http://bit.ly/1Nvqpfm)

Better year for journalists…Fewer journalists were imprisoned this year but the number held hostage jumped, media rights group Reporters Without Borders said in an annual report, with China and Egypt named the worst nations for jailing media workers. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1QJRr70)

‘Shall’ Vs ‘Should’…This story is a good demonstration of the diplomatic acumen displayed by the French foreign minister at the final moments of the Paris talks…”A last minute dispute over an apparent typing error in last weekend’s global climate deal in Paris was solved “in a small room” and thanks to trust established during the talks, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1mlXCD8)

Humanity Affirming Quote of the Day: “In the Syrian refugee today, we should see the Jewish refugee of World War II,” –Barack Obama, at a swearing in ceremony for new US citizens. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1NvraoC )


The United Nations Human Rights Council says it will hold a special session on violence in Burundi later this week. (VOA http://bit.ly/1QJRno2)

Burundi’s government said any country that wishes to evacuate its nationals from Burundi has the sovereign right to do so. But Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe said the Burundian government will continue to fulfill its responsibility to protect not only its citizens but all foreigners. (VOA http://bit.ly/1QJRnEq)

More than a dozen senior commanders and officials who children say recruited them as soldiers in South Sudan should be investigated, Human Rights Watch said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QJRpvV)

A rebel leader in Central African Republic has declared an autonomous state in his northeastern stronghold after rejecting elections this month that are aimed at ending years of bloodshed, his spokesman said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1O39u2W)

Ethiopia’s government said Tuesday five people had died in weeks of protests sparked by land grab fears in the country’s Oromia region, dismissing opposition reports of dozens dead and scores arrested. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1O38VGw)

Voters in a town in Central African Republic made it to the polls Tuesday for a constitutional referendum, days after threats of violence by militias prevented their participation. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OtZsIU)

Cameroonian authorities are urging more northerners to join self-defense groups to fight Boko Haram. (VOA http://bit.ly/1QJXcBO)

A Rwandan ex-army captain was found guilty Tuesday of a “public insult” for alleging that President Paul Kagame had targeted disappeared opponents but was acquitted of the far more serious charge of “inciting revolt”, his lawyer said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MfiReW)

South Africa will set aside $154.32 million to fund a shortfall resulting from its decision to freeze tuition fees at universities next year, the Presidency said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1QJXf0r)



The Crisis Group’s new report, Iran After the Nuclear Deal, argues that the West should recognise that any change will be gradual and best supported by implementing the nuclear accord, resuming trade, and diplomacy that balances Iranian and Arab interests in the Middle East. (ICG http://bit.ly/1NvpmMt )

As Iraq struggles to combat the Islamic State group, which has captured large swaths of territory and plunged the country into the worst political and security crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011, threats against doctors have increased. (AP http://yhoo.it/1P5eI3p)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the U.S. wants Turkey to better control its border with Syria, which could help block the flow of foreign fighters to the Islamic State, and to more forcefully join the U.S.-led coalition “in the air and on the ground.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1QJRorR)

A ceasefire took hold in Yemen on Tuesday as United Nations-sponsored peace talks opened in Switzerland in a new push to end months of fighting that has killed nearly 6,000 people and dragged in foreign powers, a U.N. spokesman said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QJRrE8)

The WHO said that under a U.N.-brokered ceasefire it had begun delivering urgent medical supplies in Yemen, where health services have collapsed leaving many vulnerable to diseases from diabetes to malaria. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1mlXDHj)

The medium-range Emad rocket that Iran tested in October was a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, which makes it a violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, a team of sanctions monitors said in a confidential new report. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1NvqUWL)


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his office was raided by federal investigators on Tuesday on the orders of Narendra Modi, in the latest clash between the feisty local politician and India’s prime minister. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QJRpMz)

Afghanistan saw a drop in opium cultivation this year for the first time since 2009, a United Nations report said, citing drought conditions as a key reason for the decline. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MfdQCU)

An outbreak of swine flu has claimed 57 lives since mid-November in Iran, where hundreds of people have been diagnosed with the virus, the health ministry said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1QJXetp)

The Americas

A judge in Peru has ordered jail for a 64-year-old American who police say headed a prostitution ring that for more than a decade offered sex with children to an international clientele. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QJRpfv)

The office of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said in a statement it hoped that raids on the homes of ministers and other authorities on Tuesday would be clarified as soon as possible and strengthen the country’s institutions. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1MfiRvt)

…and the rest

The proportion of people entering Germany with fake Syrian passports is far less than the 30 percent announced by the interior minister in September, the government has said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MfdR9Z)

Britain and Italy said on Tuesday that they agree on the need to reform the European Union to protect the rights of the bloc’s non eurozone members, promote business and tackle the migration crisis. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QJRqjF)

Fourteen years of tortuous global trade talks will end in failure this week unless there is a sudden and unexpected end to the impasse between developed and developing countries that has bedevilled negotiations. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1O38QCH)


How can we prevent the suffering of millions? Fund local NGOs directly (Guardian http://bit.ly/1O38Gv6)

Can the Paris Agreement Protect Poor Farmers From Climate Change? (TRF http://bit.ly/1QJRpfo)

Climate change deal: five reasons to be glad, five to be gloomy (Guardian http://bit.ly/1QJX8C5)

Can the World Really “End” Tuberculosis? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1Ou4xkm)

Africa is rising! But are people better off? (Africa can end poverty http://bit.ly/1mm5UuW)

4 ways to finance climate-friendly urban development (Devex http://bit.ly/1QJZ9hx)

The Amount of Bribery and the Cost of Bribery Are Not the Same (GAB http://bit.ly/1MfkadR)

How on earth can you measure resilience? A wonk Q&A (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1O3gQ6N)

Has the media oversold the Paris climate deal? (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/1P5nrTs)

Gun Violence Is a Public Health Crisis, So Why Isn’t the CDC Researching It? (RH Reality Check http://bit.ly/1O3hS2w)