John Kerry in Kenya+ Somalia

The Secretary of State is in the midst of a visit to Kenya to lay the groundwork for President Obama’s visit in July. There are many issues on the table, including terrorism, human rights issues and Kenya’s decision to shut down the Dadaab refugee camp. On that latter issue, Kerry announced $45 million aid package to convince the Kenyan government to reconsider that idea. The aid would keep the Somali refugee camp — the world’s largest –open. This AP story has a good run down of the issues on Kerry’s agenda. Later this week, he’ll become the first Secretary of State to visit Djibouti.  (AP

Update: He just made an unannounced trip to Somalia, becoming thr first Secretary of State to visit the country. (NYT

Gayle Smith Has Critics…Howard French and Bill Easterly, among others, do not hold back their criticism of Obama’s pick to lead USAID.  “The controversy around Smith lays bare age-old tensions between America’s principles and realpolitik interests.The American government has forcefully withheld assistance from autocratic regimes it is hostile to (i.e. Zimbabwe and Sudan), but less willing to confront US-friendly authoritarians, for example in Rwanda, Uganda, The Gambia, DRC, or Equatorial Guinea (Quartz

Quote of the Day: “We call for an end to attacks on these vital lifelines and for the Yemeni civil aviation authority to be given the chance to repair the airports, so that humanitarian assistance can be sent to Yemen.” — A rare joint statement from MSF and the ICRC


Three protesters were killed in Burundi’s capital on Monday, the Red Cross said, as demonstrations against a decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s to seek a third term in office ran into a second week. (Reuters

A meningitis epidemic in Niger has claimed 252 lives since January, a health official said Monday, warning the country was short of vaccines to fight the outbreak. (AFP

A proposed law before Malian lawmakers would reserve one-third of government jobs for women, including in elected offices. (Washington Times )

Kenya’s deputy president has said there is “no room” for homosexuality in Kenyan society, the latest comments from an African government to anger activists and likely also to annoy Western donors who say gays are targeted on the continent. (Reuters

Youths, defying a government ban on demonstrations, clashed with security forces in Guinea’s coastal capital Conakry, as opposition leaders called for nationwide protests against the timing of elections. (Reuters

More than 500 delegates representing all stakeholders in the Central African Republic begin a week-long reconciliation forum Monday in Bangui on the future of the strife-torn country, including its proposed constitution. (VOA

As Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia work to end Ebola, critical healthcare services damaged by the epidemic are beginning to be revitalised. (IPS

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday a decision by Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a third term in office “flies directly in the face” of the constitution. (Reuters


A monitor and Syria’s opposition have called for an investigation into a US-led coalition strike last week that allegedly killed 64 civilians, nearly half of them children, in northern Syria. (AFP

Senegal (!?) will send 2,100 troops to Saudi Arabia to take part in an international coalition combating Houthi fighters in neighboring Yemen, the West African nation’s foreign minister said. (Reuters


Nepal’s government will need immense international support as the Himalayan nation begins turning its attention toward reconstruction in the coming weeks, in the wake of the devastating April earthquake, a top official said Monday. (AP

Thai police have arrested a man they believe is the key figure behind a brutal human trafficking network that ran a jungle camp where dozens of bodies have been found. (Reuters

The European Union has approved $22 million in financial support and emergency aid to help Nepal deal with the April 25 earthquake. (AP

The leader of the U.N. Development Program on Monday praised China’s relief efforts in Nepal and said the country’s importance to global development will only grow. (AP

Climate change threatens some of China’s most important infrastructure projects, China’s top meteorologist warned in a state newspaper, adding the country’s rate of warming was higher than the global average. (Reuters

Two days of informal talks between Afghan government and Taliban representatives produced a series of agreements that, while not binding, raised the prospect of advancement in Afghanistan’s long deadlocked peace process. (NYT

The Americas

In Peru, the Shipibo-Konibo people’s promised relocation has been blocked by the city’s new mayor, with the future of their Cantagallo community cast into doubt. (Guardian

…and the rest

The European Union will not be adopting Australia’s migration methods despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim that some Europeans are seeking policy advice. (AP

A new study adds to growing evidence that HIV infected people have immune systems similar to those who are much older. This occurs even when they are being treated with antiretroviral drugs. The older-acting immune systems can make them more susceptible to certain diseases. (VOA

An international report says Sweden needs to urgently address the declining performance of its schools, a growing embarrassment for the Scandinavian welfare state. (AP

Belarus faced harsh criticism Monday at a UN review of its rights record, with diplomats decrying an “atmosphere of intimidation” and urging the country to ensure free and fair elections. (AFP

Firms in Europe’s Emissions Trading System have swapped a total of 255 million U.N.-backed carbon offsets for European Union emissions allowances from April 2013-2014, data published by the European Commission showed. (Reuters


Meet the French Countess who sold her family heirlooms to start and anti-poverty NGO. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Guinea Ebola diary: In the land of lost handshakes (IRIN

The West and Its Self-Assumed Right to Intervene (IPS

Lack of Media Coverage Compounds Violence in Libya (CPJ

The rent seeking rebellion cycle (Reinventing Peace

The Missing Men in International Development (CFI

The Long History of the Garissa Attacks (Africa is a Country

Why are Ethiopian Israelis protesting? (IRIN

Part II: One Standard To Rule Them All (AidSpeak