Top of the Morning: Dozens Killed in Baghdad Bombings; ‘Alarming Malnutrition’ in Sudan Conflict Zones; 26 Killed in Attacks in Eastern DRC

Top Stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest.

Dozens Killed in Bombing Attacks Across Baghdad

A series of apparently carefully planned bombing attacks targeting Shi’ite neighborhoods has killed at least 26 people today. “As Baghdad’s rush hour was beginning around 7:30 a.m., explosives strapped to a motorcycle were detonated near a group of day laborers who had congregated by the side of the road in the slum of Sadr City, according to security officials. Moments later, two improvised explosive devices were detonated near rescuers who were taking the wounded to a nearby hospital, the officials said. Nine people were killed in the explosions and 35 were wounded. An hour after the Sadr City attack, two car bombs were detonated in bustling squares in the neighborhood of Kadhimiya, killing 15 people and wounding 31, according to security officials. The attacks appeared aimed at inciting violence between the country’s Shiites and Sunnis amid the political crisis that has brought the government to a halt.” (NYT

“Alarming Malnutrition” in Two Sudan States

For several months, the Sudanese government has waged a brutal counter-insurgency against a faction of the SPLM rebel group in two southern border states, South Kordofan and Blue Nile State. The fighting has exacted a terrible toll on the civilian population and there are few humanitarian agencies on the ground to deliver assistance. Now, there is word of a growing food crisis in the region. “The violence has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes, more than 80,000 of them to South Sudan, the United Nations estimates. Locals have faced air raids and sporadic ground fighting, according to rights groups and refugees. ‘I received alarming reports with respect to malnutrition and the food situation, particular in areas that are controlled by SPLM-North’” Valerie Amos, U.N. Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters in Khartoum.”  (AlertNet

26 Killed in Rebel Attack in Eastern DRC

There are disturbing reports of yet another massacre in eastern DRC. The Congolese army says at least 26 civilians were killed by the FDLR rebel group in eastern DRC since the beginning of the year. “The killings took place in remote villages in the territory of Shabunda in South Kivu province, an area still troubled by armed groups more than eight years after the end of a 1998-2003 war that killed more than five million people. ‘It’s very, very serious, to the point that the army is re-enforcing the area,’ army spokesman Colonel Sylvain Ekenge told Reuters. ‘They said they were attacked because the population had been supporting (another) local militia.’ The FDLR, which says it is trying to overthrow the government in neighbouring Rwanda, is the largest rebel group left in eastern Congo and has been responsible for widespread atrocities including mass rapes and killings. Ekenge said small groups of the FDLR fighters attacked settlements and burned huts in the densely forested region on Monday night, killing 18 civilians. Another eight people died in attacks on villages on Tuesday night, he added.” (AlertNet

Money Quote from a Donor: We are coming up on the two year anniversary of Haiti earthquake and the European Commission just allocated another 3 million euros to the cause: “So long as Haitians need us we’ll be there, and for the moment there remain significant humanitarian needs that the Haitian government cannot handle alone. We must also ensure that there is a successful transition from relief to reconstruction,” says Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union’s Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. (European Commission