Nigeria Elections Postponed

Elections are on hold in Nigeria over security concerns. The USA says it’s “dissapointed” and the opposition party called it a setback for democracy…The six-week delay was announced Saturday after security chiefs said the military needed more time to secure areas under the control of Boko Haram, the Islamist extremists who have seized swathes of northeastern Nigeria. Presidential and parliamentary elections will now be held on March 28 instead of February 14, said Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). (AFP

Meanwhile, Boko Haram attacks a new Nigerian neighbor...Boko Haram staged an overnight assault on a border town in Niger and a shell struck a market in the same town a few hours later, witnesses and the country’s defense minister said Sunday, in a sign the extremists’ offensive against the West African nation was intensifying. (AP

Quote of the Day: “This album is dedicated to the women of Africa — to their beauty and resilience…For me, music is a weapon of peace, and today more than ever, as artists we have a role to play in the stability of this world…Women of Africa — you rock!” – Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo upon accepting a Grammy Award for her album “Eve,” on Sunday.


Three members of the Sudanese Red Cross were killed Sunday in an attack in the war-torn Blue Nile area, where Khartoum is currently battling rebels, officials said. (AFP

Hundreds of people protested on Saturday in Burkina Faso calling for the dissolution of the presidential guard, a powerful unit within the military that earlier this week called for the prime minister to resign. (Reuters

African nations pulling together a regional force to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants on Saturday pledged 8,700 soldiers, policemen and civilians, an increase from earlier estimates for the mission. (Reuters

The Kenyan government was back under pressure Sunday over its alleged failure to deal with worsening insecurity following the execution-style killing of a prominent MP in the city center. (AFP

The three countries stricken by Ebola have been granted debt relief of about $100 million by the International Monetary Fund, which has been under pressure to relieve the financial burden on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (Guardian

Somalia said Sunday it was trying to prevent the closure of the main money transfer service from the United States, warning the move would have an “astronomical impact” on the war-torn country’s economy. (AFP

Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai on Sunday called for global support to help release more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, as they marked 300 days as hostages. (AFP


Islamic State’s execution of a captured Jordanian pilot by burning him alive has backfired on the militant group by galvanizing the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting it in Syria and Iraq, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday. (Reuters

The UK has pledged a further £100m to help support Syrian refugees who have been forced from their country by almost four years of fighting. (GlobalPost

With Australian Peter Greste freed and a Canadian colleague close to release, the other Al-Jazeera journalist arrested in Cairo faces languishing in jail for an indefinite period because he has only Egyptian nationality. (AFP

Tunisia arrested 32 militant Islamists, some of them returning from fighting in Syria, who planned “spectacular” attacks, officials said on Saturday. (Reuters

Yemen will resume national talks over its future, the U.N. envoy to the country said Sunday, just days after Shiite rebels dissolved parliament and formally took power. (AP

The parents of a 26-year-old American who has been held hostage for more than a year by Islamic State extremists are clinging to hope that their daughter is alive, having yet to receive information confirming otherwise. (AP

US Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential presidential candidate is 2016, isn’t ruling out sending American ground troops to fight Islamic State militants. (AP


The Philippines will raise its concerns over China’s land reclamation in disputed reefs and discuss Manila’s new peace deal with Muslim rebels with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who arrived Sunday for a brief visit, an official said. (AP

The Indian government is undertaking two major campaigns in the span of one month to protest hundreds of millions of Indians against soil-transmitted helmins and lymphatic filariasis – or worms and elephantiasis, respectively. (Humanosphere

Both China’s imports and exports declined in January, the government said Sunday, in a sign of continued weak demand. (AP

The Americas

Argentine-led forensic experts strongly criticized Mexico’s investigation into the presumed massacre of 43 missing students on Saturday, insisting the probe must remain open as they listed a series of mishaps. (AFP

Guatemala’s Fuego volcano belched black ash into the sky on Saturday, causing the government to evacuate 100 nearby residents and forcing the closure of the capital’s international airport, President Otto Perez told reporters. (Reuters


Podcast: Morten Jerven on how poor numbers undermine the fight against poverty (Humanosphere

The Pope’s Impeccable Timing (I.E. The Real Agenda Behind His Address to Congress) (UN Dispatch

Five take-aways for Europe from the African Union’s High-Level report on illicit financial flows (Eurodad

Is Africa on the Verge of a New Era of Economic Growth and Development? (Development Diaries

Billions Go To Victims Of Disaster And Disease. Does It Really Help? (Goats and Soda

“The opening deal” (Brett Keller

‘Why we shouldn’t support the Africa Cup of Nations’ (The Guardian

How to hire aid workers with disabilities (WhyDev

My mother’s refusal to undergo FGM has given me licence to dream (Guardian

14 Ways for Aid Agencies to Better Promote Active Citizenship (People, Spaces, Deliberation


UN climate negotiators gathered in Geneva were urged Sunday to show urgency and compromise in crafting a draft by next week for a global pact to be signed in December. (AFP