Peacekeepers for Burundi?

The Security council is expected to pass a resolution on Burundi very soon. It may include the deployment of blue helmets or an AU contingent. “UN officials are making plans to rush peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Burundi if violence spirals out of control there, diplomats said Wednesday. The deployment is one of several options being drawn up by the United Nations peacekeeping department to prevent Burundi from descending into Rwanda-style mass killings.

‘One option is to get MONUSCO troops from the DRC across the border into Burundi,” said a Security Council diplomat, who asked not to be identified.’” (AFP   

Hot off the Presses: Maternal Mortality Rates Drop 44%…From a just-released report from the WHO, World Bank and friends — we even delayed sending today’s edition to respect the embargo, which should have ended 1 minute ago. The gains are impressive, but far short of the 75% drop called for in the MDGs, “Maternal mortality has fallen by 44% since 1990, United Nations agencies and the World Bank Group reported today. Maternal deaths around the world dropped from about 532 000 in 1990 to an estimated 303 000 this year, according to the report, the last in a series that has looked at progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  This equates to an estimated global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 216 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, down from 385 in 1990…“ (WHO )

EU-Africa migrant meeting is underway…The European Union pressed African leaders on Wednesday to take back thousands of people who do not qualify for asylum, holding talks in Malta as overwhelmed Slovenia began building a razor-wire border fence to keep asylum-seekers out. (AP


The United Nations is sending hundreds of extra peacekeepers and its first drones to the Central African Republic to bolster security ahead of elections next month, a UN official. (AFP

Ethiopia’s government has started distributing rations of wheat and cooking oil to people facing hunger in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. (AP

Humanitarian groups in West Africa must focus more on helping vulnerable communities boost their resilience to cope with disasters and crises, the head of the Red Cross said on Tuesday, amid rising food insecurity in the Sahel and relentless Boko Haram violence. (Reuters

Six months before Swaziland was cut from a crucial trade deal that allowed it to export products to the United States duty-free, textile worker Maria Matsebula fell to her knees in front of King Mswati III. (AFP

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila should be granted immunity from prosecution after he leaves office, said Moise Katumbi, the popular former governor widely considered the frontrunner to replace him. (Reuters

Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi will step down after two terms, out of “respect” for the constitution which bars him from seeking reelection in 2016. (AFP

Eight South African policemen were jailed Wednesday for 15 years each for the murder of a Mozambican taxi driver who was dragged behind a police van in an incident caught on a mobile phone camera. (AFP

After killing more than 11,000 people, West Africa’s Ebola outbreak is down to a handful of cases. They are all in Guinea, where the disease first emerged nearly two years ago and where health workers battle community resistance in their bid to extinguish the disease. (VOA



At least 16 people have been killed in heavy fighting in the Libyan city of Benghazi between forces allied with the official government and Islamic State fighters, a military commander said on Wednesday. (Reuters

The U.N. force in Lebanon says authorities have taken into custody one of the mission’s Lebanese employees on suspicion of spying for Israel. (AP

Dozens of Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank Wednesday, the anniversary of the death of their leader, Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian health ministry said. (AFP


Myanmar President Thein Sein and the powerful army congratulated democratic champion Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday, after her party trounced the ruling camp in the first free election in 25 years and was closing in on an absolute majority in parliament. (Reuters

Afghan police on Wednesday fired into the air to drive back protesters who tried to scale the walls of a building near the presidential palace, as anger boiled over at the murder of seven members of the Hazara ethnic minority by Islamist militants. (Reuters

A Communist Party official in Beijing and a deputy mayor of Shanghai have joined the rapidly growing list of prominent political figures ensnared in an anti-corruption crackdown. (AP

Bangladesh handed the founder of a militant separatist group to India on Wednesday, a rebel leader that for years New Delhi had fought to extradite. (Reuters

The Americas

The leader of Colombia’s largest armed rebel group, the Farc, has said he ordered the organisation in September to stop buying guns and ammunition. (BBC

New evacuations have been ordered in response to fears over the safety of a third dam at Brazil’s Samarco mine, where two earlier dam breaks triggered a fatal flood of mud, officials said Wednesday. (AFP

U.S. senators and leading lawmakers from Latin America asked Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday to guarantee free, transparent and democratic parliamentary elections next month. (AP

Bill Clinton visited Central America’s biggest wind farm Tuesday. The electricity project in western Panama is scheduled to open next year with the capacity to produce about 6 percent to 8 percent of Panama’s energy needs. (AP

Southern California’s biggest drinking water supplier will seek an option to buy 20,000 acres of river delta farmland east of San Francisco, a deal that could benefit a controversial tunnel project to carry Northern California water southward, the agency said. (Reuters

…and the rest

A U.N. conference agreed on Wednesday to dedicate part of the radio spectrum to a global flight tracking system, to avoid a repeat of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in March last year. (Reuters


Which of these videos is the worst in charity advertising? (Humanosphere

Yes, Ethiopia has problems – but this drought is no 1984 rerun (Guardian

Key challenges for Myanmar (IRIN

Is this Afghanistan’s Tahrir Square? (UN Dispatch

How effective are land property rights interventions on improving investments and agricultural productivity? (Development that Works

Is Europe Turning Into a Fortress? (VOA

Great new IMF paper puts women’s rights at the heart of tackling income inequality (From Poverty to Power

We’re proud to work for Save the Children, but has it lost direction? (Guardian

Economic Slowdown Threatening Progress (IPS

​There are no trillion dollar infrastructure gaps (ODI

Proof is piling up that private sector finance is not an easy development fix (Guardian