South Sudan’s President is Poised to Make Matters Worse| Latest from Nice

The regional IGAD group and the Security Council have both suggested that more peacekeepers are needed to stabilize South Sudan. Kiir apparently disagrees. This is problematic because new peacekeepers can only be deployed with his consent. “South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir said his government ‘will not accept a single soldier’ to back peacekeepers as demanded by regional leaders and the United Nations.Addressing reporters on Thursday for the first time since violence engulfed the country’s capital, Juba last week, Kiir said his country already has thousands of foreign troops at UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as peacekeepers. ‘No. We will not accept even a single soldier,’ stressed the president.” (Sudan Tribune

The Latest from Nice…At time of publication at least 77 people were confirmed killed in a Bastille Day attack. The reports are fast evolving and the Guardian (per usual) is doing an excellent job providing live and reliable updates.

A New, New Plan for Syria? Secretary of State John Kerry held talks on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a controversial U.S. proposal to coordinate with Moscow on military operations in Syria, in exchange for grounding Syria’s air force. The U.S. is proposing closer military coordination involving airstrikes against militant groups Nusra Front and Islamic State in Syria and wants Moscow in turn to use its influence to ground Syria’s air force, which has defied a cease-fire agreement to continue pounding civilian population centers. Mr. Kerry hopes the deal will reduce violence in Syria after more than five years of war.” (WSJ

Humanity Affirming News of the Day… The WHO has certified that  India has eliminated both yaws and maternal and neonatal tetanus. (UN News Center

Explainer of the Day… A excellent overview of the Continental Free Trade  Area that is being discussed at the African Union summit this week. It would be the largest free trade agreement in the world. (WaPo


A gunman who shot dead six Kenyan police officers inside a police station in western Kenya on Thursday is a police officer himself, witnesses said…”I knew the man. His name was Maslah. He was Somali Kenyan police officer at the station,” the anonymous officer said. “He had submitted a resignation letter to leave the police to his superiors. … So I think the attack resulted from the fact that he was disgruntled.” (VOA

The UN has been accused of failing to act quickly enough to save hundreds of thousands of lives in northern Nigeria where a food crisis already killing hundreds of people a day is poised to become the most devastating in decades. (Guardian

After more than a year of turmoil, Burundi is suspended in a “fake calm” with risks of further instability exacerbated by an economic slowdown, regional tensions and destructive ethnic rhetoric, a British parliamentary committee has heard. (Guardian

A bird flu warning from the UN FAO: “In Cameroon alone, losses have added up to an estimated $20 million, according to local media reports. The recent outbreak in Cameroon has brought the number of countries that have battled bird flu in West and Central Africa to six, also including Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria.” (UN News Center

France will end a three-year military peacekeeping operation in Central African Republic in October, François Hollande has said, although security remains volatile. (Reuters

More than 1,000 people accused of supporting Boko Haram in Cameroon are being detained in military bases and prisons, often without any evidence, and dozens are dying from disease, malnutrition and torture, a rights group said on Thursday. (Reuters

Two soldiers have been arrested in Ivory Coast accused of failing to denounce suspected members of an al Qaeda cell that killed 19 people in a March attack on a beach resort town, military officials said on Thursday. (Reuters

Uganda’s army began evacuating citizens from inside neighboring South Sudan on Thursday where fighting between forces loyal to the president and his rival has plunged the nation into its worst crisis since the end of a two-year civil war. (Reuters

Many people in Zimbabwe can no longer afford hospital treatment and medication, and the number of those with medical aid has fallen by a third. (Bhekisisa

Rising sea levels and coastal erosion are threatening the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people across West Africa. (VOA

Eritrea allowed use of one of its ports for a food aid shipment to South Sudan, marking the first time the World Food Program has used food assistance operations in Eritrea since 2006. (VOA

Eighteen influential Liberian civil society organizations warned today that efforts to forge a lasting peace are in jeopardy, threatened by the failure of Liberia’s legislature to pass a long-promised law recognizing the rights of rural communities to their customary lands. (CSO Working Group


The IMF has approved a three-year, $5.34 Billion loan for Iraq focused on implementing economic and financial policies to help the country cope with lower oil prices and ensure debt sustainability. (IMF

Turkey’s prime minister says he is sure relations will normalize with Syria. Bilateral relations collapsed as a result of Ankara’s backing of the Syrian opposition, but a major change in Turkish foreign policy could be in the offing. (VOA


India’s ambitious plans to develop infrastructure, mining and renewable energy threaten to force more of the most marginalized groups from their homes, widening inequality and fanning tensions, a global research group warned on Thursday. (Reuters

Philippine soldiers on Thursday killed 11 members of a Muslim guerrilla faction, an army commander said, underscoring volatility in the resource-rich south of the country as a new government seeks ways to end decades of conflict. (Reuters

An international rights group says a quarter of all Afghan children work for a living yet the government fails to protect them from injury, death or exploitation. (AP

Ineffectual attacks by the Islamic State group’s followers in Southeast Asia have shown them to be fragmented and lacking in the expertise that has produced devastating death tolls elsewhere in the world. (AP

The Americas

El Salvador’s Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional a 1993 law that prohibited the prosecution of crimes committed by the military and leftist guerillas during the Central American country’s bloody civil war. (Reuters

…and the rest

The United Nations on Thursday said Ukraine’s forces had indiscriminately shelled residents while pro-Russian insurgents and Kiev battalions had summarily killed civilians in what may have constituted “war crimes”. (AFP


Congress actually did something good! Here’s what you need to know about the new Global Food Security Act. (Global Dispatches podcast

Desertification: an ecological reality or a dangerous myth? (Guardian

The Global South’s Untold Human Rights Legacy (Inter Press Service

Making El Salvador’s abortion law more punitive would compound injustice (Guardian

What’s at stake in China’s claims to the South China Sea? (SF Gate