USA Slaps Sanctions on Burundi Officials

This follows a series of warnings from US officials about the deteriorating situation. It is the most direct intervention in the Burundi crisis yet from the US government. “The executive order sanctions Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, minister of public security; Godefroid Bizimana, deputy director-general of the national police; Godefroid Niyombare, major general and former chief of Burundi’s intelligence service; and Cyrille Ndayirukiye, former minister of defense. The order also leaves open the possibility of additional sanctions against those who have supported violence, human rights abuses and attacks against United Nations peacekeeping missions. The individuals who were sanctioned will face visa restrictions and blocked assets.” (Reuters

A Powerful Protest from Stranded Refugees…”A group of refugees stuck at the border between Greece and Macedonia for the past four days have sewn their mouths shut in protest. At least six Iranians have sewed their lips together, hoping to persuade Macedonia to open the border and let them through on their way to western Europe. They are joined by hundreds of other halted migrants, most hailing from Iran, Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who have been barred entry to Europe as a result of countries tightening their borders following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.” (HuffPo

Stat of the day: A worryingly high proportion of aid workers have experienced mental health issues. 79 percent of the 754 respondents to the mental health and wellbeing survey on the Global Development Professional Network stated that they had experienced mental health issues. (Guardian


Mali began three days of national mourning Monday for the victims of a jihadist siege at a luxury hotel that left at least 19 dead, with neighbouring Senegal, Mauritania and Guinea joining in solidarity. (AFP

Girl suicide bombers killed 12 people over the weekend in Nigeria and Cameroon, officials said Monday of the attackers who were stopped for routine searches. All five bombers also died, but they could have killed many more people. (AP

An activist campaigning for a separate state of Biafra in southeast Nigeria is being investigated for “terrorism and terrorism financing”, his lawyer said on Monday. (AFP

Banks that break Kenya’s anti-money laundering rules will lose their licenses, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday in his annual address to the nation. (Reuters

Mali state television showed images on Monday of two men, apparently dead, that it said were the “authors” of an attack by Islamist militants on a luxury hotel in the capital Bamako and appealed for information as to their identity. (Reuters

Unseasonably heavy rains last week in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions during the dry season will boost chances for a large and healthy main crop, farmers said on Monday, but there were concerns about too little sunshine. (Reuters

Hundreds of trucks plying the Trans National Highway from Bamenda, Cameroon to Enugu, Nigeria are parked in Cameroon by drivers protesting what they call illegal harassment and extortion by Cameroon authorities. The drivers say several of their leaders have been arrested. (VOA



Recent attacks with chlorine and mustard gas on the battlefield in Syria show that the use chemical weapons in the civil war is becoming routine, a U.S. official said on Monday. (Reuters

Egyptian security officials say six Sudanese migrants were killed and 17 wounded during a gun battle between Egyptian security forces and smugglers as they tried to illegally enter Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (AP

The Israeli army on Monday prohibited Palestinians from entering a large settlement bloc in the occupied West Bank after the weekend stabbing death of a 21-year-old woman and a shooting attack last week. (AFP

Bahraini security forces are torturing detainees during interrogation as regulatory bodies set up after the 2011 uprising “lack independence” and officials are not held accountable, Human Rights Watch said Monday. (AFP

Global efforts to combat the Islamic State group gathered pace Monday as British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged solidarity during a visit to France and Russian leader Vladimir Putin met his allies in Iran. (AFP

Flights to and from two northern Iraqi airports were suspended for 48 hours beginning on Monday due to danger posed by Russian cruise missiles heading for neighbouring Syria, officials said. (AFP


The Australian government remained committed to resettling 12,000 Syrian refugees, but security checks could take more than a year, officials said Monday. (AP

Indonesia’s biodiesel consumption is seen soaring to 7.9 million kilolitres next year from 1.1-1.2 kilolitres in 2015, an industry body said, adding that increased demand was crucial for the country’s to meet its commitments on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. (Reuters

Bangladesh accused Pakistan on Monday of interfering in its internal affairs by criticizing the execution of two opposition leaders for alleged war crimes during the country’s 1971 war of independence. (AP

Six years after gunmen flagged down a convoy of cars in the southern Philippine province and massacred all 58 occupants, relatives of the victims said Monday they are losing hope of seeing justice, especially after one of the accused was released on bail. (AP

Rescuers were searching for victims of a huge mine landslide in northern Myanmar Monday as the toll passed 100 in a disaster highlighting the perils of the country’s secretive billion-dollar jade trade. (AFP

Keeping state leaders away from the negotiations will play a major role in ensuring that crucial talks on a new global climate deal in Paris next week proceed smoothly, China’s top climate change negotiator said in an interview on Monday. (Reuters

The incoming government of Myanmar, led by the National League for Democracy, is expected to focus on improving the country’s agricultural sector and building on reforms launched by the government of President Thein Sein. (VOA

The Americas

Conservative Mauricio Macri has been confirmed as the winner in Argentina’s presidential elections after his ruling party opponent conceded. (BBC

Federal officials say another group of Syrian refugees has turned themselves in to immigration authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP

A torrent of mud unleashed by a dam burst at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil is contaminating the Atlantic Ocean. (AP

Well into their drive to make Chile’s wines less about bang-for-your-buck and more about premium vino, vintners in the world’s fourth largest wine exporter are watching some of their promising vines wither with climate change. (Reuters

…and the rest

Britain will create a $1.5 billion fund to combat malaria and other infectious diseases in a move the UK chancellor described as a “fundamental restructuring of Britain’s aid budget” to focus on prosperity and security. (Guardian

Weather-related disasters have grown more frequent over the last 20 years, claiming more than 600,000 lives, the UN said Monday, issuing a further call for nations to strike a landmark deal on climate change. (AFP

The Irish government will have to issue at least 1,000 work permits to non-EU migrant fishermen – double the number announced by the government last week – if they want to provide protection to all those currently working on Irish trawlers, according to representatives from the Irish fishing industry. (Guardian

The European Union said Monday it has opened a probe to establish whether Hungary’s financing of two new nuclear reactors constitutes illegal state aid. (AP

Pfizer and Allergan are joining in the biggest buyout of the year, a $160 billion stock deal that will create the world’s largest drugmaker. (AP

Brussels is more accustomed to the toing and froing of European diplomats than to truckloads of soldiers patrolling the streets. Its stores and markets should be bustling in the runup to Christmas. (AP


Global Dispatches episode 88: Rabia Chaudry, best known for her role in the podcast Serial, discusses islamophobia in America.

No, Rwanda didn’t “fiddle” its poverty stats (Roving Bandit

Cutting aid in order to support refugees will allow extremism to thrive (Guardian

Looking beyond food aid to tackle malnutrition in Sudan (Devex

Africans Wonder What Pope Francis’ Visit Will Achieve for the Continent (Global Voices

Who opposed Australia’s aid cuts? (Dev Policy

The Return of the Migrants: Do Employers Value their Foreign Work Experience? (Development Impact

Jim Kim: Historic opportunity to end poverty will be lost if we don’t tackle climate change (Guardian

Big data in development evaluation (Wait What?

Refugees need freedom, not handouts (Africa is a Country

Contribution vs Attribution – A Pointless Debate (Aid Leap