The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a midyear report detailing the 3,812 civilian casualties in Afghanistan since Jan. 1, 2019. According to this report, Afghan government forces and their allies killed 717 civilians, while the Taliban and other militant groups have killed 531 civilians. Nonetheless, there was an overall 27% decrease in civilian casualties from the same period of 2018, with the decrease attributed to a shift away from ground engagements and suicide bombers. Aerial operations continued to be a rising cause of civilian casualties. The report also states that women are disproportionately affected by the ongoing attacks, not only due to loss of life or serious injury, but also secondary effects such as economic insecurity and displacement. In addition, women are at a higher risk of sexual violence and gender-based violence. (Photo: USAF)
More than 10,000 people have been reported killed in Yemen over the last five months, bringing the war’s total death toll to over 70,000 since 2016, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). While overall reported fatalities have trended downward this year amid a UN-backed peace process, fighting continues across the country and has even intensified in some areas, including the governorates of Taiz and Hajjah. The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for the highest number of reported civilian fatalities from direct targeting. (Photo: UNHCR via New Humanitarian)
The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression called for the restoration of telecommunication services in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Internet continues to be shut down across the DRC in the wake of Dec. 30 general elections. Authorities ordered closure of net the day after the vote due to "fictitious results" circulating on social media. The results of the election have now been postponed and the shutdown extends past its original end date. Both the opposition and ruling coalition say they are on track to win the election. Many citizens were not able to vote due to an Ebola outbreak, and the delay led to protests in the east of the country. The opposition has alleged irregularities and fraud, and there have been reports of militias forcing voters to vote for the ruling coalition. The election commission dismissed any problems as minor. (Photo via SoftPower)
With the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen launching a major offensive on the rebel-held port of Hodeidah, aid groups are warning of a humanitarian disaster on a scale far outstripping that already seen. Yemen is already considered the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 10.4 million people at risk of famine. Hodeidah is the entry point for 70% of the aid upon which over 22 million Yemenis depend. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned that a sustained battle or siege of Hodeidah could lead to the deaths of as many as 250,000 civilians. (Map via University of Texas)
In Yemen, the world's worst cholera outbreak is unfolding amid the world's largest humanitarian crisis, according to the heads of three United Nations agencies. "The country is on the brink of famine, with over 60% of the population not knowing where their next meal will come from," said UNICEF, the World Food Program and World Health Organization in a joint statement. The agencies stressed that 2 million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished, and in need of urgent aid.
Amid an alarming and fast-spreading cholera outbreak in Yemen, Saudi warplanes struck a hospital in Sa'ada governorate, killing several patients and demolishing the building.
A spokesperson for the United Nations made the organization's first-ever acknowledgment of responsibility for a cholera epidemic that has wracked Haiti since October 2010.
A US court has ruled that the UN can't be sued for actions by its "peacekeepers"—even for starting a deadly epidemic—unless the UN decides to waive its immunity.
An editorial in the "newspaper of record" and remarks by a top diplomat have raised hopes for a new US policy on Cuba—or is it another false alarm?
The UN has extended its military operation another year, but it still has to deal with the lawsuits and costs brought on by the cholera epidemic it introduced to Haiti.
The Internet conspiranoia crowd, led by the indefatigable Alex Jones, have jumped on the Boston attack in record time, even faster than they did with the Newtown massacre.