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Posted November 7 , 2013

Alert News Weekly

Peace hopes rise in Congo, no Syria peace talks in sight and Vatican says human trafficking is crime against humanity

Thomson/Reuters - The top humanitarian headlines this week include: Peace hopes rise in Congo, no Syria peace talks in sight and Vatican says human trafficking is crime against humanity.


DR CONGO: Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebel group has called an end to a 20-month revolt after the army captured its last hilltop strongholds, raising hopes for peace in a region where millions have died in nearly two decades of violence.

MALI: France will stick to its timetable for withdrawing troops from Mali despite a resurgence in violence and the killing of two French journalists, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says.

SOUTH SUDAN: Permanent residents of the disputed Abyei region have overwhelmingly voted to join South Sudan in a symbolic referendum that could antagonise heavily armed Arab nomads who drive their livestock through the area and claim it for Sudan.

KENYA: A Kenyan police crackdown on Islamists is fuelling Muslim resentment and moderate preachers say it undermines their efforts to counter recruiting by al Qaeda militants with links across the border in Somalia.


PHILIPPINES: The Philippines has evacuated coastal areas and put emergency workers on alert as a storm expected to grow into a super typhoon heads towards central islands still recovering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit last month.

REFUGEES AND DISPLACEMENT: Around 50 members of a Muslim minority in Myanmar are feared drowned after trying to flee Rakhine state in a boat that sank in the early hours of Sunday, according to a community leader and a security official.

NATURAL DISASTERS: A volcano has erupted on the western Indonesian island of Sumatra, forcing hundreds of villagers to evacuate, officials say. Mount Sinabung spewed a 7-km (4.3-mile) column of ash into the air on Sunday, prompting authorities to impose a 3-km evacuation radius.


SYRIA: Syrians in the capital Damascus say the problem of abuse and exploitation of civilians by armed groups has been exacerbated by the expansion of militias known as Popular Committees, which form part of President Bashar al-Assad's response to the uprising now in its third year.

ISRAEL/PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says peace talks with the Palestinians have failed to make real progress and he hopes visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can get them back on track.


HUMANITARIAN AID:  International aid agencies responding to major disasters are missing chances to improve the way they help survivors by failing to partner with local organisations, says a report by some of the biggest names in aid.

HUMAN RIGHTSHuman trafficking is a crime against humanity that should be recognised as such and punished by international or regional courts, a Vatican study group says.

MIGRANTS: Libya's navy has rescued 84 African emigrants from a boat that was foundering off its coast, state news agency Lana says, after hundreds drowned this month trying to reach Europe. Hundreds of people have died this month trying to reach Lampedusa, an island south of Sicily, by boat from North Africa. 


Colombia gov't, rebels to announce progress from peace talks  Reuters

Somalis win UK court reprieve on Barclays money transfers  Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Bodies of 7 kidnapped Afghans found, signs of torture officials - Reuters

Kosovo to repeat vote in Serb stronghold, challenging hardliners  Reuters

EXCLUSIVE-Chaos in Libya brings trouble importing food  Reuters

Heavy shooting lasting hours in Libya's capital Tripoli   Reuters

Global action needed to close 8-12 bln tonne emissions gap -UNEP   Reuters

Heavy rainfall worsening landmine peril for Kashmiri farmers - Ashutosh Sharma, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Shi'ite, Sunni fighters in Yemen agree ceasefire after 100 killed   Reuters

Restoring springs combats water scarcity in India's Himalayas   Sujit Chakraborty, Thomson Reuters Foundation

U.N. officials see risk of genocide in Central African Republic   Reuters

Q+A: Providing water for families so girls can get to school   Magda Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

BLOG: The key role of mainstream media in disaster management  Astrid Zweynert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

BLOG: Zamboanga in Mindanao still chaotic weeks after violent clashes   Joe Lowry, IOM

WFP cuts refugees  food rations in world s biggest camp, in Kenya - Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Nigerian army shoot own refugees at border, Cameroon blamed   Misha Hussain, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Africa urged to pursue homegrown climate change solutions - E.G. Woldegebriel, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Solar mosquito trap could reduce malaria in Western Kenya   Gitonga Njeru, Thomson Reuters Foundation


Fatal flooding in Peru

Syria's homes become the frontline in Aleppo

Bosnia mass grave 'may be biggest'

Congo army tracks rebels deep into mountain bases

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