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Looming polls raise Burundi’s risk profile

BUJUMBURA, 17 April 2014 (IRIN) - As Burundi gears up for elections at some yet-to-be-determined date next year, several issues are setting the crisis needle twitching: politically-instigated violence; restrictions on opposition activities and the press; the erosion of a power-sharing peace deal; and the president's allegedly unconstitutional bid to run for a third term. full report

Burundi’s avoidable flood deaths

BUJUMBURA, 18 February 2014 (IRIN) - Building and planning code violations were largely to blame for the deaths - amid torrential rain earlier this month - of dozens of people in Burundi’s capital, and the destruction there of 3,500 homes, according to a leading urban planning expert who noted that numerous reports had warned of just such an eventuality. full report

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty

DAKAR, 10 February 2014 (IRIN) - Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 4 February 2014 (IRIN) - Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts. full report

Life-saving hepatitis C drug approved, but cost is high

New York, 23 December 2013 (IRIN) - Following approvals in the US and Europe this month of a new drug to treat hepatitis C, activists are pushing for the medication to be made available in poor countries. full report

Alarm over Burundi’s planned constitution changes

BUJUMBURA, 18 December 2013 (IRIN) - Plans by Burundi’s government to make radical amendments to the constitution have raised the political temperature in a country striving to overcome the effects of a civil war fought between 1993 and 2005. full report

Is Africa ready for GM?

KISUMU/KAMPALA, 27 November 2013 (IRIN) - Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition. full report

Senegal on the frontline of the battle with Big Tobacco

DAKAR, 19 November 2013 (IRIN) - Djité Sekou, 32, smokes as he passes his nights guarding one of the many high-rise apartment buildings in Dakar, Senegal. It has been eight years since his first cigarette - a Monte Carlo from Morocco - and when money is available he goes through 20 to 30 per day. It is an addiction that can cost him up to a quarter of his monthly income. full report

Burundi's land conundrum

BUJUMBURA, 14 November 2013 (IRIN) - Burundi is preparing to receive thousands of its refugees from Uganda in a voluntary repatriation exercise. Their return will follow that of around 30,000 compatriots expelled by Tanzania earlier in 2013, and that of a similar number obliged to return in late 2012 after they lost their refugee status. full report

Humanitarian crisis looms for migrants expelled by Tanzania

NAIROBI, 19 September 2013 (IRIN) - Tanzania has forcibly expelled 15,000 Burundi and 7,000 Rwandan nationals, who were accused of living in the country illegally, in a move that relief agencies warn is leading to a humanitarian crisis. full report

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