LATimes: Can Somalia dare to hope for the future? – After a year of relative peace in Mogadishu and the recent adoption of a new constitution, many are hoping that “this latest stab at shedding the ‘failed state’ label might actually work.” On Monday, Somalia is supposed to have a new president, who will be chosen by the country’s new parliament, which was elected by clan elders. Many Somalis and the main international players do not see the country as ready for real democracy, fearing it could upset the “delicate balance of power between the clans and lead to more bloodshed.” (Robyn Dixon)
NYTimes: Sudanese Official among 32 Killed in Plane Crash – An airplane carrying a Sudanese cabinet minister and 31 others crashed on Sunday in a mountainous region in southern Sudan, killing everyone on board. The plane was flying in rainy weather to South Kordofan and the plane’s radio report indicates that it was trying to land in “harsh weather conditions” when it hit a mountain.
Devex: Barriers to sub-Saharan Africa’s progress on water, sanitation – According to a new African Development Bank report, “difference in financial and operational capacities among governments” are the two major factors impeding progress on water and sanitation-related development goals in sub-Saharan Africa. The report sites understaffing, lack of technical qualification, inadequate national capacities to implement national strategies, and a lack of adequate operation and maintenance programs in donor-financed projects. (Ivy Mungcal)
VOA: UN Marks World Humanitarian Day – The United Nations observed World Humanitarian Day on August 19, honoring “humanitarian workers who put their lives at risk on behalf of millions of destitute, conflict-ridden people worldwide.” Approximately 31 humanitarian workers have been killed this year, and humanitarian workers face particular risks in Syria, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Haiti and the Ivory Coast. (Lisa Schlein)