January 30th, 2015

Weekly News Round Up (30/01/15)

Burma

  • Last Sunday, three Kachin men from the village of Malun Banka near the Shan State border have gone missing after reportedly being stopped by Burmese soldiers on their way to work at a charcoal kiln.
  • According to UNICEF, Burma was making efforts to eliminate underage army recruitment. Thus far the army is currently charging 50 officers and 277 non-commissioned rank. A further 42 child soldiers resigned on January 23rd.
  • “The authorities in Burma should stop arresting peaceful protesters and immediately and unconditionally free those imprisoned, Human Rights Watch said [on Tuesday]. Burma’s donors should press for amendments to Burmese law so that it protects the rights to freedom of assembly, association, and expression.”
  • According to Mizzima, Amnesty International will launch a new report on the Myanmar mining sector, exposing how the authorities and companies “collude to reap profits from human rights violations”. The report will be presented on February 10th at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Bangkok.
  • Karen rebels have teamed up with the Burmese government to build a new “model village” for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southeastern Karen State, The Irrawaddy has confirmed.

 

Nagorno-Karabakh

  • The OSCE Minsk Group, tasked with conflict prevention and resolution in the region, issued a press release expressing their concern over recent incidents resulting in casualties across the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijan border. It called on Azerbaijan to ‘observe its commitments to a peaceful resolution’, while the Armenian side should take all measures to reduce tensions.
  • In the early hours of 29th January, OSCE inspectors conducting a monitoring in the direction of Berkaber and Farahli villages established that there were no cases of ceasefire violations. Immediately upon the departure of the OSCE inspectors, the Azerbaijani side reportedly broke the ceasefire agreement and opened fire.

 

Nigeria

 

South Sudan

  • Some 3,000 child soldiers will be released following a deal with state and rebels. On Tuesday 27th January, 280 children were released from the ranks of the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA).
  • The International Crisis Group has released a report on Sudan and South Sudan’s merging conflict. It details the need for better coordination by regional organisations and more engagement by outside powers, notably China, the US and the UNSC.

 

Sudan

  • According to a statement by the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), some of their militants brought down a UN helicopter in a rebel-held area located east of the capital of South Kordofan state, Kadugli.
  • On Wednesday, The African Union’s executive council approved a draft resolution demanding the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) cancel its resolution referring Sudan to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Following the Sudanese Air Force’s bombardment last week of a Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) hospital, the group announced on Thursday that it will cease operations in South and East Darfur, and in Blue Nile. Operations in South Kordofan are currently suspended. Certain operations in South Sudan were also suspended.
  • On Thursday, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that Ban condemned and was deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities between the government and the rebel groups in Darfur, adding “at least 36,000 civilians have been displaced in Darfur due to these hostilities”.

 

Timor-Leste

  • The Authority of the Special Administrative Region of Oe-Cusse Ambeno will receive US$102.43 million funding for the 2014 and 2015 budget. The sum was agreed during a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on 23rd

 

Uganda

  • The L.R.A. commander Dominic Ongwen, who faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, made his first appearance before the I.C.C. in The Hague on Monday 26th The briefing included the confirmation of his identity and that he understood the charges against him. At present, he is not required to enter a plea. Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova set 24th August 2015 as the date for a hearing where judges will decide whether the evidence is strong enough to merit a full trial.
  • A mass trial will be soon under way as a dozen suspects appeared before a Ugandan court to face charges of murder and terrorism while involved in a Congo-based Islamic extremist group.

 


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