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26 February 2016
News from HART
- Baroness Cox has returned from her visits to Australia and East Timor.
- The HART team looks forward to receiving the last of the entries for the HART Prize for Human Rights competition with a quickly approaching deadline of 11.59pm tonight.
- The job vacancy for the position of Finance Manager at HART is still open. Application deadline is on 7th March.
- A female-only self-defense training center was launched in Rangoon on Wednesday with the aim of teaching women how to protect themselves when faced with sexual harassment, transforming potential victims into great opponents for any aggressor. In an increasingly unsafe society, Burmese women are often discouraged from going out in public alone and are incited to stay home. The Myanmar Women’s Self Defense Center aims to empower women with a course that will include six sessions in self-defence skills, including one briefing concerning Burmese laws related to women.
Women in #Rangoon Confront Harassment as Opponents, Not Victims#Burma, #Myanmarhttps://t.co/RnlMpif6Gv pic.twitter.com/P0iOBBNM15
— The Irrawaddy (@IrrawaddyNews) 26 February 2016
- Hundreds of Burma Army troops have reportedly been deployed to areas of northern Shan State since February 23rd, as fighting has intensified between the Ta’ang and Shan armed groups this month. It has been claimed that the presence of the Burma Army will only increase the fighting. This unrest has caught the attention of the international community as the EU has urged restraint on all sides and calls for dialogue in order to immediately end hostilities.
- Caste protests in Haryana state have caused water rationing and school closures as mobs forced the closure of a canal in Haryana that takes water to the capital’s treatment plants.
- India has made the decision to allow women in combat roles in all areas of the armed forces.
- A Dalit family from Lakshimipura-Bhandu – an upper-caste dominated hamlet of Mehsana district – is finally promised financial and construction assistance to build a toilet after a three year-long struggle.
- Indian business leaders have spoken out against Britain leaving the EU as a result of the economic impact it could have on Indian businesses.
- Claims by AzerNews have been made to suggest that a US official believes that Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may escalate in 2016, in connection with Azerbaijan’s sustained military build-up and declining economic conditions.
- Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani met in Tehran on Tuesday 23rd to discuss bilateral ties and signed 11 documents on cooperation in transportation, cross-border transfers of electricity, health and medical sciences, customs regulations, and the trade of oil and natural gas.
- Freedom House has released its yearly report this week, titled ‘Freedom in the World 2016’, which has esteemed Armenia’s and Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s freedom records to significantly outdo those of Azerbaijan.
- Boko Haram’s insurgency in northern Nigeria has left almost 6,500 children severely malnourished in IDP camps. Furthermore, about 450 children died of malnutrition in 28 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Borno state in 2015 .
- The Nigerian army has established an office for human rights in Abuja to continue training officers about the need to respect the rights of citizens in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
- Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, has alleged that there are politicians in Nigeria who supported the activities of the Boko Haram sect in their lust for power.
- Vice President James Wani Igga has called for troops everywhere in South Sudan to stop fighting, saying the ongoing violence is breeding suspicion about whether the parties are genuinely committed to peace. He said, “There is need for us in South Sudan to totally cease fire, according to the agreement, everywhere, we must cease fire, so that we can begin to develop the trust and confidence.”
- United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan have apologised for failure to repel an attack on a protection of civilians’ site in Malakal last week: “We are really sorry, and sorry is an understatement.” 18 civilians were killed and over 80 others injured when youths from Shilluk and Dinka Padang communities clashed at an UN Protection of Civilians site hosting nearly 50,000 civilians.
- South Sudanese government has proposed a referendum to determine the number of states through which the country should be governed.
- The South Kordofan Blue Nile Coordination Unit released an update on the humanitarian situation in the Two Areas, highlighting that attacks in the areas have resumed and that emergency food shortages are predicated imminently. Read the update on our website here.
- The chairman of the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar has appealed to the international community to put pressure on the Sudanese government to achieve comprehensive peace in the country.
- Governors of four Darfur states said the registration rate for the administrative referendum in their states has reached 80%. Last week however, Darfur’s IDPs and refugees association rejected the referendum and considered it a trivial move in light of the continued conflict and displacement in the region – they demand security and compensation before anything else. The authorities in Saraf Omra locality in North Darfur have threatened to forcibly deport the 37,000 population living in the Jebel and Dankoi camps if they do not register for the Darfur referendum.
- On Monday, Sudan Tribune reported that Saudi Arabia has granted five billion dollar military assistance to Sudan that had initially been dedicated to the Lebanese army.
- Around 3,000 people marched to the Australian embassy in the Timor-Leste capital of Dili demanding that the Australian government settle a maritime dispute.
- Election results are out: 60.75% of the vote went to Museveni, who will now enter into his fifth term extending his 30-year rule, Kizza Besigye took 35%, according to Uganda’s election commission.
- Besigye maintains that the voting was rigged and is encouraging defiance among the Ugandan people while held under house arrest.
- This is impeding on his and his party’s attempts to dispute Museveni’s win. Under Ugandan law, Besgiye has 10 days to formally challenge the results of the elections, although he is currently unable to leave his house to take any action towards this. The EU mission has called on Uganda to release the detailed election results, as to allow voters and the candidates to comprehensively evaluate the election results.
EU mission calls on Uganda to release detailed election results https://t.co/sLZaEkM5Fm via @todayng pic.twitter.com/VAZVcobQFn
— Nigeria Newsdesk (@NigeriaNewsdesk) February 26, 2016
- Outside of the elections, an inspiring story has emerged about how a woman named Jamila Mayanja overcame the stigma of female entrepreneurship in Uganda, sending out an empowering message for gender equality and social innovation in Uganda.