Weekly News Round Up (18/8/14)

22 August 2014

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly news monitor. HART works specifically in areas that are not generally served by major aid organisations, but whose people are suffering from oppression, exploitation and persecution. We will be giving a weekly summary of news from these regions, from our partners, and from HART.

News from HART:

➢ On Tuesday we celebrated World Humanitarian Day by sharing the stories and achievements of some of HART’s inspirational #HumanitarianHeroes. Please take the time to READ and SHARE the stories of our #HumanitarianHeroes, which can be found here.

➢ Baroness Cox has joined a group of 91 individuals and organisations in writing to South Sudanese leaders, urging them to immediately end the conflict, commit to the peace process and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid. The full text of the letter can be found here.

➢ We released a new blog on continuing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Read it here: Conflict continues in Nagorno-Karabakh as violence disrupts the Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire line’.

➢ Baroness Cox was interviewed by Panorama on the intensification of ceasefire breaches by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. Read the interview here.


Country updates:


➢ Independent observers state that Burma’s first nationwide census in three decades was conducted successfully and in line with international standards across the country, with the exception of Arakan State where the Rohingya people were excluded.

MSF urges the Burmese government to follow through on a commitment to let them resume work in Arakan state, warning that healthcare there has seriously deteriorated since it was expelled.

➢ Farmers who engaged in protests in Mandalay Division against the land grabs by the military have been sentenced for up to 8 months in prison for trespassing.

➢ A 22-year-old Burmese man is being tested for the Ebola virus having arrived in Rangoon from West Africa suffering from a fever and malaise.


➢ Indian activist Irom Sharmila Chanu has been re-arrested by police two days after she was freed on a court order. Ms Chanu has been on a hunger strike for 14 years in protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Manipur which grants the Indian armed forces an array of sweeping powers.


➢ This week sees a continuation in the outbreak of conflict between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR). The NKR Defence Ministry has reported 40 Azerbaijani ceasefire violations between August 20th and 21st including 400 shots fired at the Karabakh frontline positions.

➢ The US Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, makes a plea to both sides to start negotiations on Karabakh in an attempt to secure peace.

➢ Azerbaijan continues its repression of human rights advocates, independent journalists and a number of media and campaigning organisations.

➢ Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Azerbaijani prisoner of conscience Leyla Yunus and her husband.

➢ To learn more, please read our blog: ‘Conflict continues in Nagorno-Karabakh as violence disrupts the Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire line


➢ Boko Haram militants continue to storm villages, kidnapping men, women and children. Last week, almost 100 victims were reportedly rescued from insurgents. Yan St. Pierre, CEO of a Berlin-based security-consulting firm, said kidnapped victims are often forced to kill people they know or love: “it makes them be in a position where they can’t go back.”

➢ The Famine Early Warning Systems Network has predicted acute food insecurity in north-eastern areas of Nigeria until December at the earliest. The on-going conflict continues to cause both internal and cross-border population displacements and has reduced market function and trade flow.

➢ A group of Nigerian soldiers are refusing to fight Boko Haram until they receive better equipment. One of the soldiers stated: “Soldiers are dying like fowl… The Nigerian army is not ready to fight Boko Haram.”

➢ A UN official for Nigeria has commented on the importance of restoring the integrity and dignity of returning schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants, and restoring the girls back into a “safe space” in society.

South Sudan

➢ A Human Rights Watch (HRW) press release on Wednesday (20/8/14) reported that forces loyal to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir deployed child soldiers during fighting in Unity State last Friday (14/08/14).

➢ Thousands of IDPs in Wau County are still in deteriorating humanitarian conditions due to food and medical shortages. Radio Tamazuj has been told that the number of IDPs in Buseri southwest of Wau town now stands at 4,825.

➢ Médicins sans Frontières (MSF) has warned that the conditions at UN’s South Sudan camp near Bentiu are inhumane. 40,000 people are recorded at this UN camp, displaced by South Sudan’s Civil War and conditions have worsened with the rainy season.

➢ The SPLA-Juba spokesman has confirmed that clashes broke out on the 21st in Doleib area of Upper Nile State and that it was launched by rebels from northern Jonglei.

➢ To learn more, please read intern Hannah Todd’s blog: ‘South Sudan: the risk of ‘silent famine’ escalates as conflict continues


➢ Fresh clashes between the Rizeigat and Ma’aliya tribes broke out in East Darfur on the 20th August leaving 137 people either dead or wounded. This has been described as the worst violence since fighting started last week.

➢ Over 90,000 people are reported to face dire conditions in SPLA-North (rebel) held Blue Nile. This is according to the head of the SPLM-N humanitarian affairs committee, Hashim Orta. He said that the Khartoum government is still refusing to allow aid organisations to provide assistance to Blue Nile and South Kordofan.


➢ Timor-Leste’s controversial media law which aims to regulate the press was deemed unconstitutional by the country’s Court of Appeal.

➢ A project has been launched to help improve maternal health care by increasing communication between mothers and midwives using mobile phones.


➢ Following the implementation of several successful measures over the past two years, the number of HIV infections transmitted through mother-to-child has significantly reduced.

➢ Uganda is deemed to be on high alert’ over the Ebola outbreak

One killed and hundreds are displaced by floods in Kasese after rivers Mubuku and Nyamwamba burst their banks on Tuesday.

➢ Malaria is still the biggest killer disease in Uganda claiming the lives of approximately 80,000 people every year. The US and the UK announced their support for Uganda on Thursday in alleviating the effects of malaria. The UK has agreed to provide £34 million.

➢ More than 70 refugees from South Sudan enter Uganda on a daily basis. Titus Jogo (officer in charge of Adjuman refugee desk) urges humanitarian organisations to prioritise the needs of these refugees.

➢ To learn more please read intern Kathryn McDonagh’s blog: Can we overcome the stigma of HIV/AIDS in Northern Uganda?


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