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4 August 2017
HART News Round Up – 4th August 2017
- Body count rises to six in latest northern Arakan violence. The buddhists are believed to have stumbled upon a camp for Rohingya Muslim militants.
- People have the right to criticize a democratically elected government, Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said on Thursday amid criticism of her government’s lack of progress and failure to protect press freedom.
- Buddhists in Myanmar attack Christian villagers for holding late-night church services – about 150 Buddhists and monks threw stones and broke into houses of Christians celebrating new converts.
- Three Villagers Found Mutilated in Myanmar’s Rathedaung Township – At least 44 civilians have been killed and 27 have been kidnapped or gone missing in northern Rakhine in the past nine months, according to the government.
- Only minor changes passed to Telecommunication Law – The amendment allowed for bail, but a proposal to do away with jail time for alleged defamatory posts on Facebook or other social media was voted down.
- Chinese Troops Sent to Burma Border – Chinese troops are positioning along the China-Burma border in preparation of further conflict between the Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) and rebels.
- Indonesia will always support Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh issue, The Indonesian ambassador has said.
- The Trump administration has approved a $600 million sale of high-technology attack planes and equipment to Nigeria despite ongoing human rights concerns. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency has said the aircraft would support Nigerian military operations against Boko Haram and Islamic State terrorists and monitor drug, weapons and human trafficking.
- Authorities in Nigeria on Thursday accused 40 males, including 12 minors, of engaging in “gay activities” in a hotel in Lagos, the latest example of the country’s anti-homosexuality stance. Human Rights Watch have described this as the legitimization of abuse against LGBT people.
- Boko Haram militants reportedly attacked the village of Mildu, located near Madagali in Adawama state (northeastern Nigeria), on Wednesday, August 2. According to local sources, militants set fire to several houses and shops, forcing villagers to flee. At least six people were killed and three injured. Security forces deployed in the area reportedly fired back, killing one assailant.
- Famine Looms in North-East Nigeria As Food Crisis Worsens. Food security experts have predicted a rise in the number of people facing crisis, emergency and famine conditions from 4.7 million to 5.2 million in the affected region including at least 50,000 people that would be affected by famine-like conditions. by the end of August.
- A suicide bomber killed 14 people, including herself, after detonating explosives in a building housing people displaced by Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria. The bomber also injured 24 others in last Friday night’s attack in the town of Dikwa.
- Nigeria has scaled up its military response to the Boko Haram insurgency and will secure the northeast, the acting president’s spokesman said on Sunday, adding that the search for oil workers abducted by suspected members of the jihadist group will go on.
- Dozens of people were killed last week in a Boko Haram ambush on an oil exploration team – geologists from the University of Maiduguri who were with some officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the Lake Chad region. The army said on Wednesday that 10 people were killed in the attack. But one source involved in dealing with the aftermath told AFP news agency on Thursday: “The death toll keeps mounting. Now we have more than 50… and more bodies are coming in.”
- Following the attack on the oil tram, the Nigerian Army has apologised to the public for issuing a statement that turned out to be false on last week’s attack on the team of geologists. The military institution had claimed to have rescued all the NNPC workers who were carrying out a survey on oil exploration in the Lake Chad and that nine of its soldiers were killed during the ambush. But the claim that all the workers were rescued turned out to be false. Read the full statement here.
- Nigeria’s Lagos State said on Friday that they had secured the release of six school boys who were abducted from their school in May this year. The boys were abducted from their school, Igbonla-Epe Model College, on May 25, 2017 and till today were held by their abductors. It is, however, not known whether ransom was paid to secure their release.
- At least 17 people starved to death due to lack of food in South Sudan’s Wau state, an official said on Thursday. The commissioner said not only food was lacking, adding that the people too badly needed medical services due to their bad health, as the situation becomes increasingly desperate.
- On Wednesday, August 2, heavily-armed unidentified men ambushed a bus convoy on the Juba-Nimule highway – the main road linking the capital Juba with the Ugandan border. According to a police spokesperson, at least four civilians were killed and ten others were wounded in the attack, and the death toll is expected to rise. Two of the attackers were also reportedly killed by gunfire from soldiers who were escorting the convoy.
- The head of peacekeeping operations at the United Nations on Tuesday called for cooperation with South Sudan government to expedite deployment of regional protection forces in the war-torn nation.
- According to a Human Rights Watch report released on Tuesday, South Sudanese government and opposition leaders have failed to halt atrocity crimes, including killings, rape, and forced displacement, or to hold those responsible to account.
- South Sudan’s armed opposition forces under the command of Major General Emmanuel Yangu reportedly attacked Lanyi garrison after heavy fighting with pro-government forces and allegedly killed eight of the regime soldiers.
- The first elements of the Reconnaissance Company of the Mechanised Infantry Battalion heading to Juba in South Sudan have left Rwanda on 30 July 2017. Its mandate is to provide a secure environment in and around Juba, following a request by the United Nations.
- At least 20,000 rebel troops loyal to South Sudan’s Former First Vice-President, Riek Machar have allegedly declared allegiance to the National Salvation Front (NASA), led by ex-South Sudan army’s deputy chief of logistics, Gen. Cirilo Swaka.
- South Sudan’s cabinet last Friday approved a military cooperation deal signed with neighboring Ethiopia. It said the defense pact will be developed into a series of agreements between the two countries.
- El Hilu’s SPLM-N Faction Declares Six-Month Unilateral Cease Fire
- Sudanese leader Bashir, wanted by ICC, arrives in Morocco – Morocco is a signatory of the ICC, yet Bashir continues to travel with impunity.
- The head of the global Anglican church, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has declared Muslim-majority Sudan as the 39th province of the church.
- Sudanese army threatens to use force to collect illegal weapons in Darfur – Ibn Ouf said the “the army is keen to impose the authority of the state and collect [illegal] weapons from the residents even if it requires the use of force”.
- Opposition Calls for Readmission Darfuri Students – The letter also urged the establishment of a committee of inquiry to investigate the alleged discriminatory actions by a number of lecturers at the Bakht El Rida University against Darfuri students.
- The prime minister of East Timor, Rui Maria de Araujo, said the country is “ready to become a member,” with regard to the state’s aim to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is uncertain whether all 10 member nations will recognize East Timor’s accession to the association.
- The United States Navy and the Timor Leste navy this week staged a joint exercise as part of the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) exercise, which aims to boost maritime security capabilities and increase interoperability among participants.
- The Government of Uganda is proud to host the Ninth Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Kampala from today July 31, to August 4, 2017. This meeting will bring together Youth Ministers, Youth Leaders, Youth Workers and Youth Sector Stakeholders from across the Commonwealth Countries and beyond. This meeting will be conducted under the Theme“Resourcing and Financing Youth Development: Empowering the Young People”
- There was panic in Rubirizi District in Western Uganda on Sunday following an earthquake that shook the ground for several seconds, disturbing Sunday morning prayers.
- Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of Uganda, has disclosed that he will not attend the next meeting of Anglican leaders citing the gradual acceptance of same-sex marriage by the church. He said he was not prepared to engage with people who took ‘an unbiblical view of marriage.’
- Twelve Ugandan soldiers were killed and seven others injured in an ambush by al-Shabab Islamic extremists in southern Somalia on Sunday, Uganda’s military said Monday.