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12 August 2016
News From HART:
- Next Friday is World Humanitarian Day. Keep an eye out for some features about our partner countries!
- Read Meg Kneafsey’s blog post on the history of conflict in Uganda here. If you’re a HART Ambassador, get in touch with Satya at email@example.com to write a blog post for the website.
— UN OCHA Sudan (@UNOCHA_Sudan) August 7, 2016
- The new civilian government under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi has announced ground breaking reforms of Myanmar’s controversial jade trade. This includes freezing any renewals of existing jade permits and suspending the licensing of new ones. The jade trade has been symbolic of the legacy of cronyism, corruption and abuse left by decades of ruthless military dictatorship.
- Read more on Joshua Colebourne’s recent blog: Burma’s Jade is lucrative business but will its people ever see the benefit?
- Ethnic armed groups have called for more time to prepare for peace negotiations in Panglong. A representative of the Shan state council said after meeting with government officials that they would need more time “for reviewing and amending the framework if the political dialogue”.
- Three armed ethnic groups refuse to lay down their arms in order to participate in the government’s Panglong Peace Conference at the end of the month. However, it is still unclear to what extent disarmament is a precondition for participation in the conference.
- India has launched a campaign on social media to celebrate daughters and women with a ‘Daughter’s Week’ that aims to spread the message that female children should be valued. The campaign is part of efforts to change attitudes towards women in the country and was launched by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.
— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) August 8, 2016
- A new report has warned businesses that they run an extreme risk of being linked to modern forms of slavery if engaged with the economies of India and China for goods and raw materials.
- The UN’s International Organisation for Migration have warned that the trafficking of Nigerian women from Libya to Italy by boat is reaching ‘crisis’ levels. The UN claims that 80% of those arriving will be trafficked into prostitution across Europe.
- A group of eminent Nigerians have called on Buhari to do more to respond to economic hardships in the country, particularly drawing attention to the poor performance of his ministers. This is the latest in a series of criticisms of the Buhari government with many lamenting what they see as a loss of credibility.
- On Wednesday the US announced a $37 million package of humanitarian assistance for those affected by insurgency and severe food insecurity in Nigeria and its neighbours.
- The South Sudanese government has turned down a proposal to take 4,000 additional UN troops to supplement the 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in the country, claiming the move ‘seriously undermines the sovereignty’ of the country.
- The UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, has described the humanitarian situation in South Sudan as ‘catastrophic’ after a visit to the country last week. According to the UN some 6.1 million people (over half of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance.
- South Sudan’s foreign minister Deng Alor has reported that the government has requested a $1.9 billion loan from China to develop key oil fields damaged by the civil war.
- The South Sudanese Government has halted spending on all goods and services until the next budget has been passed. The new financial year was expected to start on July 1st but the Transitional Government has failed to prepare the new budget.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) August 10, 2016
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has welcomed the signing of a Roadmap Agreement for peace and dialogue by Sudanese opposition groups to end conflicts in Sudan. The opposition groups signed the AU-proposed Roadmap Agreement on Monday, more than four months after the government of Sudan signed it
- On Tuesday, the SPLM-N expressed readiness for a one-year truce and the delivery of humanitarian assistance
- Ahead of discussions on the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the SPLM-N expressed readiness for a one-year truce and the delivery of humanitarian assistance from inside and outside Sudan.
- The UN expects that by the end of the year a further 80,000 people will have fled South Sudan to Uganda generating an urgent need for funding to scale up relief efforts in Northern Uganda. Since the outbreak of violence in July, 70,000 refugees have arrived in Uganda, more than during the whole of 2015.
- A minister has said that Uganda has removed more than 5,500 suspected ‘ghost’ civil servants from the payroll in efforts to tackle corruption in the public sector.