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Hart News Round Up – 18th August 2017
Saturday 19 August is World Humanitarian Day, a global campaign advocating for aid workers who risk their lives to work in war-torn countries, and innocent civilians whose lives and communities are ripped apart by conflict. HART’s partners work in impossible circumstances, working against the odds to bring stability, education and healthcare to their local communities. The theme this year is #NotATarget. Click here to join the campaign.
- Rights groups slam ‘outrageous’ Indian plan to deport Rohingya – It comes as India decided to deport all Rohingya migrants, including those registered as refugees with the UN refugee agency.
- Tens of thousands protest against aid agencies in Myanmar’s west – as the world this week celebrates international humanitarian day, buddhist monks have protested against what they see as aid agencies helping rohingya insurgency groups.
- People’s Militias to be established with ethnic Rakhine for Maungdaw area defence – The plan comes as local political parties have called for action over local ‘terrorist groups’.
- Army Defends Kachin State Clearance Operations – three military representatives said the army would take actions in accordance with the Constitution against those who they deem saboteurs of the country and the people, and who cause damage to the environment.
- Burma Deploys Army Battalion to Beef up Security in Turbulent Rakhine State – Though the crackdown ended in February, security forces continue to patrol the tri-township area where disappearances, murders, attacks on patrolmen, and periodic killings by troops continue to occur.
- Canadian-Armenian community up in arms over Canadian defence exports to Azerbaijan – “The decision to furnish arms to a country which regularly threatens peace in the region is one that violates all the principles that we as Canadians stand for, and which Global Affairs Canada seeks to promote in the world.”
- Nagorno-Karabakh conflict moves from frozen to kinetic – Given the strategic significance of the emerging threat from renewed a war over Nagorno-Karabakh, the imperative is to engage now, before this kinetic conflict spirals dangerously out of control.
- Israeli Arms Manufacturer Alleged To Have Attacked Armenia From Azerbaijan – Officials from an Israeli arms manufacturer fired two drone missiles from Azerbaijan into Armenian-held territory, according to a complaint under investigation by the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
- Karabakh soldier shot dead by Azerbaijani fire – Armenian soldier Arman S. Movsisyan was fatally wounded in one of the military posts of the Defense Army of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the northeast direction as a result of the Azerbaijani fire.
- The mass abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok – the biggest publicity coup of Boko Haram’s jihadist insurgency – was the accidental outcome of a botched robbery, say the girls who spent three years in their brutal captivity.
- Three female suicide bombers have carried out an attack that has killed at least 27 people in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say. This comes after the news that Boko Haram’s weaponization of women and girls is growing: 56% of Boko Haram’s suicide bombers since 2011 have been women.
- The health of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been receiving treatment in London since May for an undisclosed ailment, has “improved significantly”, said Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives.
- Troops have neutralized 10 Boko Haram terrorists in Borno, according to a statement this week by the army.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced it is opening investigation into killings by the Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria, it said a letter to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURWIA), following the HURWIA’s invitation in September 2016 for the ICC to investigate the widespread killings.
- Warnings continue to be issued about the arrival of fall armyworm in South Sudan (affecting maize, sorghum, millet, vegetables and other such crops) which could worsen food insecurity in the war-torn country which is currently facing an unprecedented food crisis for an estimated 6 million people.
- “The UK will not forget the people of South Sudan, Humanitarian aid workers are not a target and they must be able to go on delivering lifesaving assistance in South Sudan.” – That’s the message of Fiona Ritchie, Deputy Head of the UK’s Department for International Development – DFID in South Sudan.
- South Sudan’s army is once again in the spotlight for alleged mistreatment and harassment of civilians in Yei River State in Central Equatoria. The reports come from a catholic clergy based in southwest town of Yei town, who say once again this is destroying trust and confidence between the troops and area residents.
- South Sudan’s President Kiir on Monday urged armed and political opposition groups to stop the fighting and to prepare themselves to take part in the general elections after the end of the transitional period.
- Aid worker killed during recent violence in Blue Nile between SPLM-N factions – It comes amongst global appreciation for the work of aid workers on International Humanitarian Day.
- Darfur displaced call on Sudan govt. to declare cholera epidemic – The Sudanese authorities refuse to call the disease by its name, and instead refer to it as “Acute Watery Diarrhoea”. The National Intelligence and Security Service has repeatedly warned medics and the press in the country not to make mention of cholera. “The Khartoum regime must declare the spread of cholera and allow the World Health Organization to intervene in the towns, villages, and camps for the displaced in Darfur to save the people,” the association said.
- Sudanese Government Begins Disarmament Campaign in Darfur – The Sudanese government has launched a campaign to recover illegal weapons from ethnic groups, tribes, militias and communities in Darfur state, a local newspaper reported today.
- UN Refugee Chief urges international recognition and support for Sudan – High Commissioner Grandi met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and welcomed the President‘s assurances that Sudan will continue providing safety to those fleeing conflict and persecution – including those who arrive from South Sudan.
- Three weeks after its parliamentary election, Timor-Leste remains leaderless and could be heading for a minority government. Fretilin, which won most seats in the July 22 poll, has so far failed to form a government with its former coalition partner — the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT). A decision must be reached before 22 August when new members of parliament are sworn in.
- As the number of refugees from South Sudan into Uganda passes one million, the vast majority being women and children, the United Nations refugee agency on Friday reiterated its call for urgent additional support. Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day.
- Reports have been coming out this week calling for the international community to deliver and improve on existing financial commitments to help Uganda support the refugees it is hosting, amid fears that although Uganda’s open doors policy is undoubtedly generous and welcoming, it is not sustainable without international support.
- Uganda’s Gay Pride march has been cancelled this year due to concerns over safety following police raids and near fatal violence at the 2016 parade. Despite their desperation to march in solidarity and with pride, the scale of police deployment resulted in a decision not to put the lives of those marching at risk.