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25 August 2017
Hart News Round Up – 25th August 2017
- In a major development for Burma, Rohingya militants have staged coordinated attacks on police outposts, killing 12 security personnel. There is a fear that the backlash could mirror that of the backlash after the October 2016 attack, in which thousands of civilians were raped, killed, and displaced.
- Kofi Annan warns on Rakhine ‘radicalisation’ – In a heavy-hitting report, he calls for Burma to end its discrimination policies against the Rohingya such as travel restrictions and denying citizenship.
- Kachin Women’s Group Documents Burma Army Continued Abuse of Civilians – “on August 11, 2017, hundreds of Burma Army troops entered Kasung village, in Mogaung township of Kachin State, shooting indiscriminately at civilians. One villager was killed, at least two injured, and over 1,000 IDPs were forced to seek shelter in Namti and Lambraw Yang villages.”
- Burmese parliament passes minor changes but no repeal of Article 66(d) – The controversial media law has been used to stifle criticism by journalists in particular, accusing them of ‘defamation’.
- Armenia reaffirms commitment to peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue – Armenia is for the settlement of the conflict “based on the norms and principles of international law, provisions of the UN Charter, including refraining from the threat or use of force in international relations, territorial integrity, sovereign equality, and self-determination of peoples.”
- 220 ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan registered over past week – Azeri troops, in particular, allegedly fired some 3300 shots towards the Armenian positions.
- President Buhari finally returned to Nigeria at the weekend after an extended visit to London for health treatment. He faces serious challenges in the wake of his return.
- The first cabinet meeting that President Buhari was due to attend since returning to Nigeria was cancelled on the grounds the ‘his office required renovation because rats damaged the furniture and air conditioning in his absence’ according to Government spokesman Garba Shehu
- A 72 year old women has been raped by a group of Fulani herdsmen while working on her farm in Ore, in the Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State. Young people and farmers across the state on Wednesday protested against the incident, threatening to take the law into their own hands if the state government and security agencies failed to address the incident urgently.
- 50 people have been confirmed dead in Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa communities all in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State following an outbreak of an unidentified disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sent a medical team to the community to assess the situation.
- The United Nations children agency has expressed extreme concern at the appalling increase in the cruel and calculated use of children, especially girls, as “human bombs” in north-east Nigeria. Since the beginning of January 2017, 83 children had been used as so-called human bombs, 55 being girls, most of them often under 15-years-old.
- In South Sudan, gas stations across the country are running out of fuel. Imports have slowed down because roads to east Africa are either blocked or frequently attacked.
- The second anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) passed with “little meaningful progress” made in the implementation of the accord, an official said Thursday.
- South Sudan’s civil war presents humanitarian workers with “one of the unique crises” in the world, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday. “This is not a crisis which can be reduced to the conflict,” Peter Maurer told reporters in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. “This is also a crisis where the uncomfortable elements of poverty, of lack of development, of international pressures on the economy, pay an enormous toll.”
- South Sudan has threatened to stop all planes operated by UN peacekeeping mission (UNMISS) from taking to the skies following a dispute over security clearance. Reportedly the UN mission over the weekend operated flights without notifying the government and as such they have suspended cooperation with UNMISS until the dispute is resolved.
- An outbreak of malaria in South Sudan has killed over 4,000 people since February, a senior health official disclosed last week. A total of over 900,000 malaria cases have so far been registered, with 4,073 deaths were recorded since February, while 2,000 deaths were reported in 2016.
- Amidst Official Denial, Cholera On the Rise in Sudan – The Independent Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors cited 22,000 cholera cases and 700 fatalities since late May 2017.
- Sudan press court fines critical journalist – Abdelrahim, a former journalist of El Tayyar newspaper, was fined on the grounds of insulting the performance of the Khartoum police director in one of her articles, on Monday morning.
- Huge shortfall in Sudan’s humanitarian aid budget, says UN – Only a fraction of the $804 million the UN needs for humanitarian aid in Sudan has been received placing in danger millions of people requiring support.
- Timor Leste postpones reopening of parliament. Presidential elections took place in July 2017 elected parties have failed to agree on a coalition government. Ministers were supposed to be sworn in this week, but matters have been postponed even further and the country faces political uncertainty.
- South Sudan’s war is putting northern Uganda’s “relative peace” at risk. While Ugandans are happy to welcome refugees fleeing the war in South Sudan, resources are scarce which is causing hostilities to rise. A recent United States Agency for International Development conflict assessment warned that “rising social tension between refugees and host communities has the potential to degenerate into secondary conflict.”
- The prevalence of HIV in Uganda is more than 3% higher among women than men, according to research revealed by the government. While the overall rate of those aged between 15 and 49 living with the infection has declined in the past five years to 6% – from 7.3% – women remain disproportionately affected by the epidemic. This is in part due to discrimination faced by women and girls seeking preventative measures, such as condoms.
- Uganda has been declared free of bird flu, following an outbreak in January this year, after tests of samples from poultry and wild birds proved negative, according to Christopher Kibazanga, the minister of state for agriculture.
- More than 1,000 households in Nakanyonyi Village in Nabaale Sub-county, Mukono District are living in fear after the Church of Uganda unveiled plans to evict them. Although residents claim they have settled on the land for more than 30 years, the Church insists it legally owns the 400-acre piece of land and wants to develop it.
- A Ugandan court sentenced a Muslim group leader and three associates to life in prison on terrorism charges, a judgment denounced by some as the latest in a series of anti-Muslim rulings. Sheikh Mohammad Yunus Kamoga, who heads the Tabliq group, and 13 others were arrested and charged with terrorism and the murder of other Islamic group leaders.