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28 July 2017
HART News Round Up – 28th July 2017
This week we released our Summer 2017 HARTbeat Newsletter. To see the latest news and updates from our partners and the areas where we work, click here.
- Burma floods kill two, displace more than 100,000. Ko Ko Naing, the Director General of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, told Reuters on Monday that the situation was under control, “but what happens now will depend on the weather”.
- Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the arbitrary arrest of human rights defender Khaing Myo Htun who is still awaiting trial and faces a four year jail sentence for his alleged claims against the Burma Army for their human rights abuses.
- Calls to release wrongfully detained Kachin Christian leaders
- Burma’s government requested help from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday after the H1N1 influenza killed six out of 20 confirmed cases in the country.
- BURMA’S lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously agreed on a motion to denounce the latest end-of-mission statement by a UN official during her recent visit to the country.
- Burma Moves to Amend Controversial Online Defamation Law (Article 66d)
- A United Nations report has warned that more than 80,000 children under the age of five in western Burma are in need of urgent treatment for acute malnutrition.
- The United Nations’ Human Rights Council has replaced the chairwoman of a team investigating allegations of killings and rape by Myanmar’s security forces, it said on Thursday, amid concerns over her perceived bias.
- Hundreds of Armenians have filed government-backed lawsuits in the European Court of Human Rights accusing Azerbaijan of beheading Armenian soldiers and committing other atrocities during last year’s heavy fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Armenian lobby raises alarm over Azerbaijan’s weapons purchase
- More than 40 people have died during an attempt to free people during an ambush by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
- The Nigerian Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development has reported a decrease in the importation of rice as a result of greatly improved rice production at home. Nigeria is expected to be self sufficient in rice production by November and also prices are expected to fall.
- Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have kidnapped 10 members of a university research team prospecting for oil in northeast Nigeria, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, who contracted the work.
- At least 8 people have died and 15 people injured in a four-storey building collapse in the commercial hub of Lagos.
- Nigeria’s upper house of parliament voted on Wednesday to weaken the power of the presidency and strengthen the legislature, including a series of amendments to the country’s constitution.
- On Sunday, Nigeria released the first new photo in 2 months of the absent President Muhammadu Buhari.
- The food security crisis in north-east Nigeria is forecast to deteriorate between now and the end of August, moving the country even closer to famine.
- 4 people were killed and 17 injured on Monday in suspected Boko Haram suicide bomb attacks at IDP camps in northeast Nigeria. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has increasingly used suicide bombers in its 8 year insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead and displaced more than 2.6 million others.
- Media websites blocked in South Sudan, restricting South Sudanese people access to information from The Sudan Tribune and Radio Tamazuj. This is in direct contravention of the National Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, which includes freedom of expression and press freedom.
- Meet the refugee who wants to become South Sudan’s president.
- The number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda is projected to reach 1 million within the next few weeks. The latest figures have prompted OXFAM to call on the UK government to do more to help those fleeing South Sudan, demanding that the international community increase their response.
- The Guardian this week has reported South Sudan has the largest number of child soldiers in Africa, with 18,000 child combatants recruited in the past 4 years in South Sudan. A political fighter was quoted as saying: “Here, in our country, there is no age for fighting… if you are old enough to carry a weapon, you are old enough to be a soldier.”
- Thousands of South Sudanese women and girls, and some men, who have been raped in ethnically-charged sexual attacks in the ongoing conflict are battling mental distress and stigma with nowhere to turn for help, Amnesty International revealed in a new report out today.
- Darfur prisoners of war are tortured in Sudanese jails: The Sudan Liberation Movement – Minn Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the SLM-Transitional Council (SLM-TC) called on the international community to press the government to stop torture on rebels recently detained in the Sudanese jails.
- Eric Reeves, researcher and analyst on Sudan, this week wrote an open letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the UN’s World Health Organisation, calling for immediate change to the the handling of the cholera outbreak in Sudan. The Khartoum has threatened anyone who calls it cholera, but the WHO’s silence on this, instead calling it ‘acute watery diarrhoea’, is denying the Sudanese much needed medical assistance.
- Sudanese Vice President Hasabo Abel Rahman Sunday announced that his government would launch a campaign to collect weapons in Darfur and reorganise the government militias before the end of the year.
- About 3.4 million people throughout Sudan are estimated to be facing severe food insecurity
- According to the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, the US administration has promised Khartoum that the economic embargo on Sudan will be permanently lifted in October.
- On Monday, Timor Leste celebrated ‘remarkable’ results in its first election since UN peacekeepers left. The election, which resulted in a coalition between the Fretline (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor) and CNRT (National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction) parties, has be praised for its transparent and well-managed democratic process.
- Lt Col Richard Muhangi, the commander of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces 3rd Mountain Battalion who was recently charged with the murder of two suspect in Ntoro District has died.
- A bisexual Ugandan woman who fled her hometown in February 2014 due to persecution because of her sexuality has this week been granted refugee status in South Korea. In Uganda homosexuality is illegal and, despite the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of the 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, similar laws continue to be passed which leave homosexual and bisexual Ugandans in fear of persecution by the State.
- MPs in Uganda this week have applauded the draft of a new Child policy in an effort to improve upon the Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) policy. MPs hope there will be improvements to child welfare and protection after a report on the OVC in 2004 suggested 96% of Uganda’s children could be classed as vulnerable.