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News from HART :
This week we welcome our new intern, Joshua Colebourne. Josh will be our country lead for Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh and Uganda. He will also be working on campaigns and research.
- About 50 shelters were destroyed in a fire on Tuesday at the Baw Du Pa camp located near Sittwe, the capital of the western state of Rakhine. This has left nearly 450 Rohingya Muslims homeless.
- Renewed fighting has erupted in Namkham, Kyaukme and Manton. Between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) a week ahead of peace talks. According to the Myanmar Times, there were no immediate reports on the extent of casualties.
- The fate of tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese living in Burma’s Shan State was taken up by the Union Parliament on Wednesday, opening another chapter in what it means to be “Burmese”. Approximately 60,000 people from the Mong Wong group were granted Burmese citizenship by the then-outgoing Thein Sein government in March. Other groups are questioning the government’s motives, citing the Mong Wong’s assistance in state military affairs.
- The Guardian tells the story of the Kumar family and their long struggles in search of justice. Decades have passed since the murder of their close family member, suspected to be carried out by a member of the police force, and there still has never been a proper conviction. This story sheds light on the severe need for reform of India’s justice system as millions of cases remain “trapped in (India’s) legal logjam”
- “This Woman Was Dedicated as a Devadasi at Age 7. Today, she is a CEO” is an inspiring story about a Devadasi woman who fought circumstances and traditions to change her life and of other Devadasi women and girls.
#JusticeforJisha: The body of a 30-year old Dalit Law student was found severely mutilated in late April in her house in Kerala, Southern India. The post-mortem concluded, according to Global Voices, that the woman had been “raped, stabbed 38 times, including two deep wounds on her chest, and her intestines were pulled out of her body.” This case was followed by serious outrage in the community and by several days of angry protests,reports the BBC. On social media, like for instance on Twitter, this terrible incident has received the same amount of outrage with users using the tag #JusticeforJisha.
#JusticeForJisha Protest by AIDWA led by PK Sreemathy,MP,CPIM demanding quick action and speedy delivery of justice. pic.twitter.com/u1tJwyFVHx
— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) May 6, 2016
Nagorno-Karabkh April 5 ceasefire broken ‘almost daily’. #reuters #KarabaghNow https://t.co/cRlwJghvY2 pic.twitter.com/U6o5qsQHS5 — HART-UK (@HARTnews) May 5, 201
- Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, has this week stated that the ‘Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the realization of people’s right to self-determination, one of the core principles of international law’. The comment comes amid renewed skirmishes along the Line of Contact (LoC). Since then, around 200 people (mostly combatants) have been killed, largely due to the unprecedented use of heavy artillery.
- The BBC has reported that, “About $15bn (£10bn) was stolen from the fight against militant Islamists in Nigeria under the previous government”.
- According to Reuters, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is ensuing his crackdown on corruption and on Thursday, “urged other countries and the United Nations to speed up the process of repatriating stolen money held abroad”.
- The US is reportedly looking to sell Nigeria military planes, to help them in their fight against terrorism:
US government seeks to sell Nigeria attack planes to help in Boko Haram fight, reports say https://t.co/5g4iujUfGt pic.twitter.com/YmijNdhOOJ — BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) May 6, 2016
- An independent report, “If We Leave We Are Killed: Lessons Learned from South Sudan Protection of Civilian Sites 2013–2016,” was launched in Juba to take stock of the protection of civilian (PoC) response to date and offer guidance for future action.
- Following the formation of the new transitional national unity government in Juba, Sudan and South Sudan expressed hopes to settle the post-separation issues peacefully and to have good cooperation.
- Following Riek Machar’s return to Juba, President Salva Kiir has confessed and apologised for the two years of civil war.
- The AU has welcomed South Sudan’s transitional government of national unity that was recently sworn into office. The newly formed government will see South Sudanese President Salva Kiir sharing power with former rebels in a key step in a long-delayed peace process.
- According to a leaked cable from the Kenyan Embassy in South Sudan, the militarization of Juba by the South Sudanese government and rebel SPLM-IO has made the capital more dangerous than any time since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
- The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) said it will continue military operations against the rebel Sudan People Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan.
- This week, security confiscated newspapers, detained journalists and blocked a press forum. Since March, security agents seized print runs of six separate newspapers in Khartoum without providing a reason. The papers included: Al-Sudani, Al-Ayam, Al-Mustaqilla, Akhir Lahza, Al-Taghyeer and Al-Saiha. The last three newspapers had two print-runs confiscated.
- The rebel leaders have asked African Union mediatiors to facilitate negotiations with the Sudanese government to put a cessation of hostilities into action.
- A report published by Thinkprogress.org this week, highlights the ongoing issue of forced sterilization of HIV positive Ugandan women. A 2015 report focusing on such coercion from Uganda-based NGO International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA) revealed that forced sterilization and coercion — which includes women being given money and misinformation or being intimidated by a health worker — continues in the country. Nearly all cases of forced sterilizations in the study (over 95 percent) occurred when women underwent caesareans. The effects of the violations on the women range from psycho-social – husbands walking out on women and their children – to diminished desire for sex, and can also lead to financial implications when abandoned women are left as breadwinners or jobless due to sickness. Many of the women only find out that they are unable to conceive years after the procedure.