March 4th, 2016
HART News Round-up 29/02/2016
News from HART
- Today, we launched our Mother’s Day Campaign 2016 to raise awareness of maternal health and equal rights, particularly in the countries where HART has partners. Keep checking our website as well as the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages to keep updated with articles and infographics!
- Earlier this week, Baroness Cox asked the British Government for their position on military attacks on civilians in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains, Sudan.
- The deadline for the HART Prize for Human Rights has now gone. The HART Team would like to give a big thank you to all those who participated!
- The deadline for applying to the the job vacancy of Finance Manager at HART is quickly approaching! Please send in your applications by March 7th.
- Hopes for Suu Kyi to become president are fading despite recent closed door negotiations with the military leader. Suggestions by Suu Kyi’s party were made to remove the constitutional clause that is barring her from taking on this role. However, this was faced with great opposition as hundreds of nationalist Buddhist monks in Burma and their supporters have rallied on Sunday in support of retaining this clause. In addition, Burma’s Parliament has advanced the deadline for nominating the next president to next week, leaving Suu Kyi with no more time for further negotiations.
- Fighting broke out in northern Shan State on Sunday between the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)
- A change in Dalit literature has been noticed, with a new focus around equal rights rather than the atrocities Dalits face.
- The state women’s commission have questioned Karimnagar police over the gangrape of a Dalit girl in Karimnagar district, saying the Veenavanka police might have been aware of the incident much before the video tape went viral on social media.
- A new budget was announced, addressing rural distress in a country of 1.3 billion, where two-fifths of families rely on farming and are reeling from two years of drought. However, Dalit rights activists are campaigning against the government budget, saying that the new measures take away allocations from scheduled tribes and castes.
- Geopolitics at its finest: Armenia and Azerbaijan are slowly becoming central actors in the clash between Russia and Turkey over Syria. Given Putin’s anger over the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkish forces in November, Moscow has spent the past several months beefing up its military footprint in Armenia while Turkey has always sided with their brotherly Azerbaijan.
- This certainly threatens to reignite the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, particularly problematic as any return to war over Karabakh threatens to involve much larger regional powers, including Turkey, Russia and Iran.
- Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State in the troubled northeastern state has approved the sum of N20 million for the immediate restoration of water supply to eight communities severely affected by Boko Haram attacks.
- 76 Boko Haram members surrender to the Nigerian military, begging for food in north-east Nigeria, perhaps indicating that the military is succeeding in interfering with Boko Haram supply routes.
- Hundreds of people have been killed in attacks between Fulani cattle herders and Christian farmers in and around Agatu.
- Corruption at the checkpoints: an increase in the number of checkpoints along the roads is slowing down delivery of humanitarian assistance to Bentiu and humanitarian aid organisations, like UNICEF, are being asked to pay big sums at over 50 checkpoints on the way there. Claims state that 33,000 pounds are paid per truck on the way to Bentiu. The Government has warned stern measures will be taken against corrupt security officials.
- Meanwhile, the military command of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) has warned of possible delays in peace implementation. The SPLA-IO claims that the Salva Kiir government is refusing to designate locations for troops of the armed opposition; claims which come only days after peace partners indicated willingness to transport rebel forces to in and around Juba.
- Sudan and Germany signed an agreement yesterday, March 3rd, for a developmental cooperation of 51 million Euros to support the development projects at the eastern Sudan and Darfur including refugee services, immigration and vocational training.
- The Government of North Darfur State has confirmed its stance to continue to achieve security and stability in the state and to control the borders with neighbouring Libya to prevent the infiltration of extremist groups. This means that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) are able to counter any aggression.
- According to the UN, the number of people fleeing Jebel Marra and seeking help elsewhere has exceeded 90,000 this week.
- Controversially, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has confirmed his country’s ‘unlimited support’ to Sudan in all the international forums, calling for the sanctions imposed on Sudan to be lifted.
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