October 13th, 2017
HART Weekly Round Up 13 October 2017
An evening with Vardan
This Wednesday, HART hosted an evening with the inspirational director of the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre, Vardan Tadevosyan. He gave our supporters an update on the wonderful work that his centre does for the disabled in Nagorno-Karabakh. One supporter who was helping to rebuild the bombed out building in Stepanakert in 1995, accidentally returned to England with the only front door key. He kept it all this time and 22 years later returned it to Vardan on Wednesday night!
Questions in the House of Lords
On 12 October this week Baroness Cox spoke in the House of Lords on Sri Lanka in response to a question asked about what assessment the UK government have made of the progress made by the coalition government of Sri Lanka in meeting the requirements on reconciliation established by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Baroness Cox also mentioned the situation in Sudan:
“In urging Her Majesty’s Government to offer a hand of friendship to Sri Lanka now, I will go off-piste for a moment but in a way which I think is not irrelevant. The United States is currently lifting sanctions against the Government of Sudan—an initiative supported by the United Kingdom—while the Government in Khartoum continue to oppress their own citizens in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, as well as perpetrate a catalogue of violations of the fundamental freedoms and human rights of their people elsewhere throughout the nation, with a President indicted by the International Criminal Court. I am not asking the Minister to comment on Sudan in this debate but I wish to put on record my concern that President al-Bashir has made no commitments similar to those made by the President of Sri Lanka.”
To read Baroness Cox’s response in full or to read the entire debate, click here.
In upcoming business, Baroness Cox is scheduled to speak again in the House of Lords on 1 November 2017 to ask an Oral Question about ‘Establishing an International Legal Task Force to gather evidence on sexual violence as a tactic of terrorism’. Click here for more information about Baroness Cox’s parliamentary work.
News Round up
- Burma Army Chief Denies Military Abuses in Rakhine – Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Burmese armed forces, has denied the allegations of abuses committed by his troops. He also said that the Rohingya are not native to Burma and that the number of refugees reported to have fled to Bangladesh is exaggerated.
- 250,000 People Along the Thailand-Burma/Myanmar Border at Risk of Losing Access to Essential Health Care and Education – Many displaced people in Burma and refugee camps cross the border to the Mae Tao clinic in Thailand, which provides healthcare for up to 250,000 people.
- Armenian soldier reportedly killed in Karabakh – There are reports that an Armenian Soldier was killed on 11 October by Azerbaijani gunfire, as Azerbaijan fired around 1,100 shots during the week.
- The majority of the 1.8 million internally displaced persons in Borno State said they are still scared of going back to their communities months after the military liberated them from Boko Haram control. The main fears are about the overall security situation in Nigeria and even if this were to improve, many people interviewed said their houses had been destroyed.
- In South Sudan, famine still looms. While South Sudan is no longer technically experiencing famine, the reality on the ground remains dire. An estimated 6 million people — more than half the population — are at risk, and 1.7 million people require immediate assistance. On Monday 16 October we will be raising awareness for World Food Day with a new blog about South Sudan’s famine and food crisis.
- Sudanese activists fear lifting sanctions will ‘greenlight’ regime atrocities – “If I have cancer and I stop suffering headaches, you still cannot say I’m improving,” Yasir Harmouda of the diaspora group, Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad. “Stopping bombardments is only a side-effect. The chronic issues are still there.”
- SPLM-N elects al-Hilu as leader, endorses self-determination as basis for peace talks – “The participants in the conference decided that the SPLM-“North” would continue to struggle for the realization of New Sudan and continue to negotiate for a peaceful solution on the basis that all Sudanese peoples exercise the right to self-determination as an international human right”.
- At least 11.1 million Ugandans (30%) eat food described as “unacceptable” for human development, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) has said. This means that those Ugandans are likely to be undernourished or are easy targets for diseases. It also points to just how bad acute food insecurity is in the country today. Without mentioning particular foods, the report says the food described as unacceptable is inferior in quality (nutrients) and volume (amounts).
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