August 19th, 2016
News Round-Up 19/08/16
News from HART
- We are recruiting! We are looking for a Finance and Administration Intern to begin September 2016. Deadline for applications 31st August. For details and application form please see here.
- Read Vincent’s blog on the Panglong Peace Conference in Burma here.
- For the next three days Aung San Suu Kyi will visit Bejjing to discuss the political relationship between China and Burma. The main areas of common interest are a Chinese dam project in Burma as well as the possibility of China supporting the current peace process.
- A new law, introduced last year, allows ethnic minorities to broadcast radio programmes for the first time in their own language. The radio offers a means by which the Shan group may preserve their ethnic traditions.
- The Ministry of Commerce has lifted import restrictions on 267 items. It published a list of items that can be imported from September without a licence, a move which symbolises the first step towards liberalising permit requirements.
- Amnesty International is being investigated by Indian police for alleged sedition after some of its local activists organised a public meeting to discuss abuses by Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley. The investigation comes after 39 consecutive days of strict curfew in Indian-ruled Kashmir imposed following the outbreak of violent mass protests in July.
- Tensions remain high over recent suppression of violence in the disputed province of Kashmir as the Indian and Pakistani governments trade insults.
- Boko Haram has released a video apparently showing 50 of the schoolgirls abducted from the northern town of Chibok in 2014. The militant group have demanded the release of imprisoned Boko Haram fighters in return for the girls.
- The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group who have claimed multiple attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the region, have this week been divided over whether or not to engage in a dialogue with the Federal Government.
- Opposition leader Riek Machar has left the country after nearly a month of hiding in the bush in Western Equatoria where he fled when fighting erupted in Juba in July.
- President Salva Kiir has called for elections two years ahead of schedule, before the end of the interim period agreed by the August 2015 peace agreement which recommends a series of institutional and political reforms.
- Reports have emerged of a brutal attack on a residential compound on 11th July apparently perpetrated by government forces. The attack targeted foreign aid workers, raping several women, beating and robbing people and carrying out mock executions. A local journalist was killed. UN peacekeepers have been accused of turning a blind eye to the attack. The UN has launched an investigation.
- The South Sudanese government has softened its stance on the extra UN peacekeeping force to be sent in response to recent violence in the country. A presidential spokesperson has claimed that the government will accept the force if it can negotiate its size, mandate, weapons and members.
— UNICEF South Sudan (@unicefssudan) August 15, 2016
- The Sudan Air Force has bombed an area near Kadugli town, the capital of South Kordofan state, despite a 6 month unilateral ceasefire declared by President Omar al-Bashir.
- On Tuesday the Sudanese government reported that it is ready to resume talks on a permanent ceasefire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The four-day round of talks between the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N stalled on Sunday over the issue of humanitarian access.
- The Ugandan government has announced that they will be forced to halve food rations or cash assistance to refugees in camps in Uganda to accommodate the vast numbers that have flowed into the country from South Sudan in the last month.
- Dozens of cholera cases have been reported at a reception centre for South Sudanese in northern Uganda. Intense overcrowding and ongoing heavy rains will make containing this outbreak a challenge given the already strained resources of humanitarian organisations in the area.
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