July 21st, 2017
News Round up 21/07/17
This week we released our latest Impact Report, highlighting the local partners and projects we work with in areas where many aid agencies won’t go. To see how your support is facilitating humanitarian relief and promoting human rights for people who suffer from conflict and persecution, please read our report here.
- Thailand general jailed for human trafficking at mass trial – The current trial was sparked by the discovery of mass graves of refugees in jungle camps near the Thai-Malaysian border.
- Growing tension between government soldiers and Ta’ang National Liberation Army troops in northern Shan state has forced hundreds of people from seven villages in Hseni township of Lashio district to preemptively flee to safety to the town of Theinni.
- AIDS-related Deaths Decrease Significantly in Burma: AIDS-related deaths in Myanmar have dropped 52 percent in the past six years, the sharpest decline in Asia and the Pacific.
- Myanmar sees insurgents behind Rohingya killings in Northwest: Officials say Rohingya insurgents are behind this and a slew of killings in the area that has been racked by violence in recent months, with security forces accused of committing atrocities against civilians.
- The Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), the armed wing of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), a signatory group of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA),clashed with the Myanmar Army on Friday in Shan State’s Hopong Township.
- BURMESE leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s security adviser told diplomats on Tuesday that a UN mission looking into allegations of rape, torture and killings of Rohingya Muslims would only “aggravate” troubles in the western state of Rakhine.
- Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein apologized to the Myanmar Army Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing for comments that the military called confrontational – The chief minister said there were no civil-military relations in the democratic era and that the military’s commander-in-chief was the same as the level of director-general according to the [state] protocol.
- Burmese ultranationalist monk, Ashin Wirathu – popularly known as U Wirathu has called on the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) government to step down amid the intensifying rift between her administration and the outlawed Ma Ba Tha group.
- A court in Azerbaijan sentenced an Israeli blogger to three years in prison on Thursday for illegally crossing the border into Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai speaks out against Boko Haram in Nigeria – Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai was greeting with cheers by dozens of young women in northeastern Nigeria, where she spoke out for the many girls abducted under Boko Haram’s deadly insurgency. Malala also called for a “state of emergency for education” in Nigeria – the country has some 10.5 million children out of school, the most in the world, and 60 percent of them are girls, according to the UN children’s fund, UNICEF.
- Nigeria has moved to increase contraceptive uptake among women – the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that Nigeria, in collaboration with partners and the private sector, has set a target to increase contraceptive uptake among Nigerian women to 27% by 2020. A recent Family Planning Summit has found that 19 out of every 100 married and sexually active women want to use some form of contraception but cannot access it.
- The Guardian this week called out “shameful” Nigeria for being ‘a country that doesn’t care about inequality’ – Despite years of growth, Nigeria has also seen a huge increase in the number of people living in poverty. A new report condemns its failure to tackle this inequality, amid warnings that it could lead to civil unrest.
- The Police in Katsina State have detained a journalist in the state, Danjuma Katsina, over alleged “injurious comments” on a newly elected member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives from the state, Mansur Mashi – Mr. Katsina had posted a comment on Facebook in which he analysed the outcome of the Mashi/Dutsi bye-election conducted in May, wondering why Mr. Mashi was allowed to contest the polls despite facing court action on alleged corruption.
- Stories of stowaways attempting to escape poverty and conflict in Nigeria shows the desperation of some to escape.
- Crop-eating caterpillar to worsen South Sudan’s hunger woes – An infestation of fall armyworm, a crop-eating caterpillar that has ravaged fields across Africa, will deepen hunger in famine-threatened South Sudan, a UN official said on Wednesday.
- Dozens killed in South Sudan’s inter-communal fight – on Tuesday at least 18 people were killed and more than 30 wounded in clashes involving the Apuk and Aguok communities of South Sudan’s Gogrial state, an official disclosed.
- 58 killed by hunger in Yeri village of South Sudan’s Amadi state – The Bishop of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan says 58 people have died of hunger as the situation in Yeri deteriorates further
- The UN has decried increasing violence against aid workers in South Sudan, with 100 humanitarian access incidents being reported in June, the highest number recorded in any month this year – in addition to the latest break-ins, looting and physical assaults, over 80 aid workers have been killed since the outbreak of conflict in 2013
- A three-month state of emergency has been declared in northwestern South Sudan following a spate of ethnic violence – President Salva Kiir announced the measures in a late Monday broadcast on state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation – Most of the violence has been between Apuk and Aguok communities that are sub-clans of the country’s largest ethnic group, the Dinka, to which the president belongs.
- South Sudan’s first-ever climate change conference in June highlighted a problem for much of sub-Saharan Africa: The impoverished nations face some of the world’s harshest impacts from global warming and are the least equipped to fight back.
- UN agency scales up cholera response with 500,000 doses of oral vaccine – The United Nations health agency is scaling up cholera responses in South Sudan, where 17,785 cases, including 320 deaths, have been reported since the outbreak in July 2016.
- More than one million children have fled South Sudan since war erupted again in 2013. International Business Times have documented just a few stories from people who have fled, including Eva, who is 16: ‘my mother was abducted, my brother killed, I was raped and now I am pregnant’.
- In war-torn South Sudan, Girl Guides learn peace-building skills – such as asking the adults around them to put away their weapons, and are counseled on how to support victims of rape.
- UN says considering setting up new base in South Sudan – on Wednesday the United Nations announced its plans to open a new base in the conflict-hit Yei region of South Sudan if the warring parties allow its peacekeepers unfettered access to outlying villages.
- President Donald Trump has extended the deadline on whether to lift US sanctions against Sudan by 3 months. Rights advocates have warned that lifting sanctions would strengthen the resolve of the president, Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the international criminal court.
- Sudan’s struggling economy took another hit this week after the United States postponed a decision on lifting sanctions, causing the Sudanese currency to slide, prices to rise and businesses to halt sales.
- Timor-Leste prepares for parliamentary election – Timor-Leste is preparing to elect a new parliament. The country is developing rapidly and 15 years after independence it has one of the world’s highest proportions of women in parliament, but a younger generation is facing growing unemployment levels.
- Timor-Leste parliamentary elections: hard choices, hard times – In July, Timorese voters will go to the polls for the second time this year to elect the country’s parliament. he recent presidential election, held on March 20, witnessed a clear victory by former parliament chief Francisco “Lú-Olo” Guterres, a candidate strongly backed by former resistance leader Xanana Gusmão. The result prolonged the debate that the country’s leadership is still largely personality-driven, as it continues to be dominated by high-profile resistance leaders.
- Asia’s youngest nation offers glimmer of hope for LGBTQ rights – Timor-Leste last month celebrated its first ever LGBTQ Pride parade in the nation’s capital of Dili. 500 people gathered for the milestone gathering in Timor-Leste’s 15 year history, offering celebration and visibility of LGBTQ rights.
- East Timor vote highlights young nation’s uneven progress – Almost two dozen parties are contesting parliamentary elections in East Timor this weekend that are likely to return independence heroes to power despite frustration in the young democracy with lack of economic progress and warning the country could be bankrupt within a decade.
- Uganda: government to introduce oral HIV self-test kit – a study headed by the School of Public Health and Mildmay Uganda has found that self-test HIV kits may be a feasible way to promote HIV testing. The Ministry of Health is considering introducing an oral HIV self-test kit in hopes that it will prompt men to establish their HIV/Aids status.
- US ambassador highlights progress on malaria in Uganda – The US Ambassador highlights significant progress in the fight against Malaria in Uganda, with a drop 22.6% drop in new malaria cases between 2013 and 2016. A 5 year effort has protected more than 3.8 million including 100,000 pregnant women and 1 million children in districts in eastern and northern Uganda.
- Uganda’s other refugee crisis: discriminations forces many LGBT Ugandans to seek asylum – Uganda is creating its own refugee crisis as the intolerance of, and violence against, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people has spurred an exodus of LGBT refugees from the country in recent years.
- Uganda setting an example to the world on how to handle a refugee crisis – Uganda continues to host more refugees than any other country in Africa as thousands free every day from war-torn South Sudan.
- South Sudan president in Uganda for talks on regional issues – South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Thursday travelled to neighbouring Uganda for talks on bilateral relations and regional issues with his counterpart Yoweri Museveni.
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