June 12th, 2015
Weekly News Round Up (12/06/15)
News from HART
- On 8th June, 56 Solidarity Groups, including HART, signed a letter calling for an ‘Immediate End to Offensives in Northern Burma/Myanmar and for the Provision of Unhindered Humanitarian Assistance to the IDPs’.
- On Saturday 6th June, protesters from the Sudanese diaspora and activists from around the world joined together in a demonstration in London against the indiscriminate bombing of civilians in regions of Sudan. Paralel protests took place around the world on this fourth-year anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict in the Nuba Mountains. HART produced a Press Release covering the London protest against, and recent aerial and ground assaults in Sudan. HART was a signatory on this letter demanding action from the United States, United Nations, European Union and African Union against the genocide in the Nuba Mountains.
- This week marked the fourth anniversary of the ceasefire violations and subsequent ongoing conflict in Kachin State. As the conflict has worsened in 2015,Kachin Women’s Association Thailand released a statement calling for increased support from the international community.
- Local people and civil society organisations in Burma are demanding a halt to the building of Tasang Dam in southern Shan State, accusing the Australian company hired to do impact assessments of bribery and malpractice. The planned Tasang Dam will be the largest of seven dams planned for the Salween River.
- Protests against the persecution of the Rohingyaminority in Burma continue around the world. They have heavily criticised the silence of the international community.
- The Kokang rebel group, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), have announced a unilateral ceasefire in the region. The fighting has caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people and hundreds of deaths.
- The Indian army has attacked rebel camps inside Myanmar, days after at least 20 of its soldiers were killed in an ambush on a troop convoy in north-east India, a minister has said. Major General Ranbir Singh of the Indian army said in a statement that they were “in communication with the Myanmar authorities on this matter”.”There is a history of close co-operation between our two militaries. We look forward to working with them to combat such terrorism,” he said.
- Police in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand say they have killed at least 12 suspected Maoist rebels in a clash. The Maoists say they are fighting for communist rule and greater rights for tribal people and the rural poor. Major military and police offensives in recent years have pushed Maoist rebels back to their forest strongholds and levels of violence have fallen.
- A staff member of global campaign group Greenpeace has been prevented from entering India and sent back to Australia, the group has alleged. Greenpeace said Aaron Gray-Block was on his way to meetings in India when immigration officials stopped him at Bangalore airport on Saturday night and put him on a flight to Kuala Lumpur without explanation. Greenpeace says it has been targeted because of its campaigns on issues such as pollution and harmful pesticides.
- Nagorno-Karabakh continues to build ties with the European parliament as its entry into the European Free Alliance in April becomes strengthened.
- Nigeria and its neighbors agreed on Thursday to forge an anti-Boko Haram force to crush the Islamist militant group. The countries involved will focus on raising 13 billion Nigerian naira to support this effort.
- Specific, enforceable measures are needed to ensure corruption is tackled thoroughly under Buhari’s anti-corruption pledges.
- Three female suicide bombers die in failed attacks near Maiduguri.
- The Red Cross has stated that food insecurity in South Sudan has reached near famine levels for over four million people, and that many will starve if fighting continues. Increased levels of violence are said to be the cause of an additional 100,000 people being displaced in the past four weeks.
- Peace talks between the government and rebel groups are underway in Addis Ababa with the intention of forming a transitional unity government by the 9th July, the country’s fourth anniversary of independence. However it is unclear whether an agreement will be reached, as the last round of peace talks in March failed and every ceasefire agreement since has been violated.
- The National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) has announced that the suspension of four newspapers has been lifted, after a written apology was issued for publishing stories that are ‘harmful to society’s security and values’. The stories that were published were concerning the sexual harassment and rape of children on school buses, but an activist who was arrested after speaking out on the issue was forced to apologise and admit that she ‘does not have the statistics on sexual harassment cases directed at school children’.
- Recent evidence strongly suggests that the government in Khartoum have been supplying weapons and ammunition to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-iO) and providing support against the Salva Kiir’s government, therefore ensuring a continuation in the fighting in South Sudan.
- The United Nations Security Council was warned in a briefing on Wednesday by Edmond Mulet, the deputy chief of the United Nations African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), of the lack of progress in peace efforts in Darfur. He cited the Sudanese government’s campaign against armed uprisings as the primary cause for a new wave of displacements across the region. The Sudanese government has responded by stating that Mulet comments were deliberately misleading, and intended to ‘provide a distorted picture about the security situation in Darfur’.
- The trial of 13 men accused of taking part in the 2010 Shebab bombings, which killed 76 people in Uganda’s capital Kampala, resumed on Monday without the lead prosecutor, who was murdered in March. Joan Kagezi, Uganda’s acting assistant director of public prosecution, was killed by men on a motorbike in front of three of her children. Police are still hunting for the killers and have made several arrests.
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