November 13th, 2015
Weekly News Round-Up (13/11/2015)
- HART intern, Rowena Teall, published two blogs this week. The first, ‘Religious minorities in India: fears over growing intolerance’, discusses claims of growing intolerance towards religious minorities in India. The second, ‘Local actors: the future of humanitarian action’, looks at the merits of local partnerships and locally-led development initiatives.
- HART Ambassador, Kevin Tobia, produced an opinion piece on ‘International Human Rights Law in Sudan’.
- Yesterday, we were lucky enough to be joined by one of our partners from PAORINHER in Uganda. Have a peak at this delicious Ugandan food!
Glorious to host a visitor from Ugandan partner to the office to share a feast of cassava, peanut sauce & local beer pic.twitter.com/cr93wBSgor
— HART-UK (@HARTnews) November 12, 2015
- The NLD have reached an unassailable lead in Sunday’s election, meaning they can command a majority in parliament and therefore implement their choice of president:
- A hunger strike by a group of students and supporters in protest of the continued incarceration of political prisoners in Burma is beginning to take its toll on the participants health, with one student admitted to Rangoon General Hospital on Wednesday.
- US President Barack Obama commends Thein Sein for successful conduct of Burma’s historic Nov. 8 poll via phone.
- Despite the elections receiving worldwide acclaim, on polling day Amnesty UK protested outside the Burmese Embassy in London in the name of Burmese political prisoners, many of whom were detained for peacefully marching in the country.
- The Minister for State at the FCO Hugo Swire was asked by both Conservative and Labour MPs whether he would support the establishment of an international, independent investigation by the UN into claims of genocide against the Rohingya. Mr Swire suggested that a UN investigation would require “high level international support for which, we assess, there is little prospect of agreement at this stage”.
- Prime Minister Modi’s BJP party has been trounced in the Bihar state elections, which were seen as a mini-referendum on his government’s performance. Commentators have blamed this defeat partly upon the campaign focus of the BJP on divisive social topics, projecting an intolerant image.
- Modi is facing a challenge to his authority by senior member of his party. On 11th November, four veteran leaders published an open letter criticising the PM’s ‘disastrous’ handling of the Bihar elections.
- Modi’s visit to the UK to strengthen economic partnership has been tempered by widespread protests around London against a perceived growth in restriction of freedom of expression and belief in India.
- There are signs that the Diwali festival celebrations have thawed relations between forces on the India-Pakistan border. Small gestures of goodwill between troops from both sides is seen as a significant development in the wake of strained bilateral relations.
- Buhari has fired his anti-corruption chief Ibrahim Lamorde. Though no reason was given for his removal, he denied allegations in August that 5 billion dollars went missing at the commission.
- Buhari has also inaugurated 36 new ministers this week including Kemi Adeosun as Finance Minister (the second woman in a row to hold this post). He has pledged this government will bring about ‘change’ in the country, defining his new cabinet a “milestone”. Buhari’s full speech can be read here.
- Pro-Biafra protests continue in Aba following a rally against the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra by the Federal Government. An estimated million people participated in the peaceful protest.
- TV personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu caused controversy by tweeting:
Obasanjo and militancy. Jonathan and Boko Haram. Buhari and Biafra? The first two ignored initially and started acting late. Will the 3rd?
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) November 10, 2015
- Analysts believe Boko Haram is turning its attentions from Nigeria to neighbouring countries. Around 25 people were killed in a Boko Haram attack on a village in southern Niger and their subsequent clashes with the army. Over recent months, Boko Haram have ramped up cross-border attacks into Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its strongholds in north-eastern Nigeria.
- The family of a fleeing Boko Haram kingpin from Borno State is revealing information to the Nigerian military, officials say.
- One of the most wanted Boko Haram suspects, Chindo Bello, was arrested in Abuja.
- Talks, lead by the AU, between the government and rebels, from the two areas and Darfur, on security arrangements will take place on 18 to 19 November.
- The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), in opposition to Bashir, is becoming increasingly disunited according to Magdi el Gizouli.
- The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has rejected proposals to form a transitional government. They have accused the opposition of seeking to overthrow the regime.
- The UN has said food insecurity increased by 80% from Sept 2014 to Sept 2015 in South Sudan.
- Pro-government militias have been accused of mass abductions in Unity state.
- The SPLM-IO will send 500 members to Juba in advance of Riek Machar taking up his position of Vice-President.
- Reports of a plane crash in Upper Nile state, a week after a crash in Juba, has lead to warnings of cargo plane usage from the government.
- Ethiopia has called for more food aid to help the countries 730,000 refugees from going hungry. The South Sudanese conflict is adding to Ethiopia’s growing problems of food insecurity.
- Uganda is short of disaster relief funds as the El Nino rains begin take a significant toll on the country. The peak of El Nino’s expected effect is expected in early December.
- Uganda’s economy has received a boost from hosting refugees, the number of which reached half a million this year. The country’s progressive 2006 Refugee Act allows them to work, travel and access public services, including education.
- Although the government and donor community are investing in education in Uganda, almost half of Ugandan children remain malnourished, according to Global Nutrition Report. This negatively impacts upon the country’s vision for a ‘prosperous and modern society’; hunger and malnutrition cause poverty, ‘as hungry people cannot be productive’.
- The Global Partnership for education is funding a $100 million program to improve the education system, focusing on teachers and school effectiveness.
- The co-chairs of the OSCE Mink Group claim that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has lasted too long and the sides should undertake all measures necessary to expedite a peaceful settlement.
- Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says that Russia is not doing anything that could harm Armenia or Azerbaijan on the issue of settlement of the conflict.
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