Weekly News Round Up (06/03/2015)

6 March 2015

News from HART

– Our Blog Series for Women’s Day #IWD2015 is almost coming to an end. Today, 6th March, Jack Lindsay explores the progress made in getting girls into schools and achieving the MDGs. Read the whole series here.

– HART event: ‘Can Sudan’s elections take place without peace?’ will take place on 11th March 2015 at the Palace of Westminster, Committee Room 11.

– Ivaylo Hristev reports from his visit to the House of Lords on Wednesday 4th March, where Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government of their assessment on the situation in Sudan.



– Shan Human Rights Foundation has given a press release uncovering torture and killings of civilians by the Burma Army in the Kokang region. The Burmese Army have also been accused of arbitrary arrests and torching sugar cane fields as well as local infrastructure. ‘In a joint-statement dated 1 March, the MNDAA, TNLA and the Arakan Army claimed that their repeated calls to negotiate for peace have been ignored by the government’.

– The next round of ceasefire negotiations been ethnic minorities and the Burma Army have been scheduled for the 16th These will focus particularly on ending the Kokang fighting.

– It has been announced that the elections in Burma will take place in November according to DVB. Whilst the NLD will compete, Aung San Suu Kyi will not be able to contest for president or vice-president as the 2008 constitution ‘disallows anyone whose immediate family members have foreign citizenship’.

– The Burma Army have broken the detente signed with the Shan State Army – South (and three other ethnic armies) on the 12th February by attacking a base in the Mauk Mae Township. SSA-S have stated that they feel the signing was a media ploy rather than a real attempt for peace.

– The drug problem in Kachin and northern Shan State is being exacerbated by conflict reports Buma Link.

– Police engaged in a violent crackdown on solidarity protests in Rangoon in support of those prevented from continuing their march for education reforms. Some were beaten with batons and loaded into trucks.



– A planned BBC broadcast of ‘India’s Daughters’, containing an interview with one of the Dehli gang rapists on death row has sparked huge debate over media ethics and state censorship after the police authorities successfully secured a court injuction preventing the film from being shown in India. The Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, has promised an inquiry into how a TV crew gained permission to interview one of the Delhi gang rapists on death Nevertheless, the film was shown in the UK on Wednesday as planned.

– There are fears that drug-resistant malaria could spread to India and cause a ‘global health crisis’. The new strain has been spreading across Burma and has reached the border with India after conventional drugs have proved ineffective.



– OSCE conducted monitoring along the border of the ceasefire. The monitoring period passed without violations.

– Ceasefire violations have started again though with over 80 recorded over night between the 5th and 6th



– According to the latest figures from the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), Boko Haram violence has displaced more than 1.2 million people. The situation in most IDP camps is quite grim, lacking basic sanitation and water supplies.

– Boko Haram released beheading video on Monday purporting to show it killed two men, echoing the similar techniques used by Islamic State.

– Hundreds of civilians killed by fleeing Boko Haram as Chadian army advanced and regained control of the town of Dikwa on Monday.

– In a separate incident on Tuesday, at least 45 people lost their lives to Boko Haram militants as they stormed the village of Njaba in Borno State. Other reports place the death toll at 68.

– Despite tremendous loss of life over the week’s course, there are some indications that Boko Haram is losing the war against secular Nigeria.


South Sudan

– South Sudan rival leaders failed to meet the deadline set by regional mediators to strike a final and comprehensive peace deal on Thursday.

– Humanitarian news agency IRIN discusses the implications of failure to reach a peace agreement, including a lack of accountability for horrific human rights abuses that have been committed.

– South Sudan rebels attacked the border of Western Bahr al Ghazal State.



– UNAMID whistleblower Aicha Elbasri has written an open letter to the chief prosecutor of the ICC, stating: Yesterday marked the six-year anniversary of the international criminal court’s (ICC) arrest warrant for Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur. The day went largely unnoticed by the international community, as Darfur’s victims marked another year without protection, peace or justice.”

– The UN reported that deadly conflict in Darfur resulted in the displacement of nearly half a million people in 2014.


– The 2014/15 Amnesty International Report called for more action to be taken against those who had committed crimes against humanity during the Indonesian occupation



– Uganda has denied allegations that they are amassing troops along the South Sudanese border with Sudan. Sudan’s Suna news agency on Monday said Ugandan soldiers were massing near the border to fight rebels opposed to President Salva Kiir’s government, a move that Sudan finds “unacceptable and presenting a danger to Sudan’s stability”.

– The Ugandan LGBT community is bracing themselves after it emerged that another anti-homosexuality bill could soon be back on the political agenda. David Bahati, the sponsor of Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), announced this weekend that he intends to reintroduce the bill in parliament, after a court found it invalid for procedural reasons last August.

– The ICC prosecutor has requested a 3-month extension in criminal proceedings against LRA commander Dominic Ongwen to confirm charges. Last weekend, the ICC also called for LRA leader, Joseph Kony, to quit his rebellion, come out of hiding and face charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

– The Ugandan military has claimed that 5 LRA fighters have been killed by Ugandan soldiers in C.A.R. on Tuesday. The Central African Republic has long been used as a track route for LRA militants making their way into the DRC

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