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2 October 2015
News From HART
- For the International Day of the Girl Child, HART intern Rowena highlight HART’s work to empower and protect young women. Read it here!
- Asia Justice and Rights released a report on how the conflict in Kachin and Karen states affect local women.
- Burmese voters are not being assisted in their election choices, as campaigning material for different parties is too similar, Mizzima reports.
- “Pre-Election Burma and the Challenges of Transition” – An informative debate on the upcoming elections in Burma, can be watched through the Vaclav Havel Library.
- 41 village tracks in Karen state will stand without open polling stations on election day. The reason, says the township election commission’s Chairman U Kyi Lwin, is security concerns.
- Kayah State is not providing the public with enough information about the elections, says representative of the Election Observation Group.
- Local witnesses say that the Burma Army looted a village in Northern Shan State, shooting and robbing civilians present.
- Civil Society Organisations have held a peace conference in Mon State.
- Asian Correspondent, highlights the important role social media plays in the upcoming elections.
- The Indian government is clamping down on critics, activists and aid groups in the stiffest crackdown in decades.
- At the UN General Assembly, India rejected Pakistan’s peace plan for the Kashmir region.
- The EU says a peaceful solution in Nagorno-Karabakh remains a priority as the current escalation of conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh is unsustainable.
- Shelling has caused further deaths in the border regions of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Members of the US congress have submitted proposals aimed to ensure lasting peace in the region.
- 200 Boko Haram fighters surrendered last Friday, handing themselves over on the Cameroon border, making this the biggest surrender yet.
- President Buhari has announced his much awaited Minister appointments. He has appointed himself Petroleum Minister.
- President Buhari and his delegation have received criticism for missing a UN meeting on Boko Haram and the resulting millions of displaced people. The meeting was attended by U.S. and European diplomats and other African delegations including Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
- The Nigerian military have indicated that Boko Haram may have poisoned water sources in some North-eastern villages.
- The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff has reiterated the army’s determination to end Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria by December.
- The African Union announced on Tuesday that a special war crimes court will be set up in response to the conflict in South Sudan. The AU and South Sudan have been critical of the International Criminal Court, suggesting that it hasn’t acted impartially in the past. This new war crimes court will use a mix of international and South Sudanese law.
- The UK has announced plans to deploy between 250-300 troops to South Sudan in the hope to help alleviate the conflict and humanitarian crisis. Whilst providing military, engineering, logistical training and advice, David Cameron suggested that such support could help counter the problems caused by migration and the threat of terrorist action being organised within fragile states. This announcement has faced criticism from within South Sudan, with arguments against an increase in troops without the consent of the South Sudanese government.
- The South Sudanese Defence Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, is visiting Cairo in the hope to strengthen military cooperation with Egypt. This visit on the back of the 2014 agreement to increase military cooperation between the two countries.
- The Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has stalled its withdrawal from the South Sudan regions of Bor and Juba. The recent peace agreement signed in August stated that all foreign militias and forces must leave the country, with the UPDF requested to have started its withdrawal on the 27th of September. However, the UPDF said it “was still monitoring the situation” before making a complete withdrawal.
- Despite the proposed two-month ceasefire announced in August, Khartoum has continued to bomb positions in South Kordofan. This is according to the rebel group SPLM-M, who said that a number of bombs have been dropped in the past week which has wounded a number of people, as well as destroying farms destroyed farms.
- A South African peacekeeper for the UNAMID has been killed in North Darfur. The UNAMID convoy were ambushed by unknown gunmen, leaving 4 other wounded. The UNAIMD death toll in the region has now risen to 57 since deployment in 2007.
- Timor-Leste are primed for a legal battle with Australia after two years of inconclusive talks over the jurisdiction of oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.
- Uganda is to benefit from $300 million US grant to fight the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
- The ICC brings 60 new war crimes charges against deputy leader of LRA, Dominic Ongwen.
- Ugandan LBGTI rights activist has been awarded the prestigious Right Livelihood Award.