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News from HART
– In the HART blog this week, Olivia Christian, student at the University of Leiden explores the role of the international community in helping alleviate Sudan’s ongoing struggle with food security. Read the blog here.
– The Burmese government has passed a new population control bill stipulating that women should not have children within three years of each other. Although no particular punishment has been given for breaking this rule, Irrawaddy news has reported fears that this could have a negative impact on the Muslim population in particular.
– Foreign Investment has risen to $8billion in the fiscal year of 2014-2015. This is over double that of the year before. Whilst investment may be good for the country, it important that it is done sustainably (for information on the potential dangers of a growth in investment at this time, please read HART’s report here).
– 150 people protested outside a consultation on the prospective Upper Salween (Mong Ton) dam which plans to export 90% energy created to Thailand and China after flooding a land, temples and thousands of homes stretching over the length of Shan State.
– Following the forced expiry of white cards on the 31st March, people who hold these cards have been given two months to return the cards. They can apply for citizenship from the 1st
– India has frozen the national bank accounts of Greenpeace, accusing it of violating the country’s tax laws and working against its economic interests. In a long-running dispute India accused the environmental group of “stalling development projects” by protesting against large infrastructure plans. Greenpeace India rejected the six-month restrictions as “clear attempts to silence criticism and dissent”.
– Indian human rights groups are demanding an investigation into the deaths of 20 suspected red sandalwood smugglers after they clashed with police in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Local media say many of the men were shot at close range, some in the face. Sandalwood smuggling is rampant in southern India, with a tonne selling for tens of thousands of dollars on the international black market.
– Police in one Indian city plan to use drones armed with pepper spray to disperse unruly crowds, it’s reported. The police force in Lucknow, the capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state, has bought a set of drones which can each lift 2kg (4.4lb) in weight, the Indian Express reports.
– The Russian Foreign Minister has stated that he does ‘not tolerate even the thought that the Karabakh conflict will go into a “hot phase”’ and that Russia is trying to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
– PanARMENIAN news has reported that a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer was killed on the 7th April when Azerbaijan’s armed forces shelled the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact including villages, over night.
– The Armenian President, Serzh Sarkisian has warned that Armenia will ‘retaliate heavily if Azerbaijan dares another adventure in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone’.
– As the new President-elect Muhammadu Buhari tells Nigerians ‘not to expect miracles’ in the fight against Boko Haram, the insurgent group continues its campaign of terror across northern Nigeria. An attack on Sunday claimed the lives of 24 in the remote village of Kwajafa, Borno State. Seven civilians were killed in a separate attack in Chad which was blamed on Boko Haram militants.
– On Tuesday the UN Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the latest attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Council has called for an investigation into atrocities committed by the militant group.
– Speaking in Rome on Wednesday, the Italian Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said Italy may consider contributing to the fight against Boko Haram.
– China will send last detachment of 130 peacekeeping troops to South Sudan on Tuesday. They will join the 570 troops already in the country.
– At least four people have reportedly been killed and nine others injured after airplanes from Sudan dropped bombs inside South Sudan.
– Four children who were abducted in Abyei last month, have been freed after UN mediation efforts.
– Refugees from Blue Nile at the Bambasi camp in Ethiopia have raised their concerns over shortages of food and shelter. UNHCR has responded saying a monetary shortage is the reason due to unfulfilled donor pledges.
– EU will not send observers to monitor the elections taking place next week, due to stated infringement on political rights.
– An ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee has been arrested in Uganda for questioning over his possible role in the killing of a top prosecutor, police say. Jamal Kiyemba, a Ugandan, was arrested with the the help of US officials in the capital on Tuesday. Prosecutor Joan Kagezi was shot dead on 30 March, a day before the trial of men accused of involvement in bombings.