Weekly News Round Up (13/03/2015)

13 March 2015

News from HART

– In light of last week’s International Women’s Day blog series, Rose Smith, our guest blogger for this week, looks at the development of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and women’s rights in Burma, with a focus on empowering women and achieving gender equality. Read her blog entry here.

– HART event: Join us in the House of Lords on the 17th March at 7pm, to hear about HART’s work and how you can get involved, and to learn about an upcoming visit to our partners in Nagorno-Karabakh.



– Student protests on education have been attached with violence and the arrest of 127 people including journalists this week prompting people to question why the EU is supplying and training the Burmese Police Force which is being used as a weapon of the government against its people. The UK has approved the sale of £16 million crowd control and anti-riot equipment whilst Myanmar is on its own Human Rights Blacklist. People in Rangoon have reacted with peaceful protest wearing white armbands saying ‘We are Students, Respect our Rights’.

– Shan civil society and political members have met together and formed the Committee for Shan State Unity (CSSU) to act as a common voice during the peace process.

– The Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma has published its report detailing human rights abuses in the final months of 2014.

– Following increased conflict in the Kokang region which spilled into Chinese territory on Sunday, Chinese forces are now on high alert.



– A court in India has ruled that the government cannot stop an activist of the global campaign group Greenpeace from travelling abroad. Immigration officials had prevented Priya Pillai from boarding her flight to London in January. She was to brief British MPs on how a planned coal mine by a UK-based company was threatening the livelihoods of local villagers.

– Another court has backed the Government’s refusal to lift the ban on ‘India’s Daughter’ being screened in India.



– Belarus has stated that it is ready to host negotiations to help end the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and prevent further ‘human casualties’.



– At least 34 people were killed in a crowded market on Tuesday in the northeastern Nigerian city of Magiduguri. Many more were wounded as a female teenager was used as a suicide bomber.

– Meanwhile, Nigeria’s military has announced that coalition forces have gained ground against Boko Haram and have recaptured their stronghold in the Yobe State.

– U.S. Secretary of defense Ash Carter said on Wednesday that new authorization for military force in the war against Islamic State allows for ‘flexibility’ to include Islamic State affiliated targets, including Boko Haram.

– Child brides continue to face death sentences a decade after child marriage was outlawed in Nigeria.


South Sudan

– 76 organisations have written an open letterto the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC), calling on them to immediately publish the final Commission of Inquiry report into human rights violations and abuses committed in South Sudan.

– Refugees International have published anew field report on the situation in South Sudan. The report states that “In the north of the country, where fighting is most severe, populations have been pushed to the brink of starvation” and warns that “This is a critical moment, before the rainy season begins in earnest in May and logistical challenges become even more difficult.”



– International Crisis Group have published a new analysis of theProspects for National Dialogue in Sudan. They begin by stating: “Prospects for an inclusive national dialogue President Omar al-Bashir promised in January 2014 are fading, making a soft-landing end to Sudan’s crises more doubtful. Sceptics who warned that the ruling party was unwilling and unable to make needed concessions have been vindicated.”

– The SPLM-N havereported another bombardment of civilian areas in South Kordofan, and accuse Khartoum of hampering the release of prisoners of war. An SPLM-N spokesperson said a SAF “air force Sokhoi Jet-fighter bombed Tanase Village in Tabo County (Boram) in South Kordofan, Nuba Mountains region, the attack which targeted a residential area, wounded a child girl, Saloom Habil Tiya, 15 years old”.



– Politicians in Uganda have backtracked on moves to bar veteran reporters from covering the east African nation’s parliament following angry complaints by rights activists and media groups, officials said Friday. Journalists alleged the directive was prompted by negative reporting on issues such as bribery, inefficiency, absenteeism and wasteful expenditure – including controversial moves by deputies to vote themselves a significant pay rise.

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