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25 September 2015
News From HART
- We are thrilled to announce the launch of the HART Prize for Human Rights 2015/16. As with last year, there is a Creative Competition and an Essay Competition. Both are separated into Junior (13-17) and Senior (18-25) categories. The Grand Prize for the Senior Essay Competition is a trip with HART to Nagorno-Karabakh to experience aid and advocacy first hand.Briefs with essay questions, country fact sheets, examples of last year’s entries and more information are all available here. We look forward to your entries and please do share this competition with anyone you think may be interested. The competition deadline is 26 February 2016.
- Research & Campaigns Intern Rowena Teall considers the maximisation of Goal 5 from the Sustainable Development Goals. Read her blog now!
- Catriona Graffius analyses Nagorno-Karabakh’s position in frozen conflict, and the outlook for official recognition. Read her blog now!
- Rachel Shannon contributes with a word performance of her powerful poem “I Was A Child Soldier”. Watch it now!
- The Foreign Minister Wanna Maung Lwin defends the withdrawal of Rohingya voting rights, claiming they are similar to foreigners with a residence and working permit.
- More than 6000 names have been added to the Chin State voting lists. Further additions are expected as the election commission is encouraging the public to fill in gaps in existing voting lists.
- The Shan Human Rights Foundation has accused the Burmese army of using 10 civilians as shields during fighting in Shan State.
- Ahead of elections the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is seeking support through branding itself as the founder of democracy in Burma.
- Fighting in Shan State continues though the government and the ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) have planed to sign a ceasefire in early October.
- India and Nepal in tensions over problems stemming from Nepal’s constitution.
- Campaign success for two Dalit sisters in India – protection to be given by state authorities to prevent rape as punishment for their brother’s ‘crime’, after half a million people globally signed petition against the unlawful ruling.
- Chinese military directly blames Indian Army for border standoff.
- No country recognised the elections held in Nagorno-Karabakh on the 13th of September.
- An increasing number of ceasefire violations have been reported along the Nagorno-Karabakh border to Azerbaijan. It is reported that three civilians have been killed by Azerbaijani forces.
- Suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 54 and injured 90 in north-eastern Nigeria on Sunday evening, especially targeting a mosque and football fans watching a match. (20/9/15)
- The Nigerian Military arrested 42 Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State as well as its ‘kingpin’ of the area Bulama Modu, clearing two camps. In the same operation they rescued 241 women and children. (23/9/15)
- Cars, public transport, horses, donkeys and camels have been banned in Borno State over Eid al-Adha in an attempt to prevent attacks from Boko Haram during this holiday. (24/9/15)
- Despite rival leaders in South Sudan pledging their commitment to a fully-fledged regional peace deal signed last month, violence has continued in Unity state. Lam Tungwar, the Unity state minister of youth, culture and sports, has accused rebels of attacking government positions across the state, and violating the already precarious ceasefire agreement.
- In a bid to strengthen the ongoing peace process, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has invited Riek Machar, soon to be re-instated vice president and opposition leader, to the UN summit in New York on Friday. South Sudanese government officials have stated however that President Salva Kiir will be missing the summit ‘on the grounds the invitation was extended at short notice’.
- On Tuesday the US State Department announced an additional $80 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan, bringing the total US contribution to the crisis since 2013 to $1.3 billion.
- The International Federation for Human Rights has coordinated a joint statement and submitted it to the AU ahead of the upcoming Peace and Security Council meeting on the 26th September 2015. It urges the regional body to implement the terms of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, particularly the creation of a Hybrid Court for South Sudan, as well as a Truth Commission and Compensation and Reparations Authority.
- On Tuesday, President Omar Al Bashir issued a presidential decree that declares a general amnesty for the leaders and members of the Sudanese armed groups that participate in the national dialogue. The president also issued another ceasefire decree for two months in the conflict areas in Sudan, but did not announce its start date. Rebel groups have expressed their concern over his motives for granting amnesty and the conditions under which negotiations will take place. The Sudan Revolutionary Front’s (SRF) leader, Malik Agar, reiterated the group’s stance that Al Bashir’s insistence on holding the national dialogue in the country and leading the dialogue personally is unacceptable to the armed opposition.
- Popular beauty pageant held by Ugandan youth organisation for HIV positive students to tackle stigma.
- Chairperson of Ugandan Women’s Entrepreneurs states that women at the micro level do not have access to finance services, thus preventing them from growing their businesses.
- African governments are urged to support gender equality for sustainable development.
- Ugandan police warn of possible al-Shabaab attack on Kampala during Eid celebrations.
- Ugandan opposition coalition collapses meaning Museveni faces little challenge to another term in power.