Weekly News Round-Up (25/09/15)

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.




South Sudan

  • 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.



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