Weekly News Round Up (05/12/14)

12 December 2014

News from HART:

  • On Tuesday, Baroness Cox raised an oral question in the House of Lords on the human rights situation in Sudan. More here.
  • From the HART Blog: Lawrie Elsdon-Dew analyses Nigeria’s bleak future in a new blog post.
  • One of HART’s partners in Nigeria, the Archbishop of Jos Benjamin Kwashi, discussed his opinions on Boko Haram’s recent attacks with BBC News. The article can be found here.



  • Last Friday, a Burmese army officer was sentenced for two years in prison by a military court after photos emerged of him signing a petition that proposed to amend a constitutional article that gives an automatic 25% of seats in Burma’s lower house.
  • A new UNHCR report has estimated that about 54,000 people have undertaken maritime South-East Asia this year alone. The report estimates that smugglers have “generated nearly US$250 million in revenue in the last three years.” The report can be accessed here.
  • According to the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), food supplies provided by the UN and NGOs that were to be delivered to internally displaced persons’ camps near Laiza, the headquarters of the KIO, never arrived. The KIO accuses the government of suspending these supplies.
  • On Monday, the EU announced that it “has allocated €688 million to Myanmar under its bilateral cooperation programme over the period 2014-2020 to reinforce its support to the country’s multiple transition.”
  • The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights issued a statement on Monday calling on Myanmar to repeal the package of discriminatory laws proposed by the intolerant Mabatha Buddhist group and approved for revision by President Thein Sein.
  • On Thursday, the Free Burma Rangers issued a press release declaring that two of their relief team members were shot by the Burmese Army last month. More here.





  • Between November 30 and December 6 Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire 800 times along the Line of Contact of the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, firing at least 13000 shots. NKR Defence army took response actions.
  • On December 8 Armenian National Assembly Chairman Galust Sahakyan received a delegation led by Danilo Astori, the vice President of Uruguay and President of the Senate of Uruguay. Sahakyan expressed hope that Armenia could expect the support of Uruguay in counteracting the widespread anti-Armenian activities by Azerbaijan. Senate Danilo Astori expressed hope that this visit would be a good occasion for deepening relations and later at a press conference announced that Uruguay made all efforts to recognise the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, while also tried to keep a good relation with the other parties involved.
  • On Monday a soldier of the NKR Defence Army, aged 19, was shot and died as a result of firing from the Azerbaijani side.




  • According to the data collected by the Council for Foreign Relations, between November 2013 and November 2014 there were 10,340 violent deaths linked to Boko Haram-related violence. In this same period 10,733 civilians were killed in Iraq according to the UN.
  • The military announced that it had completely freed Mubi, Adamawa State’s second largest city that had been occupied by Boko Haram militants in October.
  • On Saturday, masked gunmen stormed a prison in the city of Minna, Niger State, setting more than 275 inmates free. No one has claimed responsibility yet, but Boko Haram are highly suspected.
  • On Wednesday, at least four people were killed and seven were left inured in a double attack carried out by female suicide bombers near a market in Kano City, Kano State’s capital and Nigeria’s second largest city.



South Sudan

  • On Tuesday, UNMISS started the destruction of weapons gathered at internally displaced peoples’ camps.
  • Human Rights Watch released a report on Thursday calling on South Sudan to make a commitment to justice for serious crimes committed during the brutal war that began a year ago. The full report can be found here.
  • During a speech on Wednesday, South Sudan’s Human Rights Commision’s deputy chairman said that government and rebels were both responsible for committing atrocities against civilians.




  • Sudan’s Intelligence and Security Services arrested the President of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor, Amin Mekki Medani. The move comes days after Mekki, on behalf of NGOs, signed an agreement with the National Consensus Force, an umbrella group of Sudan’s main opposition parties, to facilitate peace talks in Addis Ababa.
  • Talks between the Sudanese government and rebels failed to reach an agreement after three weeks of negotiations ended on Tuesday.




  • Uganda’s veteran President Yoweri Museveni was quoted to have said, in response to being challenged to announce his retirement date, that the people did not want him to retire, and that he did not need power as a person. He has been on power since 1986 and has recently sacked the country’s Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, a former ally who has emerged as a potential challenger.
  • The United States has warned Uganda that its efforts to pass new anti-gay laws are damaging the economy by scaring off investors and tourists and underscoring Uganda’s economic growth. Ugandan lawmakers have announced their hope to pass the new anti-homosexuality legislation before Christmas.
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