Nearly 2,000 sea migrants from Myanmar were rescued
or swum to safety in Malaysia and Indonesia last weekend. However, a wooden fishing boat carrying hundreds
of migrants from Myanmar is adrift at sea without food or water, after Malaysia refused to take them in. According to The Guardian, Rohingya Muslims are braving
such risks of death at sea to escape their “open-air prison” in Myanmar, but Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia are all refusing new migrants.
More than 50,000 refugees have poured
into Rwanda from Burundi. An army general attempted a coup while President Nkurunziza was abroad in Tanzania, though whether he was successful is unclear. The general, Godefrois Niyombare, said he was working
with civil society, religious leaders, and politicians to form a transitional government. Concerns are mounting that Burundi’s electoral violence could have a major impact on the elections scheduled
next year in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect released a statement
on Burundi reminding the Army, Police and government of their shared responsibility to protect.
ICRtoP member International Crisis Group has a new Q & A
with Thierry Vircoulin on the coup and its implications.
Central African Republic:
Ten armed groups agreed
to a peace deal requiring them to disarm at the Bangui Peace Forum. The agreement also stipulated that no amnesty would be granted for atrocity crimes, and called for the urgent creation of a special criminal court for such crimes in CAR. Amnesty International called for follow-through on the accountability
promises made in the accord. Armed groups released more than 300 children, including several under 12 years old, thanks to an agreement
facilitated by UNICEF.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
At least 7 bodies, presumed
to be hacked to death by machetes and axes, were found near Beni, where a series of massacres have left 300 dead in seven months. It is unclear if ADF rebels committed the most recent killings. The DRC is requesting
the extradition of the leader of the ADF, Jamil Mukulu, from Tanzania. Mukulu was arrested by Tanzania in April. MONUSCO announced
that Bantu militiamen had massacred dozens of Pygmies over the past week, in a conflict driven by social inequities.
Iraq began training
Sunni tribal fighters to help in the battle against ISIS, an initiative backed by the U.S. ISIS militants staged
a prison break near Baghdad, freeing prisoners and gaining access to the jail’s weapons stores.
At a briefing to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda urged
the international community to be more proactive in helping restore peace in Libya, while also announcing that she is prepared to investigate crimes allegedly committed
by ISIS in Libya. ICRtoP Member Human Rights Watch also called the Security Council to speak out strongly against impunity in Libya. According to Amnesty International, refugees and migrants across Libya are at risk
of torture, rape, and abductions. Four children were killed
in a rocket attack in Benghazi, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.
A Tuareg rebel alliance, the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), signed
a preliminary peace agreement with the government, but clarified that the initial accord represented only their “commitment to peace.” They underscored that many pending issues would have to be resolved before singing a final accord.
The military placed
Maiduguri under curfew after a surprise attack by Boko Haram on Tuesday. President Idriss Deby of Chad claimed
that Nigerian and Chadian troops are not cooperating in the fight against Boko Haram. Nigerian soldiers have been found guilty
of mutiny and sentenced to death for refusing to fight against Boko Haram. The soldiers protest that they lacked weapons.
South Sudan’s parliament
passed a new bill “regulating NGOs”, which would require aid agencies in South Sudan to ensure that no more than 20% of their staff are foreigners. The South Sudan NGO Forum protested that the bill would hinder the delivery of services and “cost lives.” Over 300,000 civilians have been left without assistance
in Unity State after the UN and aid agencies were forced to evacuate after a surge of fighting. UNMISS expressed
concern over reports from Unity of the torching of villages, killing, abductions, rape, and forced displacements. Meanwhile, the South Sudanese government rejected
a proposal by UNMISS to relocate over 100,000 internally displaced persons from civilian protection sites to their places of choice, including villages and towns held by rebels.
a new issue brief on State Formation, Humanitarianism, and Institutional Capabilities in South Sudan.
Sudan claims that it has made progress
against rebels in Darfur. Over 100 people were killed
in tribal clashes in East Darfur this week, while UNAMID called
for restraint over rising tensions between the Rezeigat and Ma’alia tribes. Sudan’s first vice-president demanded the finalization
of consultations on a referendum to decide Darfur’s administrative status, an element of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. A Sudanese militia commander declared
Tawila, in North Darfur, a military area, saying that people may be targeted.
The Commission for International Justice and Accountability claims they have compiled enough evidence from smuggled
documents to indict Assad and 24 members of his regime for war crimes. The Syrian National Coalition announced
that it would not be attending the Geneva consultations hosted by the UN envoy, Steffan de Mistura, dampening hopes of a breakthrough. The UN announced that 36,000 newborn Syrians are now stateless
in Lebanon. Inspectors in Syria found
new traces of chemical weapons. Handicap International warned
that 5 million Syrians will be at risk of explosive weapons for years to come.
What else is new?
Ahead of Wednesday's Security Council debate on Small Arms and Light Weapons, the ICRtoP and PAX coordinated with 40 ICRtoP members and partners to write a letter urging member states to voice their "strong support for addressing the horrific civilian impact of SALW, the most commonly used weapons in armed conflicts and post-conflict situations, and for addressing their Responsibility to Protect in this regard." Read the full letter here
The ICRtoP, Stanley Foundation, and Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect have released a report
on the civil society workshop called "Ten Years Since the World Summit: Developing Civil Society’s Strategy for the Responsibility to Protect in the Asia-Pacific Region"
held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 28 February 2015. The workshop reflected on the best practices and challenges of the past decade; evaluated the ability of domestic, regional, and international actors to implement RtoP; and identified measures that could further operationalize the norm. Representatives of civil society from Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as those from international nongovernmental organizations, participated in the meeting.
ICRtoP's Senior Program Officer, Megan Schmidt, was interviewed
in the Canadian International Council's feature of RtoP experts.