The US Department of Treasury imposed sanctions Feb. 2 on a Sudanese financial institution and two private companies accused of funding belligerents in the ongoing civil war in the African country. The sanctions name Alkhaleej Bank and metal ore company Al-Fakher Advanced Works, said to be controlled by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), as well as development company Zadna International, controlled by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). In a press release, the Treasury Department accused the companies of fueling the conflict, laundering money, and engaging in "actions of policies that threaten the peace, security and stability of Sudan."
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee on Jan. 30 announced the commencement of a four-week consultation period for a new local security law under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the city's mini-constitution. Article 23 mandates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) pass its own laws to prohibit crimes such as treason, secession, sedition and subversion against China's Central People's Government.
Russian law enforcement detained at least two dozen people Feb. 3 at a protest in Moscow, as wives and relatives of service members fighting in Ukraine advocated for their return. Reportedly, those arrested were primarily journalists covering the protest and human rights monitors rather than participants in the demonstration.
Burma's ruling military junta announced Jan. 31 that it has extended the country's state of emergency period for another six months. The junta previously extended the state of emergency by six months on July 31, 2023 and postponed an election it had promised to hold in August 2023. The state of emergency was first declared in the aftermath of the February 2021 coup, and has been continuously extended since then.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Jan. 31 that Russia failed to investigate Ukrainian claims that Russian nationals finance terrorism in Ukraine, in violation of its obligations under Article 9 of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT). The ruling's press release states that the ICJ otherwise rejected requests by Ukraine for a plethora of provisional measures. Ukraine had requested the ICJ declare Russia in violation of both the ICSFT and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), seeking a court order demanding Russia comply with its obligations under these conventions. Ukraine also requested that the ICJ order Russia to prosecute certain officials, such as the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, and further requested reparations for civilian shelling.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report Jan. 25 bringing attention to three military drone strikes conducted by Burkina Faso’s government, supposedly targeting Islamist fighters. The strikes took place between August and November 2023 and resulted in significant civilian casualties at crowded markets, and a funeral, according to the report. A minimum of 60 civilians are found to have lost their lives, with numerous others injured.
The International Court of Justice ordered Israel on Jan. 26 to "take all measures within its power" to prevent breaches of the Genocide Convention in the Gaza Strip, but declined to order a ceasefire, following proceedings instituted by South Africa. The court also directed Israel to punish calls for genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, to enable the provision of "basic services and humanitarian assistance" to residents of Gaza, to preserve evidence relating to potential Genocide Convention breaches, and to submit a report regarding its compliance with the court's order within one month. In its interim ruling, the court stressed that it is not yet determining whether Israel breached the Genocide Convention but is acting to protect the rights of Palestinians ahead of a final decision.
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva vowed Jan. 23 to provide the indigenous Pataxó Hã Hã Hãe people of southern Bahia state with federal support in a land dispute with farmers who are encroaching on their territory. The dispute led to the death of an indigenous leader in a confrontation; her brother, a traditional indigenous chief (cacique), was also shot but survived after undergoing surgery. Others suffered non-deadly injuries in the clash, including a broken arm.