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HomeBreakingFATF blacklists Burma, UNHCR urges ASEAN to halt refoulement

FATF blacklists Burma, UNHCR urges ASEAN to halt refoulement


Financial Action Task Force blacklists Burma

As expected, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has blacklisted Burma from the global monetary system. The Paris-based international money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog confirmed Burma will join the likes of North Korea and Iran on its list of states failing to halt illicit financial flows. FATF President Raja Kumar stated that humanitarian aid and non-profit organizations’ activities will not be affected.

The junta’s Central Bank responded to the FATF announcement on Oct. 22 stating that it’s not a situation that concerns the country. The bank then promised that it has planned projects to get it off the blacklist within one year. Burma had been banned by the FATF from 2011 to 2016. The bank warned citizens not to conduct “any fraudulent activities” until reinstated. The FATF meeting was held on Oct. 20 and 21 in at its headquarters in Paris, France. A delegation from the junta attended the meeting. 

UN refugee agency urges ASEAN members to discontinue refoulement

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Burma’s neighboring countries not to continue with refoulement. The Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at UNHCR, Gillian Triggs, said the lives of those being forcefully repatriated to Burma may be in danger. “I demand again to the countries to continue to protect Burmese nationals who fled from their country for their life security. And I also request an end to the arrest and detention of asylum seekers and refugees from Burma,” Triggs stated. The UNHCR is deeply concerned over the news of legitimate asylum seekers from Burma, who fled the country since the military coup, being sent back from neighboring countries like Thailand and Malaysia. One hundred and fifty Burma nationals were sent back from Malaysia to Burma. A total of 100 Karen asylum seekers who fled across the border to Thailand were also forcibly returned to Burma on Sept. 30.

News by Region

KAREN—The founder of the Kawthoolei (Karen) Army, Brigadier General Saw Nerdah Mya, said his fight against the junta will proceed after Friday’s attempt to seize Kawkareik from its grasp. “We already have a lot of success. Now, we need to gather and have courage. It is our responsibility to bring down this military council. We will succeed soon if we are united,” Saw Nerdah Mya said. The Karen National Union (KNU) dismissed Saw Nerdah Mya from his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) after he founded the Kawthoolei Army on July 17. Read about the efforts to wrest control of Kawkareik here.

YANGON—More than 100 Rohingya were arrested during a home inspection in Myothit Township on Oct. 20, a local told DVB. “They took the vehicles as well as the drivers,” he said. Junta forces surrounded the home and arrested 121 Rohingya and four others – including the home owner and drivers. Around 300 Rohingya have been arrested in Twante, South Dagon, North Dagon and Shwe Pyi Thar Townships so far this year.

A 100-household administrator, his wife, and another man were killed in Hlaing township on Oct. 22, according to locals. Unidentified gunmen entered the home, located on Thiri 5th Street in No. 2 ward. “His wife was a clerk. I don’t know if his nephew worked but all three of them were shot and killed. Now, the security is really tight as there were shootings the previous days,” a local told DVB. Their bodies were later sent to Yangon General Hospital. The security forces blocked Thiri 5th street for its investigation. Last week, three senior military officers and a soldier were killed in the area.

A husband and wife were shot by gunmen at U Kyin U market in North Dagon Township on Oct. 22.  “A motorcycle stopped near them and fired ten rounds of shots. The man was killed at the place and the woman seriously wounded,” a local told DVB. Ground News Coverage (GNC), an urban guerrilla group, claimed responsibility for the murder.

TANINTHARYI—Junta officials have given three months for the owners of 37 stalls in front of Myoma Football stadium in Myeik town to vacate the premises. The Department of Sports and Physical Education of Myeik District rented out the stalls under a 30-year contract to the vendors but on Oct. 14, authorities forced them to sign statements giving up that right. The current value of a vendor stall is around K30 million ($14,200 USD). Following the coup, the military council has forcibly removed shops and buildings under long-term lease agreements.

RAKHINE—The United League of Arakan (ULA) announced that it handed a 20-year prison sentence, along with 30 lashes, to two Arakan Army (AA) troops found guilty of rape. A complaint was filed in Buthidaung Township to the Arakan Army (AA) – the military wing of the ULA – about two AA troops who raped a woman from Kyaung Daw village on Oct. 1, 2022. The ULA court handed its verdict in accordance with military law with the victim’s family as witnesses, as well as local religious leaders, reported Narinjara News. 

The AA captured a Rohingya Solidarity Organization ( RSO ) outpost near Bandula village, Maungdaw Township, on Oct. 22. “We lost 7 cows from Bandhula village. We had experienced such things [missing cows] many times. The villagers reported to the AA about this. After that, I learned that the AA found the outpost while searching for the missing cows and seized it. It is known that the missing cows have been sent to Bangladesh,” a local told DVB. A local military analyst said that the AA forces have taken over northern Maungdaw, areas where Rohingya armed groups such as ARSA and RSO have been active in the past. “After the AA had dominated the areas, the [Burma] military’s strategy changed. ARSA and RSO are being forced [by the Burma Army] to reactivate in the Maungdaw region,” the analyst said.

SAGAING—Witnesses claimed that the Burma Army beheaded two People’s Defense Force (PDF) members in Yin Baung Taing village, Yinmabin Township, on Oct. 20. The Burma Army arrested 37 locals sheltering inside a monastery the previous day, according to a man released by the junta troops. “We were brought to Yin Baung Taing village after they arrested us. We were then brought to the Pale region and were told to carry their bags on the way there. On the way, they arrested two PDF members and beheaded them alive. They held up and showed us the heads and warned us not to join PDFs if we do not wish to have this fate,” the local told DVB. The Yoma Fighter, a local resistance force, confirmed that two of its members went missing. Over 80 Burma Army troops launched an offensive on Pale from Yinmabin Township.

The Burma Army destroyed at least 10 houses and killed farm animals along the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River in Katha Township on Oct.20. Seven vessels traveling from Tigyaing to Katha town fired at buildings on the river bank, a spokesperson of Katha People’s Defense Force (PDF) told DVB. “They shot at everything including religious buildings. We don’t know what the casualties are,” he said. The Katha PDF announced that villagers should protect themselves and their livestock ahead of potential clashes. The announcement stated that locals should report damages, losses and injuries to the National Unity Government (NUG) through the Katha Township People’s Administration.

An estimated 10 PDF members were killed at Yinmarpin’s Shwehlan village on Oct. 21. According to local news reports, the dead bodies of the PDF members were found burned. “The [Burma Army] entered and shot while the PDF were sleeping in a house in the village,” a local told DVB.

In Myaung Township, five civilians from Shwephappin village are missing after Burma Army shells hit a boat traveling up the Irrawaddy River on Oct. 22. “The weapon fell straight on the motorboat and sank. There are 6 people on the boat. One escaped. 5 are missing in the Irrawaddy River,” said a local PDF.


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