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Rohingya allegedly forced to protest against Arakan Army; Airstrike kills at least six in Mrauk-U

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Rohingya allegedly forced to protest against Arakan Army

A group of Rohingya in Buthidaung Township of northern Arakan State staged a protest against the Arakan Army (AA) on Tuesday. They reportedly arrived in the town in 10 separate vehicles carrying signs in Burmese that stated: “We don’t want war” and “No AA.” 

“The military is trying to create racial riots as it is losing the war,” said Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya human rights activist and founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition.

“The military brought them from villages with vehicles and forced them to protest by threatening them that their homes might be burned down if they did not join the demonstration. I heard that the military arranged sign boards for days before the protest,” he added. Read more here

Airstrike kills at least six in Mrauk-U

An airstrike killed six civilians, including children, and injured seven others in Ahtet Laynyin Taung village of Mrauk-U Township in Arakan State on Thursday. Two of the injured are in critical condition at a hospital. 

“A fighter jet dropped bombs in the early morning and we were lucky as we managed to escape. Many were killed and injured. The whole village was in chaos and there was blood everywhere,” said a Ahtet Laynyin Taung resident.  

More than 50 civilians have been killed and over 80 have been injured by airstrikes in Arakan State this month, according to data collected by local rescue teams. Retaliatory airstrikes and artillery attacks have been carried out against the AA by the military. The AA claimed that it will investigate “war crimes” and take action. 

A protest calling for a ban on jet fuel to the military was held in Monywa Township on March 13 (Credit: People’s Strike Steering Committee)

A campaign to ban jet fuel exports to Burma

Blood Money, an activist group founded in 2021 following the military coup to target the revenue going to the regime, launched a campaign calling on the U.S., U.K. and E.U. to ban all aviation fuel shipments to Burma. 

“Western countries should do something. They need to [take a] very concrete and very tangible step [and] that is stopping the jet fuel supply to Myanmar. Jet fuel is used in airstrikes targeted at civilians and so many are dying, [including] children.” said “Mike,” a member of Blood Money who spoke to DVB on the condition of anonymity. 

Research group Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica documented that from February 2021 to December 2023, over 1,650 airstrikes were carried out by the military. This killed nearly 1,000 people and injured 900. Last August, the U.S. and U.K. sanctioned companies that imported aviation fuel to Burma, but the airstrikes have continued.

News by Region

SHAN—At least six men have been conscripted in a lottery held in Pindaya Township since Tuesday. The Pa-O National Army (PNO/PNA) and the Burma Army have reportedly been compiling lists of recruits in Htwet Ni, Thit El Pin, Taung Paw Gyi, Ye Phyu, and Kyauksu villages since March 18. 

The military regime has claimed that it is only conscripting one person per ward or village, but up to seven people may have been conscripted in some areas. CCTV cameras have been recently installed and travel restrictions have been imposed on Pindaya Township residents.

MAGWAY—Relatives of political prisoners at Daung Nay Prison (Magway Prison) claimed that inmates are receiving food meant for animals. The wife of a politician from Sidoktaya Township, being held at the prison, said that her husband has been distressed due to the poor quality of rice served to inmates.

The father of a Magway political activist, held in prison, called on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to investigate. Unnamed sources inside the prison said that “the grains of rice are broken and have an unpleasant odor.”

Daung Nay prison authorities denied responsibility for the poor quality of rice to DVB. The prison houses approximately 1,900 inmates, including jailed Magway Chief Minister Aung Moe Nyo, and other political prisoners. 

MANDALAY—A People’s Defense Force (PDF) member and a civilian were killed by the Burma Army in Nyaungpintha village of Madaya Township on Wednesday. “Two military columns transporting 180 Burma Army personnel conducted an offensive on the village and killed them. We recovered his body,” said Bo Tauk, a PDF spokesperson. 

Two other PDF members managed to escape. The regime troops burned down around 20 homes in Ywarthaya village and 14 more homes in Sharsaygyi village. 

MON—Seventy-eight Rohingya were arrested after being discovered on a boat deemed “suspicious” by regime authorities southwest of Kalakut island in Ye Township on Tuesday. 

“They are currently being detained on the island and legal action will be taken against them,” said an unnamed source close to local authorities. The Rohingya are reportedly from an IDP camp in Arakan State and intended to travel to Malaysia.  

Don’t miss the DVB English News Weekly Briefing every Friday. Follow us on Spotify. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Amazon Music, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.

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