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Rohingya remain stranded at sea near Indonesia, U.S. announces new resettlement program for Rohingya

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Around 180 Rohingya remain stranded at sea near Indonesian coast

A boat carrying 180 Rohingya has been stranded at sea, near the coast of Indonesia, for 20 days. They are facing food and water shortages, according to Aung Kyaw Moe, an adviser to the National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Human Rights. “They have a satellite phone on board. They used the phone to tell their relatives in Cox’s Bazar that they are experiencing food shortages after the boat’s engine broke down. They [said] that they were in Indonesian waters,” he told DVB. A recording from the Rohingya on board requesting urgent humanitarian assistance from Indonesia has been circulating on social media. Aung Kyaw Moe said that his Ministry of Human Rights has also made pleas to the Indonesian government to assist the Rohingya stranded at sea. Another boat with Rohingya on board is reportedly missing. It is unknown how many are on board.

U.S. announces new resettlement program for Rohingya refugees

The U.S. State Department announced a refugee resettlement program for the Rohingya in collaboration with Bangladesh and the United Nations for High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Dec. 13. The program is a part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program that has provided more than $1.9 billion USD in humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and elsewhere. “In addition to supporting immediate basic needs, our humanitarian assistance strengthens the resilience, economic security, and dignity of refugees and host communities by improving education and livelihood opportunities,” the statement said. The State Department also affirmed its support to hold the perpetrators of the Rohingya Genocide accountable.

NUG announces new spokespersons for the President and PM offices

The NUG announced on Dec. 14 that it has appointed Kyaw Zaw as spokesperson of the President’s Office and Nay Phone Latt as the spokesperson of the Prime Minister Office. The previous spokespersons were replaced due to “competing ministerial duties.”

Canada sanctions arms and jet fuel suppliers to the Burma Army

Canada imposed new sanctions on arms brokers and jet fuel suppliers to Burma on Dec. 13. Companies listed in the sanctions include Dynasty International Company Limited, International Gateways Group, and Asia Sun Group. Canada is the first country to follow human rights groups’ recommendations to sanction aviation fuel suppliers. 

News by Region

KAREN—The Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge (1) that connects Myawaddy, Karen State to Mae Sot, Thailand will reportedly reopen soon. The bridge has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown began in 2020.

The Burma Army burned down four rice warehouses in Hpapun Township, located in the Karen National Union’s (KNU) Brigade 5, on Dec. 10. The Burma Army reportedly looted the village during the attack, according to locals. A KNU official said that more than ten houses have been damaged in the township from airstrikes carried out since November.

SHAN—Airstrikes occurred in Mongmit Township against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on Dec. 13. Fighting between the TNLA and the Burma Army broke out from Dec. 7 to 11, according to TNLA spokesperson Tar Aik Kyaw. “The [air force] were flying over Namsan all day,” he said. The Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO) said that one villager was killed and two others were injured by the Burma Army in Konethar village on Dec. 7. The TNLA claimed that around 50 homes in Konethar village were damaged by Burma Army shelling. The TNLA claimed the Burma army looted the village during the attack. More than 1,000 people have been displaced from their homes because of the fighting.

DVB PICKS—Watch the latest Doh Pyay Doh Myay (Our Land Our Region) Global English video of a newlywed couple in Jacksonville, Florida keeping Kachin customs and traditions alive.

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