Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
August 2020 - Myanmar News
- In Myanmar's Rakhine State Mistrust Hampers COVID-19 Response Radio Free Asia 31 Aug 2020 -- The fight to contain a surge in coronavirus infections in Myanmar's Rakhine state is being complicated by mistrust of government health guidelines that leads local villagers to reject masks and embrace conspiracy theories, relief workers and residents told RFA.
- Rakhine Lawmaker Disqualified After Son Deserts Myanmar Army For Rebel Force Radio Free Asia 31 Aug 2020 -- Election authorities in western Myanmar's Rakhine state have rejected a sitting ethnic Rakhine lawmaker's application to run for re-election in November, citing his Myanmar soldier son's 2018 defection to an armed rebel group now at war with government, the legislator told RFA on Monday.
- Bangladesh Restores Internet to Rohingya Camps Radio Free Asia 31 Aug 2020 -- Bangladesh restored internet access in Rohingya refugee camps and surrounding communities on Friday after a nearly year-long blackout, saying pressure from international groups led to the change.
- Myanmar Military to Investigate Troops Accused of Killing Three Ta'ang Villagers Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- The Myanmar military has said it will investigate the deaths of three ethnic Ta'ang civilians who died while being detained by soldiers in Myanmar's restive northern Shan state, and hold to account those responsible, a village administrator and local residents said Friday.
- Myanmar Army Restrictions, COVID-19 Border Closure Pose Hunger Threat to Kachin War Refugees Radio Free Asia 28 Aug 2020 -- More than 400 people living in displaced persons camp in a remote border town under the control of a rebel army in northern Myanmar's Kachin state are facing a severe food shortages because government forces have cut off supplies to the insurgent controlled area, a local Kachin humanitarian leader said Friday.
- COVID-19 Spread Adds to Woes of War Refugees in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 27 Aug 2020 -- After 20 months of war and years of communal tensions, the people of western Myanmar's Rakhine state face a new threat from surging COVID-19 infections since mid-August that many fear could spread to thousands of refugees sheltering in overcrowded camps, lawmakers and health officials said Thursday.
- Myanmar: Upcoming elections an opportunity to take a new inclusive democratic path UN News 28 Aug 2020 -- The Government of Myanmar should embrace upcoming national elections, scheduled for November, as an opportunity to take a new and fully inclusive democratic path, and to address the root of causes of abuses suffered by ethnic minorities, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) has urged.
- Star Student Epitomizes Myanmar Discrimination Against Rohingya Minority Radio Free Asia 27 Aug 2020 -- For Myanmar high school students, passing their matriculation exam with distinction is a near guarantee of getting into a university, even if not the school of their choice.
- Myanmar Army Acknowledges Killing of Civilian That Sparked Big Protest in Shan State Radio Free Asia 26 Aug 2020 -- The Myanmar military has admitted that its soldiers were responsible for the killing of a civilian amid a clash with a local ethnic army in restive northern Shan state in late June, which prompted a protest by thousands of local residents demanding justice for the slain noncombatant.
- Address root causes of the Rohingya refugee crisis, urges UN chief UN News 26 Aug 2020 -- UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for greater attention to the Rohingya refugee crisis – which entered its fourth year – and for addressing the root causes of the conflict.
- Rohingya Refugees Quietly Mark Third Anniversary of Rakhine Crackdown Radio Free Asia 25 Aug 2020 -- Rohingya Muslim refugees on Tuesday quietly marked the third anniversary of a military crackdown that drove hundreds of thousands of them from Myanmar into Bangladesh, with no prospects of repatriation or accountability on the horizon.
- Myanmar disqualifies Rohingya politicians from contesting elections Press TV 25 Aug 2020 -- Authorities in Myanmar have disqualified six Rohingya politicians from contesting the upcoming general elections for the lack of ID documents in Rakhine State, where the Muslim community has faced state-sponsored violence and apartheid-like conditions.
- Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh mark Myanmar crackdown anniv. Press TV 25 Aug 2020 -- Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh have held a silent protest on the third anniversary of a crackdown on the Muslim minority by Myanmar that killed thousands of them.
- Ethnic Ta'ang Groups, Families Accuse Myanmar Army of Killing Three Civilians Radio Free Asia 25 Aug 2020 -- Ta'ang civil society groups and the relatives of three missing ethnic Ta'ang villagers whose bodies turned up last week in a township in Myanmar's restive northern Shan state have demanded that the Myanmar military – the alleged perpetrators of the killings – be brought to justice for the crime, they told RFA on Tuesday.
- United States Continues To Call for Justice and Accountability in Burma US Dept. of State 25 Aug 2020 -- Three years after Burma's security forces launched brutal attacks against hundreds of thousands of Rohingya men, women, and children, the United States reiterates its call for justice for victims and accountability for those responsible.
- Three years after exodus, Rohingya refugees 'more vulnerable than ever' UN News 25 Aug 2020 -- Three years into the Rohingya refugee crisis, women, men and children – driven from their homes in Myanmar into camps across the border in Bangladesh – are more vulnerable than ever, UN agencies have reported.
- Memories of 2017 Crackdown in Myanmar Still Haunt Rohingya Refugee Children Radio Free Asia 24 Aug 2020 -- Arat Ullah was 14 when Myanmar forces stormed into his village in northern Rakhine state and began a rampage three years ago as part of a wider military-led crackdown against members of the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority.
- Rohingya Muslims voice fears over coronavirus outbreak at Myanmar's "apartheid" camps Press TV 23 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslims have expressed fears of coronavirus outbreak reaching their overcrowded camps in conflict-wracked Rakhine state, where they face state-sponsored violence and apartheid-like conditions.
- Myanmar Military Accepts Federalism Concept As Peace Summit Wraps Up Radio Free Asia 21 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar's powerful military accepted the concept of federalism on Friday after decades of resistance to the idea, signing an agreement on the final day of government-sponsored peace talks to set the stage for building a federal democratic union after 2020.
- UN Refugee Agency Urges Myanmar Actions to Solve 3-Year-Old Rohingya Refugee Crisis Radio Free Asia 21 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar must address citizenship policies and other barriers to the return of ethnic Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh three years ago to escape a deadly military crackdown on the Muslim minority, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement on Friday.
- Rohingya crisis needs lasting solutions, renewed commitment amid COVID-19 pandemic, UN refugee agency UN News 21 Aug 2020 -- Three years after violence in Myanmar forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh, the international community must adapt its assistance to the critical needs of those displaced and the host communities supporting them, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.
- Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, Army Chief Trade Blame Over Stalled Peace Process Radio Free Asia 19 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi and its powerful military chief traded blame Wednesday for four years of fruitless efforts to end the country's long-running civil wars, airing contrasting views within the government as it opened peace talks with 10 ethnic armies in the capital in Naypyidaw.
- Six Civilians, Policeman in Myanmar's Rakhine Arrested For Ties to Rebel Arakan Army Radio Free Asia 19 Aug 2020 -- Government forces in Myanmar's Rakhine state arrested six civilians including a female schoolteacher on Wednesday, accusing them of ties to the rebel ethnic Arakan Army and charging them under Myanmar's counter-terrorism law, sources in the country said.
- Political Parties, HRW Call For Myanmar Election Body to Drop Broadcast Restrictions Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Some political parties in Myanmar have backed a call by Human Rights Watch for Myanmar's national election body to revise broadcasting restrictions that they say prevent all parties from accessing state-owned media in the run-up to general elections in November.
- Families of Detained Myanmar Police, Soldiers Urge Rakhine Rebels to Free Their Breadwinners Radio Free Asia 17 Aug 2020 -- The families of 11 police officers and military soldiers detained by the rebel Arakan Army in western Myanmar's Rakhine state pleaded for the release of their loved ones on Monday, saying they have heard no information about the men and are suffering economic hardship.
- Election Authorities Reject Four More Rohingya Candidates in Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 17 Aug 2020 -- Four more Rohingya men seeking to run in Myanmar's upcoming general elections have been disqualified over questions about their parents' citizenship, including a party leader who won a seat in parliament in 1990 but was jailed by the former military-run government, the candidates said Monday.
- Interview: 'We Will Not Allow Election Campaigning in KIA-Controlled Territories' Radio Free Asia 17 Aug 2020 -- Col. Naw Bu, is the spokesman for the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the military wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). The KIA has been fighting the Myanmar central government on and off since 1960 for autonomy for Kachin State and the one million Kachin living in Myanmar. The KIA, with an estimated 4,000 fighters is one of a group of ethnic armies that have announced they will skip a government-sponsored peace conference from Aug 19-21. The KIA also will not permit election campaigning for Nov. 8 general elections in the territories it controls in Kachin State, Myanmar's northernmost state which borders China and India. Soe San Aung of RFA's Myanmar Service spoke to Naw Bu this week about the election and peace talks.
- Myanmar Ethnic Alliance to Skip Government Peace Talks Next Week Radio Free Asia 14 Aug 2020 -- An umbrella group of ethnic armies in Myanmar announced Thursday it will skip a government-sponsored peace conference next week, citing coronavirus-related travel difficulties and solidarity for a rebel group that was excluded, diminishing already low expectations for the negotiations.
- Rohingya Candidate to Appeal Myanmar Parliament Candidacy Rejection Radio Free Asia 14 Aug 2020 -- A Rohingya man who filed to run for a seat in Myanmar's parliament in November has been disqualified over questions about his parents' citizenship, a decision that he disputed and that activists say underscores pervasive official discrimination toward the Muslim minority.
- Interview: Myanmar's Election Body 'Will Hold Elections in Townships Where it is Safe' Radio Free Asia 14 Aug 2020 -- Election officials in Myanmar are preparing for the country's general elections on Nov. 8 in which nearly 100 political parties are fielding candidates to compete for 1,171 seats available in both houses of the national parliament and in state and regional legislatures. While about 37.5 million voters of Myanmar's total population of 54 million are eligible to cast ballots, it remains unclear whether election authorities will hold voting in volatile Rakhine state, where government forces have been fighting the rebel Arakan Army (AA) in northern Rakhine for the past 20 months.
- Myanmar Heads Into Next Round of Peace Talks Amid Criticism, Indecision Radio Free Asia 13 Aug 2020 -- One week before Myanmar hosts a final round of peace talks with ethnic armies before year-end elections, leader Aung San Suu Kyi's government is under fire from its military chief and critics who say a cumbersome process with little political support has made little progress in five years.
- Myanmar's government bars Rohingya Muslim from running for election Press TV 12 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar has barred a Rohingya Muslim from running in the upcoming election, in an apparent indication of the persecution against the minority.
- Refugees From Myanmar's Rakhine Conflict Spill Into State Capital Radio Free Asia 11 Aug 2020 -- Nearly 5,000 civilians displaced by fighting in western Myanmar's Rakhine state have taken refuge in the state capital, trekking 100 kilometers (60 miles) after camps near the conflict zone were too full to take them, refugees and officials told RFA.
- Myanmar Races to Fix Outdated, Erroneous Voter Lists Ahead of November Poll Radio Free Asia 07 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar officials are scrambling to sort out outdated voter lists in the three-month run-up to November polls, prompting country leader Aung San Suu Kyi to call on the national election commission to swiftly clean up the errors.
- Kachins Complain of 'Tax' Collection by Ethnic Armed Group Amid COVID-19 Radio Free Asia 07 Aug 2020 -- A rebel armed ethnic group is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to extort money from Kachin businesspeople in Myanmar's far north, placing an undue financial burden on locals who already are struggling to make ends meet, residents said Thursday.
- Government Excludes Rebel Arakan Army From Myanmar Peace Conference Radio Free Asia 06 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar's decision to exclude the Arakan Army, a rebel group fighting for autonomy in Rakhine state, from an invitation to ethnic armies to join national leader Aung San Suu Kyi's signature peace talks has drawn a threat from allies of the AA to sit out the meeting unless the Arakan force takes part.
- Myanmar Villagers Flee Into China to Escape New Fighting Radio Free Asia 05 Aug 2020 -- More than 100 villagers fled their homes in Myanmar's northern Shan state into China as fighting broke out between ethnic Shan rebels and government forces, sources said Wednesday.
- Discrimination, Lack of Rights Motivate Muslim Candidates in Myanmar Elections Radio Free Asia 05 Aug 2020 -- Muslim candidates will compete in Myanmar's parliamentary elections in greater numbers than they did in the last elections five years ago, with some of the current 25 contenders in November's race openly advocating for Muslim minority rights in the predominantly Buddhist country.
- 20 Villagers Missing in Myanmar's Chin State From Conflict in Rakhine Radio Free Asia 04 Aug 2020 -- Twenty civilians from Chin state have gone missing between 2018 and 2020, with five of them allegedly abducted by Arakan Army rebels amid a 20-month conflict with Myanmar forces in adjacent Rakhine state, Chin civil society groups said Tuesday.
- Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Makes Official Her Third Run For Yangon Seat Radio Free Asia 04 Aug 2020 -- Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday officially registered to run for her seat in parliament for a third time in November general elections that are widely seen as a referendum on her party's five years in office.
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