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21 Sep 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Six Myanmar soldiers, including regiment officers, have admitted to killing three ethnic Kachin refugees in the town of Mansi in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state, where the national army is engaged in hostilities with an ethnic armed group, a village official said.

The soldiers confessed that they were responsible for the killings during a hearing at military court on Tuesday in Mansi.

21 Sep 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of muddy water have flooded eight villages in central Laos’ Xaysomboun province after the reservoir of a dam upstream burst its banks last week following heavy rain, damaging infrastructure, farmlands, and water supplies.

When the reservoir of the Nam Ao Dam in Phaxay district in northeastern Laos’ Xieng Khouang province broke on Sept. 11, it sent 500,000 cubic meters of water downstream in severe flashfloods that inundated the villages with water, seriously damaging one of them, according to officials.

20 Sep 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, under mounting criticism over her government's military offensive against minority Muslim Rohingyas, on Tuesday rejected claims that she had softened her stand towards the military after her party took power last year.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, she said she has remained firm with the generals since her days under house arrest during military junta rule. 

08 Sep 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Nearly 4,000 residents of northwest Myanmar’s Rakhine state have poured into the regional capital Sittwe in recent days to escape fighting in the countryside pitting Myanmar security forces against Muslim insurgents, local authorities and community leaders in Sittwe say.

More than 26,000 people have already fled from rural areas to Sittwe city and Maungdaw, Buthedaung, and other townships in Rakhine from Aug. 25 to Sept. 4, with at least 59 villages burned during the same period, Myanmar’s Government Information Committee said this week.

29 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Villagers affected by controlled flooding at Cambodia’s Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam petitioned the country’s prime minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday for their help in being allowed to remain on their land, sources said.

A July 15 shutdown of floodgates on the U.S. $781 million project located on Mekong River tributaries in northeastern Cambodia’s Stung Treng province has sent water levels rising in the Srekor and Kbal Romeas villages of Sesan district following government appeals to residents to relocate to other areas.

29 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s military and government are stepping up efforts to tackle chaos in northern Rakhine state and deter further attacks by militant Rohingya Muslims who sparked another round of deadly violence last week with armed assaults on 30 police outposts.

22 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s armed forces and some of the Southeast Asian country’s ethnic armed groups have long recruited and trafficked children to serve as soldiers, particularly in conflict-prone ethnic areas in the borderlands.

Military recruiters often snatch children under the pretext that they have committed a minor or nonexistent offense and tell them that they must serve in the army or go to jail. Others voluntarily join military organizations because their families are poor.

22 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

By Roseanne Gerin

A former child soldier has been arrested and charged with allegedly defaming the country’s military after telling the story of his abduction and forced conscription to RFA’s Myanmar Service.

Aung Ko Htway, 26, who spent nearly a decade as a child soldier, was arrested on Friday, and faces up to two years in prison, a fine, or both for violating Section 505(b) of the country’s Penal Code, his sister Nayzar Htun told Agence France-Presse on Aug. 18.

17 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s government on Wednesday denied reports that it would train and arm ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in the country’s troubled Rakhine state, where residents have demanded the establishment of local militias following a string of deadly attacks in the region.

15 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar government ministers met Buddhist monk leaders on Monday to discuss the deteriorating security situation in volatile Rakhine state and efforts to ensure the safety of the ethnic Rakhine people who live there.

During a meeting with 11 top Buddhist monks from the administrative capital Sittwe, border affairs minister Lieutenant General Ye Aung said the government will ensure security in the northern part of the state where forces conducted a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims following deadly attacks on border guard posts in October 2016.

11 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Vehicles trapped in Mantong township for five days were able to leave the area in battle-scarred northern Shan state on Thursday after the Myanmar military reopened roads following an ambush by an ethnic armed group on one of its convoys, a local politician said.

The military closed off all entry and exit points to the township after the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) attacked one of its convoys on Aug. 5, prohibiting residents and visitors from coming into and going out of Mantong.

11 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s military commander-in-chief met with seven Rakhine lawmakers from the state’s dominant Arakan National Party in Naypyidaw on Wednesday to discuss the security crisis in the volatile region.

Aye Maung, chairman of the Arakan National Party (ANP), which represents the interests of the state’s ethnic Rakhine people, said the lawmakers and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.discussed security issues in the northern part of the state and what to do about internally displaced persons (IDP) who live in camps in Rakhine.

10 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Rescuers continued to search for people buried in rubble on Wednesday following last night's 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, in which 19 people are confirmed to have died.

Eight tourists were among the dead after the tremor rocked the popular scenic destination during the summer vacation, while 247 people were reported injured, official figures said.

10 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Fighting between government troops and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army in Myanmar’s war-torn northern Shan state has forced nearly 300 villagers to flee to safety in Namtu township ahead of a planned visit by the government’s human rights commission, residents afftected by the hostilities said on Wednesday.

The villagers left their homes when hostilities between the Myanmar army and the TNLA intensified near Aukmanwei village in Namhsan township in the ethnic Palaung self-administered zone, they said.

09 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

The Myanmar military has closed all entry and exit points in Mantong township in the country’s war-torn northern Shan state following an ambush by an ethnic armed group on a national army convoy, a local official said Tuesday.

It is unknown whether there were any casualties in the Aug. 5 attack in Mantong, one of the two townships in the Palaung self-administered zone overseen by the ethnic Palaung, or Ta’ang, people — a Mon–Khmer ethnic minority found in Shan state. The zone’s other township is Namhsan.

09 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar security forces on Monday stepped in to prevent a fight between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims in a village in Rathedaung township in the latest incident of communal animosity in volatile Rakhine state, a village official said.

Tensions rose in Zedibyin village after some Muslims used slingshots to shoot at ethnic Rakhine villagers in a cemetery.

“I went there as a village chief to check out reports that some Muslims were using slingshots on Rakhine villagers,” said Maung Aye Tin, chairman of Zedibyin village.

03 Aug 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Five have now died in Vietnam in this year’s epidemic of dengue fever, with the latest victim dying in the capital city Hanoi last week as the numbers of those infected climb over rates reported last year, state media said on Wednesday.

The latest victim, a 61-year-old man living in the Quang Trung ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong district, was hospitalized on July 24 and died two days later, health officials said, according to media reports.

26 Jul 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

By Ayaz Gul

ISLAMABAD — Ten journalists have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year in militant attacks plotted by the Taliban and Islamic State loyalists, a media monitoring group said.

Violence during the first six months of 2017 also wounded 12 journalists, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) said in a report released Tuesday in Kabul.

The group's head, Najib Sharifi, told reporters it documented 73 cases of violence against journalists, a 35 percent increase compared to the first six months of 2016.

26 Jul 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a motion rejecting a statement by the United Nations human rights envoy to the Southeast Asian nation that was critical of the government’s handling of security issues and human rights.

13 Jul 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s refusal to grant visas to a United Nations team investigating abuses against ethnic Rohingya Muslims is a “slap in the face” to victims that risks lumping the country with the world’s “pariah states,” like North Korea, who block independent fact-finding missions, a rights group said Wednesday.

The condemnation came as the arrival of the U.N. human rights envoy to Myanmar was met with protests by residents of troubled Rakhine state, where she is leading a delegation to probe allegations of rights violations carried out on the Rohingya by security forces.