All posts tagged: Myanmar

Powerful ethnic armed group in western Myanmar claims capture of base, hundreds of soldiers 

Powerful ethnic armed group in western Myanmar claims capture of base, hundreds of soldiers 

[ad_1] BANGKOK —  A powerful ethnic minority armed group battling Myanmar’s army in the country’s west claimed Monday to have taken hundreds of government soldiers prisoner when it captured a major command post. The Arakan Army, the well-trained and well-armed military wing of the Rakhine ethnic minority movement, has been on the offensive against army outposts in the western state of Rakhine — its home ground — for about six months. The group said in a video statement posted on the Telegram messaging app that soldiers belonging to the military government’s Operational Command No. 15 headquarters in Rakhine’s Buthidaung township surrendered after a siege. Buthidaung is about 385 kilometers (240 miles) southwest of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city. The reported capture of the base could not be independently confirmed. Myanmar’s military government made no immediate comment, and the spokesperson of the Arakan Army did not respond to questions sent by The Associated Press. The fight in Rakhine is part of the nationwide conflict in Myanmar that began after the army ousted the elected government of Aung …

Myanmar ethnic armed group says it captured hundreds of junta personnel

Myanmar ethnic armed group says it captured hundreds of junta personnel

[ad_1] BANGKOK: A Myanmar ethnic armed group said on Monday (May 6) it had captured a military command and taken hundreds of junta personnel prisoner in western Rakhine state, the latest blow to the military. Clashes have rocked Rakhine since the Arakan Army (AA) attacked security forces in November, ending a ceasefire that had largely held since the junta’s 2021 coup. The military still holds the state capital Sittwe but AA fighters have seized territory in surrounding districts, including bases on the border with India and Bangladesh. A video released by the AA’s media channel said the group had captured “Military Operations Command 15 (MOC 15)” near the town of Buthidaung, around 90km north of Sittwe. The video did not say when its fighters had captured the site but local media have reported regular clashes around Buthidaung in recent days. “The video record of the deputy commander of MOC 15 after a certain period of siege,” read a message published in Burmese, Chinese and English. After a “final assault” the junta troops had “faced total defeat …

Vietnam temperature records tumble as heatwave scorches South and Southeast Asia

Vietnam temperature records tumble as heatwave scorches South and Southeast Asia

[ad_1] HANOI: More than 100 temperature records fell across Vietnam in April, according to official data, as a deadly heatwave scorches South and Southeast Asia. Extreme heat has blasted Asia from India to the Philippines in recent weeks, triggering heatstroke deaths, school closures and desperate prayers for cooling rain. Scientists have long warned that human-induced climate change will produce more frequent, longer and intense heatwaves. Vietnam saw three waves of high temperatures in April, according to data published on Friday (May 3) by the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, with the mercury peaking at 44 degrees Celsius in two towns earlier this week. The mark is only slightly below the highest temperature ever recorded in Vietnam – 44.2 degrees Celsius on May 7 last year. In all, 102 weather stations saw record highs in April, as northern and central Vietnam bore the brunt of the heatwave, with temperatures on average 2 to 4 degrees Celsius higher than during the same period last year. Seven stations recorded temperatures above 43 degrees Celsius, all on Tuesday. The …

Most countries in Asia see decline in press freedom

Most countries in Asia see decline in press freedom

[ad_1] Bangkok —  Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, says press freedom in Asia continues to see a decline, with 26 out of 31 countries falling on its annual index. According to the group’s latest press freedom index, Asia is the second-most difficult region for practicing journalism. Five countries in the region — Myanmar, China, North Korea and Vietnam — are among the world’s 10 most dangerous countries for media professionals in the 2024 rankings. There are no countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the top 15 ranking for press freedom. China, North Korea and Vietnam, three of the world’s remaining communist governments, have long been near the bottom of RSF’s press freedom index ranking of 180 countries. This year, China was ranked 172, Vietnam 174 and North Korea 177. Overall, it’s the countries and territories that have shown a drop in press freedom in recent years that have contributed to East Asia becoming a difficult place for media to operate. Hong Kong was once a model for press freedom in the Asia …

‘Fuel for water’: Heatwave piles misery on displaced people in Myanmar

‘Fuel for water’: Heatwave piles misery on displaced people in Myanmar

[ad_1] A SWELLING CAMP A dozen or so camp residents queue up at the truck for water rations that will have to last them three or four days. Children carry the containers home in baskets on their backs or via trolleys as hot wind whips up dust from the dirt road. “When there were only residents living in this place, there was enough water,” said Zay Yar Tun of the charity Clean Yangon. “But after the displaced people fled here, the population is too much for the amount of water we can get here.” Donations keep Zay Yar Tun’s team and its two trucks running, and they make two deliveries to the camp each week. Finding the streams or springs to fill up their truck can be dangerous in Kayah, which has emerged as one of the hotspots of resistance to military rule. The military regularly calls in air and artillery strikes on its opponents and landmines are a constant danger. Transporting cargo to the camps is difficult too. The fuel the team needs to …

Thai foreign minister quits after cabinet reshuffle

Thai foreign minister quits after cabinet reshuffle

[ad_1] BANGKOK —  Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara has resigned, the government said Sunday, after being removed from the post of deputy prime minister in a cabinet reshuffle, at a time when the Southeast Asian country seeks to help resolve a conflict in Myanmar. His unexpected resignation leaves the foreign ministry rudderless as he headed the team on Myanmar affairs and last month launched a humanitarian initiative that seeks to pave the way for talks between warring camps after three years of instability and violence triggered by a coup. Parnpree had a key role in securing the release of dozens of Thai hostages who were captured by Hamas in Gaza. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has received Parnpree’s Resignation letter, government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke told Reuters. “Parnpree’s resignation will not affect government work in foreign affairs as the foreign ministry’s permanent secretary and officials can work instead,” he added. Parnpree’s move caught many by surprise, including senior government figures like Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, who told local media that it was unexpected. Parnpree could not …

Thailand urges bigger ASEAN role in resolving Myanmar conflict

Thailand urges bigger ASEAN role in resolving Myanmar conflict

[ad_1] The rebels have since withdrawn troops following a counteroffensive by government soldiers and fighting has since died down. On Apr 20, 3,000 people fled over the border and all but 100 have since returned, Thailand said. “The fight between the opposition and the (military) has moved to Myawaddy … it’s very close to Thailand and more needs to be done from the ASEAN side,” Nikorndej added. Thailand this week proposed an ASEAN meeting on the issue that would include previous chair Indonesia, which had sought to engage the junta’s rivals, plus Laos, and next year’s chair, Malaysia. Under the 2021 Myanmar peace plan, the ASEAN chair appoints a special envoy tasked with advancing the process. Current chair Laos has made little public mention of its envoy’s activities. Myanmar’s military, facing its biggest challenge since first taking control of Myanmar in 1962, is caught up multiple low-intensity conflicts and has refused to engage with opponents, calling them “terrorists”. [ad_2] Source link

Myanmar rebel group withdraws troops from key town on Thai border

Myanmar rebel group withdraws troops from key town on Thai border

[ad_1] An armed ethnic group in Myanmar has withdrawn its troops from a town along the Thai border following a counteroffensive by the ruling junta from whom rebel fighters wrested the key trading post this month, a spokesperson for the group said on Wednesday. Myanmar is locked in a civil war between the military on one side and, on the other, a loose alliance of established ethnic minority armies and a resistance movement born out of the ruling junta’s bloody crackdown on dissent after its 2021 coup. The Karen National Union (KNU) made a “temporary retreat” from Myawaddy, its spokesperson, Saw Taw Nee, said after the return of junta soldiers to the vital strategic area that is a conduit for annual foreign trade of more than $1 billion. Photographs posted on some pro-junta social media groups showed a handful of its soldiers raising the Myanmar national flag at a military base the KNU had controlled just days before, and where the rebel group had raised its own banner. “KNLA troops will … destroy the junta troops and their …

Fighting rages at Myanmar’s border with Thailand as rebels target junta troops | Myanmar

Fighting rages at Myanmar’s border with Thailand as rebels target junta troops | Myanmar

[ad_1] Fighting raged at Myanmar’s eastern border with Thailand on Saturday, both governments said, forcing 3,000 civilians to flee as rebels fought to flush out Myanmar junta troops holed up for days at a bridge border crossing. Resistance fighters and ethnic minority rebels seized the key trading town of Myawaddy on the Myanmar side of the frontier on 11 April, a blow to a well-equipped military struggling to govern and facing a test of battlefield credibility. Witnesses on the Thai and Myanmar sides of the border said they heard explosions and heavy machine gun fire near a strategic bridge from late on Friday into Saturday. Thai broadcaster NBT, in a post on X, said resistance forces used 40mm machine guns and dropped 20 bombs from drones to target an estimated 200 junta soldiers who had retreated from a coordinated rebel assault on Myawaddy and army posts since 5 April. Myanmar’s state-run MRTV in its nightly newscast said the militias and ethnic minority rebels had used excessive shelling and bombing to attack junta troops, and government …

About 1,300 people from Myanmar flee into Thailand after clashes break out in key border town

About 1,300 people from Myanmar flee into Thailand after clashes break out in key border town

[ad_1] BANGKOK —  About 1,300 people have fled from eastern Myanmar into Thailand, officials said Saturday, as fresh fighting erupted at a border town that has recently been captured by ethnic guerillas. Fighters from the Karen ethnic minority last week captured the last of the Myanmar army’s outposts in and around Myawaddy, which is connected to Thailand by two bridges across the Moei River. The latest clashes were triggered in the morning when the Karen guerillas launched an attack against Myanmar troops who were hiding near the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, a major crossing point for trade with Thailand, said police chief Pittayakorn Phetcharat in Thailand’s Mae Sot district. He estimated about 1,300 people fled into Thailand. Thai officials reported people had started crossing since Friday following clashes in several areas of Myawaddy. The fall of Myawaddy is a major setback for the military that seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021. Myanmar’s once-mighty armed forces have suffered a series of unprecedented defeats since last October, losing swathes of …