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Catholic church attacked in Kachin

MANDALAY (UCAN): Witnesses reported that the Holy Family Catholic Church and a nearby house in Kamaing Kawng Ra village in Hpakant township, Kachin State, were attacked by Myanmese military amid sporadic fighting with Kachin rebels.
 
Parish priest, Father Peter Nlam Tu, said he heard an explosion near the village on the evening of May 30 and some minutes later heard shots.
 

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Rohingya reluctant to return home

MANDALAY (UCAN): “It’s telling that Rohingya aren’t clamouring to return to the places where they recently survived genocidal attacks. The authorities are attempting to distract the world from mass atrocities committed by the army,” Matthew Smith, chief executive of Fortify Rights, said, as it seems that a deal between the Myanmese government and United Nations (UN) agencies has done little to inspire confidence that refugees will agree to be repatriated from Bangladesh.
 

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Religious leaders back Myanmar peace efforts

BANGKOK (UCAN): “It is at a crucial moment in the history of this country that we, as Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders from Myanmar and across the region, come to you in solidarity with hope for peace,” Charles Cardinal Bo of Yangon, along with leaders of other faith confessions, said in an open letter to the people of Myanmar.
 

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Myanmar’s forgotten civil war goes on

MANDALAY (UCAN): A largely forgotten civil war has been raging in Kachin State, Myamar, while the world’s focus has been on 700,000 Muslim Rohingya who have been fleeing a military crackdown in western Rakhine State since August 2017.
 
One of the longest-running civil wars in the world intensified dramatically in April when Myanmar’s military stepped up dry-season offensives using helicopter gunships and heavy artillery against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which is yet to sign a national peace agreement with the government.

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United Nations appeals for humanitarian access to Myanmar’s restive areas

MANDALAY (UCAN): Ursula Mueller, the United Nations (UN) assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and deputy emergency relief coordinator, has called for unfettered humanitarian access to several crisis-hit states of Myanmar including the restive Rakhine state where large numbers of the Rohingya Muslim minority have fled security forces for Bangladesh since August 2017.
 

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Rohingya remaining in Rakhine face uncertain future

YANGON and DHAKA (UCAN): Mohammad Salim and his family were packing their belongings and getting ready to flee when the violence erupted on 25 August 2017 in the north of Rakhine State, Myanmar, as the military sought to target Rohingya Muslim militants.
 
However, unlike hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have left the strife-torn state to live in camps in neighboring Bangladesh for fear of ethnic persecution at the hands of the army, Salim decided to stay put.
 

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New president voted in for Myanmar following resignation

Mandalay (UCAN): Former speaker of the lower house of Myanmar’s parliament, Win Myint, was elected as a vice-president in the first step in his expected ascension to the presidency of the troubled nation on March 23.
 
The lower house, dominated by State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), voted 273-27 in favour of Myint in a ballot also contested by a candidate from the military-linked Union Solidarity and Development Party.
 

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Freedom of expression curbed in Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): Civic groups in Myanmar have warned that amendments to laws governing demonstrations could be used to curb freedom of expression in the country.
 
Thet Swe Win, an interfaith advocate and director of the Centre for Youth and Social Harmony, said that the language used in the amendments to the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Act was not in line with democratic values.
 

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Rohingya face oppostion to resettlement plans

MANDALY (UCAN): Plans by Myanmar’s government to resettle Muslim Rohingya refugees in southern Maungdaw in the restive Rakhine State are meeting up with opposition from other ethnic groups from the area.
 
Some 80 people from civil society groups across Rakhine held a meeting in the state capital, Sittwe, on February 24 to discuss the resettlement of Rohingya returning from Bangladesh.
 

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More mass graves reported in Rakhine

DHAKA and MANDALAY (UCAN): Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have reacted with anger and dismay to a February 1 report from the Associated Press (AP) that said mass graves had been found at Gu Dar Pyin village in Buthidaung township in northern Rakhine State. The detailed report alleged that Buddhist neighbours allegedly assisted the military in carrying out the massacre. 
 

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