Rohingya: Stranded at sea
Around a million Rohingya – a Muslim minority long persecuted by the military and political elite in majority-Buddhist Myanmar – have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since 2017, after Myanmar’s military perpetrated a massacre against them. Since then, Rohingya refugees have languished in squalid conditions in Cox’s Bizarre, a sprawling tent city for refugees, where violence, gang rape, and murder are rife.
In the meantime, many Rohingya have preferred to try their luck at sea, getting into rickety boats in hopes of reaching Malaysia, which opened its borders to stateless Rohingya in 2016. But 2022 has proven one of the deadliest years at sea for the Rohingya, according to the UN. Case in point: For more than a month, a vessel with at least 160 Rohingya aboard, including children who have gone weeks without food, was stranded in the Andaman Sea, while another is presumed to have sunk earlier this month with 180 Rohingya on board.
Meanwhile, negotiations between the Bangladesh government and Myanmar’s military dictatorship – which resumed earlier this year after a hiatus – on the potential voluntary repatriation of Rohingya have not proven fruitful.
Yemen: The forgotten war
Photos of Yemeni children are difficult to stomach – the protruding ribs and sunken faces. But after eight years of war, we don’t see many of these images in the media these days.
While fighting between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government ebbed this year as a result of a ceasefire, the two sides failed to reach an agreement in October to extend the truce. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation remains dire: At least 17 million Yemenis are food insecure, and 2.2 million children under five have required medical care for malnutrition this year.
What’s more, as GZERO’s Alex Kliment previously wrote, international attention for Ukraine has drawn humanitarian resources away from Yemen, making it harder to finance aid missions there. As of October, just 47% of the UN-led Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen had been funded by the international community. With longtime land and sea blockades preventing humanitarian shipments, stalemate remains the most likely scenario in 2023.