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World in brief: December 4, 2023

THAILAND: The UN refugee agency sounded the alarm today for about 400 Rohingya Muslims believed to be aboard two boats reported to be out of supplies and adrift on the Andaman Sea.

The UNHCR’s regional spokesman said the boats, which had apparently embarked from Bangladesh, have been at sea for about two weeks.

About 740,000 Rohingyas have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar to overcrowded camps in Bangladesh since 2017 after a brutal counterinsurgency campaign tore through their communities. 

THE HAGUE:  Rights lawyers went to court in the Netherlands today to call for a halt to the export of fighter jet parts to Israel that could be used in attacks on Gaza.

They say that delivery of parts for F-35 jets makes the Netherlands complicit in possible war crimes and want The Hague’s district court to issue an injunction banning the exports of F-35 parts stored in a warehouse in the town of Woensdrecht.

CHINA: The military said today that a US naval ship had “illegally intruded” into waters near the Second Thomas Shoal, the site of a hot territorial dispute between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

A Chinese naval force was mobilised to track the USS Gabrielle Giffords. The US Navy claimed its ship “was conducting routine operations in international waters ... consistent with international law.”

GUINEA-BISSAU: President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has dissolved the nation’s parliament, according to a decree issued today. 

It cited last week’s failed coup, further raising concerns about political stability in the country and the entire coup-hit west Africa region.

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