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  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Mission To UN

Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar (1-04-2024 to 15-04-2024)

Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar

(1-04-2024 to 15-04-2024)

Over three years and two months ago, on 1 February, 2021, the Myanmar military attempted an illegal coup, toppled the civilian government, and unlawfully detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and other senior members of the civilian government, parliamentarians and activists. Since then, the Myanmar military has ignored the will of the people of Myanmar, placed the country in turmoil, and made people suffer as a result of its inhumane and disproportionate acts.

As of 12 April 2024, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military has ruthlessly killed 4,884 people and arrested another 26,524 people. 20,351 people remain in detention and 166 people have been sentenced to death, including 119 post-coup death row prisoners and 43 in absentia since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians. Four democracy activists who were sentenced to death were executed by the military junta in July 2022.

Crimes committed Across Myanmar by the Junta Troops and its affiliate militias

Crimes perpetrated by the junta troops and its affiliate militias across Myanmar include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearances, and the targeting of civilians, including children. These atrocities have led to widespread displacement, destruction of civilian properties, and a climate of fear and insecurity among the civilian population. The junta's brutal widespread and systematic tactics are aimed at suppressing dissent and maintaining its grip on power, regardless of the human cost and violations of international law.

Indiscriminate Airstrike and artillery shelling on Civilian Properties

Myanmar Junta Targets Civilians Amid Battlefield Defeats

According to the Irrawaddy News, Myanmar junta airstrikes and shelling killed at least 32 civilians, including children, in the first week of April, as its forces face defeat in Rakhine, Karen and Kachin States as well as  in Sagaing Region.

The Arakan Army (AA) said that the junta is attacking civilians in villages, schools, hospitals, markets, displacement camps and religious sites in Rakhine State. Airstrikes and shelling targeted villages in Ramree and Pauktaw townships on 30 March and 2 April, killing a child and injuring at least eight civilians. Junta warplanes bombarded Thay Van Village in Minbya Township 29 March, destroying around 50 houses and a Buddhist monastery.

On  2 April 2024, a junta aircraft attacked Kantaung Gyi Town in Myebon Township, killing three civilians and injuring three others. On morning of 3 April, junta fighter jets bombarded Myitnar Village in Minbya Township, killing three civilians and injuring eight others. Myitnar residents said that there had been no active fighting in the area.

On 4 March, junta’s airstrikes on Kyauktaw Town killed two civilians and injured eight others, despite the lack of fighting in the area, Kyauktaw residents told The Irrawaddy.

On 1 April, five Manaw Tha villagers, including a three-year-old, were killed and nine others injured in a junta airstrike in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region.

Six villagers, including a monk and a five-year-old, were killed in Mabein Township, Shan State, on 2 April in a junta airstrike on Moe Lone Village where there were no clashes  according to local sources.

On morning of 8 April, junta’s warplanes attacked a civilian convoy in Mansi Township, Kachin State, resulting in seven civilians killed and several vehicles destroyed. The convoy was leaving Loije Town on the Chinese border to avoid clashes between junta forces and the Kachin Independence Army.

Eight civilians, including a Buddhist monk, were killed and 15 injured in Papun Township, Karen State, on 31 March when a junta fighter jet bombarded a monastery in Papun Town, sheltering displaced civilians, according to the Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian NGO.

The aid group said it helped evacuate 200 people from the monastery before the second airstrike. The monastery was completely destroyed during airstrikes on 1 and 2 April. Clashes were reported in Papun Township as the Karen National Liberation Army and the people defence forces attacked junta strongholds. Papun Town is now in the hands of the resistance forces.

Myanmar airstrikes kill two children and a woman in Shan State’s Pekon

According to the Karenni Human Rights Group (KnHRG), the junta forces dropped two 500-pound bombs on Loilyin Village, Pekon Township, Southern Shan State, on 11 April resulting in the deaths of a three-year-old boy, a 12-year-old internally displaced person (IDP) girl, and a 65-year-old woman. Additionally, three underage girls, a woman, and a man sustained injury in the attack.

Banyar Khun Aung, Secretary-2 of the Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC), said that the bombings often occur at night, targeting locations with higher populations, such as schools and hospitals during the daytime, and public wards and displaced camps at night when people are sleeping. One witness from KnHRG said that the late-night bombardment caught residents off guard while they were sleeping, resulting in casualties and destruction of homes.

Earlier on 2 April, junta forces dropped two 500-pound bombs on Hsengkhun Village, Hsaungngan Village Tract, Pekon Township, injuring four civilians, including a 10-year-old IDP girl and destroying ten houses.

Junta Forces' Rampage: Extrajudicial Killings and Targeted Attacks on Civilian Areas

In the previous weeks, junta forces raided villages and set fire to houses and property, resulting in civilians losing their properties. On 3 April 2024, junta forces set fire to Yae Myet Nii Village in Tilin Township, Magway Region, burning down over 250 houses.

On 30 March 2024, at approximately 8:30 p.m., junta forces, stationed in a group of government offices in Yesagyo Town, Magway Region, opened fire with heavy weaponry on nearby No. (1) Htin Tan Ward and Thu Kha Wa Ti Ward, injuring a woman from the artillery shrapnel. She later died from the injuries.

On 8 April, 2024, at approximately 10:30 a.m., junta forces and its affiliate militias, stationed in Hsaik Hkawng and Loi Put Villages, in Hsihseng Township, Shan State, opened fire on Tway Pu Village without any preceding clashes. This attack resulted in the tragic death of 15-year-old Nang Sein Mya due to artillery shrapnel.  

Human Rights Abuses

Myanmar Labor Shortages Reported as Residents Flee Junta’s forced Conscription

Military conscription has taken a bite out of the labor market in Mandalay, according to local business owners facing staff shortages. Young workers, especially men, employed in Mandalay factories, workshops and restaurants are sheltering at home to avoid being forcibly recruited by the military, say local reports.

A local businessman in Mandalay said that shops mostly employ young men. But they dare not stay at work, and shop owners dare not keep them because of the reports that the junta is conscripting male shopworkers. Many shops in Mandalay are facing shortages of male staff now.

The workforce at small- and medium-sized enterprises, eateries, teashops and pubs has dropped by half, said business operators. A sawmill owner in Mandalay Industrial Zone said that I had more than 60 male employees at my factory. But the workforce has now halved after some returned to their villages and others left to work in Thailand. If it goes on like this, businesses will have to suspend operations.

Five days after the junta announced forced conscription on Feb 10, teams of junta personnel comprising soldiers, police, ward administrators and militias started collecting personal data of draft-age people in Mandalay. Conscripts were then chosen by lottery. The teams used the overnight registration law as a pretext to inspect houses. The law, which was reintroduced right after the February 2021 coup, grants authorities the right to carry out household inspections without the need for a warrant. The conscription teams are reportedly targeting local youngsters, domestic migrants and internally displaced people taking shelter in Mandalay. Some were released after paying a ransom. Junta soldiers threaten to imprison family members if conscripts run away, said residents.

One young man who has returned to his home in Shwebo, Sagaing Region after quitting his job in Mandalay Industrial Zone said; I returned home on March 25 after my family told me to do so; They had concerns for my safety because of reports that the junta was abducting young people; I was attending a computer course in Mandalay while working; I had paid the fees for that, but I couldn’t complete the training as I had to return; I was trying for self-improvement, but the junta’s conscription law has shattered my dreams. Labor rights activists say the draft will exacerbate workforce shortages. It will be a greater loss for business owners if those who quit are skilled workers. Many young men working in factories, companies and the service industry have quit because of the conscription law. Many young people have left Myanmar following the conscription law’s activation, he added.

Large numbers of people are going to China and Thailand. The number of employees who quit to work in foreign countries has significantly increased. Previously, a workplace would only lose one or two employees to overseas employment in a month. But the number is more than 10 now. The 2019 intercensal survey showed that Myanmar had a workforce of 33.934 million among its 55 million population. Of those employed, over 4.2 million males and over 3.5 million females are eligible for conscription.

The pool of labor may shrink due to the conscription law. The country will lose human resources and business may face labor shortages, said economist U Sein Htay. The economy as measured by GDP is expected to shrink further due to labor shortages. Labor-intensive industries like shoemaking plants and garment factories have not been able to expand. Women employees are not yet being conscripted, but labor shortages will worsen once they are summoned, said labor rights activists. Though the junta announced the first intake of conscripts would begin training in early May, conscripts were witnessed undergoing military training at the end of March. It also said only 50,000 conscripts per year would be recruited in batches of 5,000 people. But observers calculate the junta will forcibly recruit at least twice that many to fill troop shortages caused by months of heavy losses and mass surrenders as resistance forces gain territories across the country.

Political Prisoners Beaten in Myanmar Junta Crackdown

According to the Irrawaddy News, At least 17 inmates, mostly political prisoners, were reportedly injured in a crackdown on unrest at Pyapon Prison in Ayeyarwady Region on Sunday 31 March 2024. The unrest started when a prison officer yelled and cursed at a political prisoner. The prison authorities reportedly exaggerated the dispute, calling it a prison break, and called in soldiers and police officers who fired warning shots and beat prisoners. Three inmates suffered serious injuries, including to the head, back and neck. A prison officer was also reportedly injured. It is also learnt that the 17 injured prisoners were allegedly held in solitary confinement.

Attacks by the junta’s forces on healthcare providers in Myanmar were recorded

Throughout late March 2024, various incidents of violence and attacks on healthcare facilities occurred across Myanmar, according to Mizzima News. On 22 March 2024, in La Ei village, Pekon Township, a hospital became a target of bombing by junta’s fighter jets, resulting in severe damage to the facility and casualties, including civilian deaths and injuries.

Similar attacks took place in Nang Toke Village in Shan State on 22 March 2024 destroying a healthcare center and homes.

On 24 March 2024, in Kan Htaunt Gyi Village, another station hospital was severely damaged by bombs dropped by Myanmar military jets, resulting in injuries to a civilian. This incident occurred amidst ongoing armed clashes between the military and the Arakan Army in Rakhine State.

Additionally, on 25 March 2024, in Maungdaw Town, Rakhine State, arrest warrants were issued for two medical doctors accused of providing healthcare to the Arakan Army. The doctors were prohibited from leaving the country, and other healthcare workers in conflict-affected areas of Rakhine State went into hiding due to fear of persecution by the military.

These incidents underscore the volatile and dangerous conditions faced by healthcare workers and civilians in conflict-affected regions of Myanmar, posing significant challenges to the delivery of essential services and the protection of vulnerable populations.


Actions of Resistance Forces against the Junta

Myanmar Resistance Forces Launch Drone Attack on Capital

According to the Diplomat, Resistance forces in Myanmar have launched audacious drone attacks on the capital Naypyidaw, the nerve-center of the military junta.

The National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar stated that the drone assault was a strategic and political success. In its statement 4 April 2024, the NUG’s Ministry of Defense said that special units of the People’s Defense Force (PDF) used 30 drones to attack targets across the sprawling, purpose-built capital in central Myanmar. The targets included the Aye Lar Airbase, the headquarters of the State Administration Council, and the home of junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

It is revealed that the people defense forces were able to attack such places and it shows a big step forward in the revolution.”

It was not immediately available to varify any significant damages from the attacks. However, it is the political significance of Myanmar’s anti-junta forces bringing the fight to the epicenter of the military’s power cannot be underestimated.

KIA captures trade hub on China-Myanmar border

Kachin Independence Army (KIA) fighters took full control of the border town of Lweje in Momauk Township, Kachin State on 8 April 2024, according to KIA’s spokesperson Col. Naw Bu. It is also learnt that a KIA flag was already hoisted over the China-Myanmar border by April 5.

According to the spokesperson, KIA had only taken full control after pushing the junta’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 142 out of Lweje, located on Kachin State’s border with China’s Yunnan Province.

He added that between March 27 and April 1, the KIA was also able to capture ten army bases—including the two located in the villages of Yaw Yon and Sein Long—on the road between Momauk and Lweje, a crucial route for transporting goods to the border. According to local sources, the LIB 142 troops had surrendered to the KIA before departing for China on evening of 8 April. The surrendered troops and their families crossed into China at around 10 pm at the same evening.

Lweje, located less than 60 miles east of Bhamo, Kachin State and less than 100 miles south of Laiza - the site of the KIA’s headquarters - is one of the five major crossings used for border trade between Myanmar and China. According to KIA’s spokeperson, the KIA has temporarily suspended trade in Lweje but it would resume soon.

Resistance forces claim 2 junta bases in central Myanmar, taking 120 surrenderers

Over 100 junta troops surrendered after the resistance forces captured two of their camps in central Myanmar, according to Radio Free Asia on 9 April 2024. The captured camps in central Myanmar are located between Homalin Township and Paungbyin Township. in Sagaing region, where anti-junta sentiment is high and indiscriminate attacks by the Myanmar military have been frequent since the illegal military coup in 2021. According to the local sources, the resistance forces control completely the water way of Chindwin River.

Myanmar army camp near Hpakant falls to KIA

According to the Myanmar Now, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and its allied forces captured a key junta army camp near the jade-mining town of Hpakant in Kachin State on the morning of 11 April 2024. The camp, located near the village of Nam Ya about 20 miles east of Hpakant, fell at around 6 am on 11 April 2024 after two days of fierce fighting. The KIA and its ally, the Kachin People’s Defence Force (Kachin PDF), began attacking the camp and another one operated by junta’s affiliate militias 9 April 2024. The militia camp was captured on the same day, but the army camp was able to continue resisting with the support of airstrikes.

In the evening of 10 April, the resisitance forces penetrated the perimeter of the camp and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with junta troops stationed there until some fled and others surrendered, according to Myanmar Now. The camp called Nam Ya Camp is located on the Myitkyina-Hpakant road, one of three main roads leading to Hpakant. Nam Ya camp was used by the military to strictly monitor vehicles and people entering and exiting the jade town. The KIA and its allies have been attacking army positions near Hpakant since last month, capturing at least 10 major army camps and a number of smaller outposts.

Resistance Drones Strike Junta’s SE Command During Junta No. 2’s Visit

Resistance forces used drones to attack the Junta’s Southeastern Command in Mawlamyine Township, Mon State while deputy junta chief Soe Win was there to oversee operations at the Thai border earlier this week. Alpha Bats Drone Force carried out attacks on evening of 8 April and at noon on 9 April 2024, According to the Alpha Bats Drone Force. Damages and casualities could not be verified.

Activities of the National Unity Government

National Unity Government Seeks Greater Collaboration with Kachin Independence Army, Acting President Affirms

At the cabinet meeting on April 2, Duwa Lashi La, Acting President of the National Unity Government, emphasized the ongoing efforts to foster full cooperation with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). He expressed appreciation for the unity between the Spring Revolution and ethnic liberation movements, highlighting its significance in the current context. The Acting President commended the military achievements of the Kachin Independence Army, underscoring its pivotal role as the revolutionary force in northern Myanmar. He emphasized the importance of strategic planning to alleviate public suffering and dismantle the military dictatorship, which continually inflicts hardships on the populace.

National Unity Government Urges Unity and Resolve Against Military Dictatorship

During the opening ceremony of the second People’s Assembly on April 4, Mahn Winn Khaing Thann, Prime Minister of the National Unity Government, addressed International Community Actions and Response to the Military Coup,  U.N. appointed ex-Australian foreign minister as Special Envoy for Myanmar the critical juncture facing the nation. He stressed the urgency of defeating the military dictatorship amidst mounting political and military pressure from the terrorist Military Council. Prime Minister Mann Win Khaing Than highlighted the importance of unity and solidarity across all sectors, particularly in light of ideological differences. He called for the consolidation of resources to accelerate the revolution and achieve a collective victory.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister underscored the National Unity Consultative Council’s role in realizing the goal of establishing a peaceful federal democratic union characterized by freedom, justice, and equality. He affirmed the National Unity Government’s commitment to collaborating with revolutionary forces in advancing this process. 

National Unity Government Urges End to Military Dictatorship on International Mine Awareness Day

In commemoration of International Mine Awareness Day on April 4, Duwa Lashi La, Acting President of the National Unity Government, conveyed a poignant message. He emphasized that as long as the military dictatorship persists in Myanmar, the people will continue to endure the devastating impact of landmines. Highlighting Myanmar’s status as one of the few countries worldwide still manufacturing and deploying landmines, the message underscored the alarming proliferation of these deadly devices. With over half of Myanmar’s townships afflicted by landmines and their numbers on the rise, the urgent need to dismantle the military dictatorship and establish a democratic federal union, reflective of the people’s aspirations, was emphasized.

Myanmar Ambassador Urges Global Action on Nuclear Disarmament and Cyber Security at UN Disarmament Commission

At the 2024 Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission in New York, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun of Myanmar emphasized the urgent need for global cooperation in tackling nuclear proliferation and security threats. Highlighting the failure to adopt final documents at recent NPT conferences and the delayed ratification of the CTBT, he urged stronger multilateral efforts towards nuclear disarmament. Expressing support for the TPNW and nuclear-weapon-free zones, he also drew attention to Myanmar's humanitarian crisis, urging for a comprehensive arms embargo to halt the military junta's brutalities. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of addressing cyber security threats and the role of the UN Disarmament Commission in fostering cooperation. When concluding, he called for renewed commitment from all member states to work towards a safer world for future generations.

Heavy Losses of Military Council Amid People’s Defensive War

The People’s Defensive War, waged in defense of the people’s right to survival against the oppressive actions of the terrorist Military Council since its coup, continues unabated. On April 4, the National Unity Government’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration revealed that nearly 50 members of the terrorist Military Council were killed and over 20 injured within a single day.

International Community Actions and Response to the Military Coup

Julie Bishop, a former Australian foreign minister appointed as a UNSG’s Special Envoy for Myanmar

According to the Nikkei Asia, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Julie Bishop, a former Australian Foreign Minister, as his next Special Envoy for Myanmar. The position had been vacant since Noeleen Heyzer, a former U.N. Undersecretary-General, left in June 2023. Bishop's appointment comes amid growing calls from key U.N. member countries for more international action amid the Myanmar military's savage campaign to eradicate dissent. Nearly 3 million people have been internally displaced in the country, 90% of them since the 2020 military takeover, 27,000 people have been arrested and many thousands have been killed.

Before leaving the post, Heyzer told the U.N. General Assembly in March 2023 that the impact of Myanmar's military takeover in February 2021 had been "devastating," and warned that violence was continuing at "an alarming scale." Since then, ethnic armed groups and people's defense forces have gained control of vast swaths of territory in the country, notably since October 2023 when ethnic groups launched coordinated attacks and took towns and military posts across northern and northwest Myanmar. In addition to the 10-month absence of a U.N. Special Envoy, critics have described U.N. agencies in Myanmar as "adrift," with no resident coordinator and many senior officials in "acting" positions due to sensitivities about engaging with the military junta. At a U.N. Security Council briefing on Myanmar in New York on Thursday, many of the 15 members of the council urged more action. "Regrettably, there is currently no U.N. Special Envoy, no U.N. resident coordinator, and no regular meetings or a reporting mechanism of the Security Council," the South Korean representative told the council.

Bishop, known as experienced and efficient, was Australia's Foreign Minister from 2013 to 2018 under Prime Ministers Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison. Since 2020, she has been Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU) and also ran a consultancy, Julie Bishop and Partners, alongside other positions with charitable boards and international groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations. It is understood that she will continue in her ANU Chancellor role while undertaking her U.N. work. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Saturday that Australia would "work closely" with Bishop, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the international community, "to build conditions for sustainable peace" in Myanmar. "Ms. Bishop brings a wealth of experience to the role, and her appointment comes at a critical time as the political, humanitarian and security situation in Myanmar continues to worsen," Wong said. Several regional diplomats and officials also welcomed the appointment, telling Nikkei Asia on Saturday that Bishop had a reputation as "tough, balanced and professional," and that Canberra's support of the appointment was a "huge plus."

Counselor Chollet’s Meeting with NUG Representatives

According to the US Department of State, Counselor Derek Chollet and USAID Assistant Administrator Michael Schiffer met today with the leadership team of the  Myanmar National Unity Government (NUG), including NUG-designated Acting President Duwa Lashi La NUG’s designated Foreign Minister Zin Mar Aung, and other leaders. Counselor Chollet welcomed the NUG’s efforts toward inclusive and representative democratic governance in Burma. The Counselor underscored U.S. support for the pro-democracy movement, including efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to millions in need and build local administrative capacity to provide vital public services. The Counselor commended the NUG on efforts to build inclusive coalitions with those striving for a democratic future in Burma, including key ethnic and religious groups, particularly Rohingya. The Counselor and the NUG leaders reiterated the urgency of pressing the military junta to end violence, release those unjustly detained, and engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to promote an end to the conflict and a path toward democracy in the interests of the people of Myanmar.

Thai Foreign Minister urges Myanmar's military to avoid violent attack on border town its army lost

According to AP, Thailand’s Foreign Minister on 12 April said he urged Myanmar Junta not to violently respond to its army’s loss of an important border trading town to its opponents, and that so far they seemed to be exercising restraint. Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara spoke during a visit to Mae Sot, which lies directly across a river from Myanmar’s Myawaddy, where army troops abandoned their last defensive position early 11 April. Their hasty escape ceded virtual control of the busy trading town to guerrillas of the ethnic Karen National Union and its allies, including members of the pro-democracy People’s Defense Forces. Myanmar’s once-mighty armed forces have suffered a series of unprecedented defeats since last October, losing swathes of territory including border posts to both ethnic fighters and guerrilla units. Civilians took up arms after the generals seized power in 2021 from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The military has frequently hit back heavily, using air power. Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for junta’s military, told the BBC’s Burmese language service Thursday night that the soldiers at the army’s last base outside Myawaddy town abandoned the post for the safety of their families who were living with them. He said Myanmar was in talks with Thailand about getting them safely back, and acknowledged that Karen forces were inside the town. There is concern that the Myanmar military might launch a concerted counter- attack against Myawaddy, which could send thousands fleeing into Thailand for safety and badly disrupt border trade. Speaking to reporters after inspecting the area, Foreign Minister Parnpree said Thailand had already spoken with Myanmar’s military and told them they did not wish to see violence, offering Thailand’s help. Residents from both sides of the river said earlier there have been frequent explosions in the past few days from airstrikes against captured positions outside Myawaddy town, but that Friday was quiet. Thai immigration officials said visitor numbers from Myanmar were unexceptional. But for some, the quiet was the problem.

WFP: Myanmar suffering from worst humanitarian crisis in recent history

Food insecurity in Myanmar has risen sharply amid the worst humanitarian crisis in its recent history, affecting 12.9 million or one in four people, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Also, 18.6 million people need humanitarian assistance and 2.6 million have been displaced by conflict in Myanmar. The WFP says that the political crisis, conflict, economic downturn, pre-existing poverty and climate-related shocks are all driving the emergency.

Conflict is spreading into new areas, driving displacement at a record scale. Most displaced people are cut off from access to food and often dependent on WFP assistance for survival. Meanwhile, the country is highly vulnerable to climate-related disasters. In May 2023, Cyclone Mocha left a devastating trail, with WFP launching a life-saving response for hundreds of thousands of people. Unprecedented floods in October 2023 prompted the WFP to provide emergency food assistance to 24,000 people. Despite immense security constraints, humanitarian access and funding challenges, WFP said that it is doing its utmost to assist at least 2 million people in 2024, increasingly working with local partners. WFP also said that it urgently needs US$86.6 million to sustain aid for vulnerable communities until May 2024, and it is calling on the international community to scale up its support to the people of Myanmar.




Date: 15 April 2024

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York



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