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Bi-Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (01-10-2023 to 15-10-2023)


Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar


(01-10-2023 to 15-10-2023)


More than 32 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 13 October 2023, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military has ruthlessly killed 4,146 people and arrested another 25,300 people. 19,617 people remain in detention and 156 people have been sentenced to death, including 113 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.


The illegal military junta again unlawfully extended the so-called state of emergency on 31 July 2023, aiming to prolong military rule for another six months in Myanmar.


Serious crimes committed by the Military

Firing Artillery in Pale Town

Junta forces reportedly launched artillery shells in Pale Town of Sagaing Region on 29 September after they clashed with local PDF forces. A civilian named Ah Mar Kyi from Thae Tan Betel Nut (Paan) shop was killed after being struck by shrapnel from an artillery explosion in Htan Ta Pin Ward.

Arresting and murdering the civilians in Dawei Township

According to AAPP, junta forces attacked Maung Mei Shaung Village in Dawei Township of Tanintharyi Region on 1 October 2023, and arrested three civilians including a minor. On 6 October 2023, the body of one of the civilians was discovered in the Dawei River near Ka Myaw Kin Village in Launglon Township with injuries to his neck.


Torching a village and killing a civilian in Tabayin Township

AAPP reported that on 2 October 2023, junta forces set fire to Bagan Village in Tabayin Township of Sagaing Region and arrested a local villager named Win Aung from Na Be Hla Village. The villager was reportedly shot dead near a chili field near Bagan Village.


Raiding and murdering civilians in Kanbalu Township

AAPP reported that on 6 October 2023, junta forces and members of the paramilitary Pyu Saw Htee raided Inn Lel Gyi Village in Kanbalu Township of Sagaing Region. During the raid, they arrested three local residents, including a child. According to one source, the child was later released, but the other arrested individuals were taken to Nga Toet Village and shot dead on 7 October 2023. The victims were reportedly Thar Win and Kyauk Sein Oo.

Raiding the villages within Kanbalu Township

Mizzima News reported that on 9 October 2023, a junta military column based in Kanbalu Township left the town at around 6 am and arrived at Nhapyaw Tain Village at around 2 pm. The junta column reportedly consisted of 100 troops.

Due to the military column, local villagers from a number of villages within Kanbalu Township had to flee. The villages include Nhapyaw Tain, Inn Lel Gyi, Kha Ohn Tar, Kyay Pin Ahk, Mya Thazin, Myaing Tharyar, Ywar Thit, Ywar Ma, Pay Kyi, and Layhla.

Junta’s midnight assault in Munglai Hkyet (IDP Camp) near Laiza

On 9 October 2023 at midnight, the junta military reportedly launched an attack involving heavy artillery and coordinated airstrikes on the Munglai Hkyet Village (IDP Camp), where 100 displaced families had been sheltering. The village is located less than three miles north of the town of Laiza in Kachin State.

Due to the midnight assault by the junta military, at least 30 people have been killed, including women and 13 children, and at least another 57 people have been injured. Additionally, one kindergarten, one school, one church, and many civilians’ houses have reportedly been destroyed.

According to Myanmar Now News, two survivors said that the junta’s midnight assault on Munglai Hkeyt has made the place “no longer livable.” According to the source, other locals said that there are no KIA posts in the surrounding area and that this assault was a civilian target.

Shelling in eastern Bago Region and killing a young girl

Myanmar Now News reported that on 10 October 2023, junta forces launched artillery shells at the village of Kyaw Hla in Pyu Township of Bago Region. A first shell launched around 1 pm affected no one, but a second shell launched around 5 pm hit a 14-year-old girl and four other civilians. The 14-year-old girl was wounded in her abdomen and died before she could receive treatment.


Burning down the houses in Myaung Township

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported that three junta columns raided villages in Myaung Township of Sagaing Region on the morning of 10 October 2023. The local residents said that two of the military columns landed in Nanunkei Village, and the third column was at Yaylel Kyun Village.

It was further reported that starting at 4 pm on 12 October 2023, the junta columns torched Khaung Khae Village, burning down 18 houses. As a result of the attack, five civilians were arrested, five cows were killed, and the local residents were forced to flee.


Killing the local resistance members in Myaing Township

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported that on 11 October 2023, four local resistance fighters were shot dead by junta forces near Kyauk Phu Village in Myaing Township of Magway Region. The resistance fighters were reportedly on their way back to the village after patrolling the area when they were killed by the junta forces.

Firing heavy artillery in Mindat Township

Mizzima News reported that on 14 October 2023, junta forces launched heavy artillery at Mindat Town of Chin State. The artillery explosion reportedly injured two children, damaged civilians’ houses, and killed people’s pets.

Arresting civilians

Junta forces reportedly arrested two civilians, namely Aung Hsann Win and Myo Su Thet, from Sein Kone Ward in Sagaing Town of Sagaing Region on 30 September 2023. One source said that they had both joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) before they were arrested. They are currently detained at Sagaing Myoma Police Station. On 4 October 2023, the junta seized their house.


According to Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), junta forces arrested a CDM teacher on 12 October 2023 after the teacher shared a post regarding the junta’s midnight assault in Munglai Hkyet IDP Camp near Laiza on Facebook.

DVB news reported that junta forces, Pyu Saw Htee members and Ward administrators arrested a civilian named Zin Ko Tun (25) and his wife at their house in Pyigyi Ta Khon Township of Mandalay on 13 October 2023. They were reportedly arrested because Zin Ko Tun has a tattoo of the State Counsellor and the words “Spring Revolution,” and he shared anti-military posts on his social media. The source said that the junta charged them under the Counter-Terrorism Law.


Illegitimately sentencing civilians


According to the AAPP, junta courts have sentenced a total of 7,695 people across the country to imprisonment from February 2021 to 9 October 2023, including 1,138 females, 6,554 males, and three LGBT individuals. Among these, 281 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment, 98 people to the death penalty, and 15 to both life imprisonment and the death penalty.


On 29 September 2023, a military court reportedly sentenced Biak Mway Sung and Van Biak Ceu. Biak Mway Sung was sentenced to life imprisonment under section 50(j) of the Counter-Terrorism Law for allegedly financially supporting the Chinland Defence Force (CDF), and Van Biak Ceu was sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour under Section 52(a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law for allegedly having contact with members of the Chinland Defence Force (CDF). Both civilians are reportedly from Hakha Town in Chin State and were arrested by junta forces in September 2023.


Activities of the National Unity Government

On 2 October 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar issued a statement on Myanmar junta participation in the EU-ASEAN CSOs Forum in Brussels. The statement said that the NUG is deeply concerned to learn of the invitation of the representatives of Myanmar’s illegitimate junta to the EU-ASEAN CSOs Forum “Advancing Human Rights: Creating an Enabling Environment for CSOs at the Regional Level” in Brussels. It also stated that the Myanmar junta is brutalizing its own people, murdering civil society activists, health workers, teachers, and schoolchildren alike, and committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The NUG urged the European Union and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights to engage with the legitimate representatives of the Myanmar people in a genuine human rights dialogue.

On 2 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the General Discussion on Crime, Information and Technologies (Agenda Item 107 and 108) at the Third Committee of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The Permanent Representative said that, undoubtedly, the only way to end the scourge in Myanmar is to end the violent and lawless military junta and establish a civilian federal democratic government in Myanmar that is fully committed to the rule of law.


On 3 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the General Debate of the Second Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative said that the only way to fully resolve the crisis in Myanmar is to end the military dictatorship and hold the perpetrators accountable. He urged the UN and its member states to listen to the voices of the people, make sure that the international community does not fail the people of Myanmar, and does not leave the people of Myanmar alone.


On 4 October 2023, the National Unity Government of Myanmar issued a Statement concerning the terrorist military council’s artillery attack at a school in Jo Taung Ywama Village in Wuntho Township of Sagaing Region. The statement said that due to the sudden launch of artillery shrapnel on Khandi Wuntha Yama monastery in Buta Quarter, Jo Taung Ywama Village at 12:30 pm on 27 September 2023, a total of 22 individuals, including one teacher and 21 children, in a public school next to the monastery got injured. It was said that among the injured, there were six 7-year-old children, five 8-year-old children, four 10-year-old children, three 11-year-old children, two 12-year-old children and one 14-year-old child with 12 male and 9 female children affected overall. The military council has been engaging in egregious violations of international laws, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, with continued disregard of the Five-Points Consensus and UN Security Council Resolution 2669, and these violations include murders and infliction of injuries on children, and the deliberate targeting and destruction of schools, contravening various International and Regional Human Rights Treaties, Conventions on the Rights of the Children, Geneva Convention and Rome Statue. The NUG vowed to apprehend and to hold accountable those, both who actually committed the attack and who supported or gave orders for such attacks, through the domestic justice system, and also called the United Nations Member States to take concerted efforts against the military council as a follow up to UN Security Council Resolution 2669, to impose stronger economic sanctions and to reach to a new resolution which will enable to stop the import of jet fuels and weapons for the military.


On 4 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the General Discussion on Advancement of Women of the Third Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative said that women and girls in Myanmar, particularly in conflict-affected areas, need protection from the military’s sexual violence, and the survivors deserve justice. He urged the countries in the region, particularly neighbouring countries, to protect Myanmar’s people, especially women and girls who escaped from the military atrocities and took refuge in their respective countries.


On 4 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda Item 20: Groups of Countries in Special Situations, sub-item (a) Follow-up to the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries at the Second Committee of the 78th Session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative underlined that it is crystal clear that the military junta is not capable of governing the country or managing the economy, and it is not capable of delivering durable peace and stability. He stressed that under these circumstances, Myanmar cannot meet DPoA’s targets and SDG goals. In order to achieve those targets and goals, he pointed out that first and foremost it is necessary to end the military dictatorship, restore democracy and build a federal democratic union in Myanmar.


On 5 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda Item 17: Follow-up to and Implementation of the Outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development at the Second Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative stressed that it is of paramount importance that any support from the international community to Myanmar must not prolong the military dictatorship.


On 6 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the General Discussion on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children (Agenda Item 67) at the Third Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative stated that to end violations of the rights of children and all human rights in Myanmar, it is crucial to end the military dictatorship and restore democracy.


On 9 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 78th Session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative said that the military junta continues its indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas including schools and healthcare facilities, notably the junta’s air raid in Pazigyi Village of Sagaing Region on 11 April 2023 and the heavy artillery attack by the junta on a monastic school in Wun Tho in Sagaing Region on 27 September 2023. He also stressed the junta’s heavy artillery attack on Laiza in Kachin State on 9 October 2023. He stated that comprehensive arms embargoes and the imposition of sanctions on jet fuel against the military junta are urgently needed to help stop the junta’s brutalities against the people of Myanmar.


On 10 October 2023, the National Unity Government of Myanmar issued a Statement regarding the Terrorist Military Council’s Bombing of the Munglai Hkyet IDP Camp near Laiza in Kachin State in Myanmar. The Statement underlined that on 9 October 2023 at 11:25 PM local time, the terrorist military council launched heavy artillery and coordinated airstrikes in a Time on Target attack on the Munglai Hkyet IDP Camp, and based on initial reports, at least 30 have been killed, including women and 13 children and at least a further 57 have been injured. It said that rescue and recovery efforts are currently ongoing, and these numbers may increase, and in addition, the destruction of one kindergarten, one school, one church and many civilians’ houses have been reported. It stressed that this deliberate and targeted attack by the terrorist military council on civilians fleeing conflict constitutes a blatant crime against humanity and war crime. According to the statement, the terrorist military council has taken advantage of the moment of the international community’s attention on the recent developments of the Israel-Hamas conflict to commit yet another crime against humanity and war crime. In accordance with the UN resolution 2669, the National Unity Government strongly urged the international community to take timely and strong actions against the terrorist military council for their crimes against humanity, and to cooperate with the people of Myanmar to effectively prevent similar atrocities in Myanmar.


On 10 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Interactive Dialogue with High Commissioner for the Human Rights of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative urged the international community to extend their support to the work of the NUG towards the people of Myanmar. He also reminded them that with every moment that passes by, every moment that the international community sits idly and watches, the suffering of the Myanmar people continues. He urged the UN and its member states to respect the aspirations of the people of Myanmar and make sure that the UN does not fail Myanmar and does not leave the people of Myanmar alone in this world striving towards justice and democracy.


On 10 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda Item 134: Proposed programme budget for 2024 at the Fifth Committee of the Seventy-Eighth session of the UNGA. As the military junta is exploiting humanitarian assistance and using it as a weapon of war, the Permanent Representative requested all humanitarian and development partners to carefully take into account this important factor and explore viable ways in extending life-saving assistance to the people in need.


On 10 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda Item 18: Sustainable Development at the Second Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative stressed that the people of Myanmar have spoken loud and clear that the military has no legitimacy, capacity, or political will to govern the country and improve the lives and well-being of the people. He added that the international community must, with similar degree and urgency, amplify their voices and extend effective, tangible and meaningful support to the people of Myanmar in their resolution to end the military dictatorship and build a federal democratic union.


On 11 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda Item 21: Eradication of poverty and other development issues and Agenda Item 23: Agriculture development, food security and nutrition at the Second Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative said that the people of Myanmar need assistance from the international community to alleviate their unspeakable suffering caused by the military junta, and the military dictatorship is a root cause of the crisis in Myanmar. He urged the international community to provide strong and effective support to the Myanmar people’s efforts for ending the military dictatorship, restoring democracy and building a federal democratic union.


On 12 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, under the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (Agenda Item 71) at the Third Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative said that the military has been committing torture and other atrocities for decades and this became exacerbated by the illegal military coup in February 2021.


On 12 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda item 46: “Assistance in Mine Action” at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative said that the Myanmar junta’s atrocities have been facilitated by arms transfers from certain countries. He stressed that despite international appeals and the outcry from the people in Myanmar, the military has received substantial fighter jets, munitions, and related technologies. He stated that such careless support has enabled the inhumane junta to increase its production capacity in defense industries including landmines, leading to devastating consequences for the people.


On 12 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under Agenda Item 71: Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression at the Third Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative underlined that the only way to reinstate fundamental rights, including the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, in Myanmar is by ending this military dictatorship, restoring democracy and building a federal democratic union.


On 12 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under agenda Item 78: Crimes against Humanity, at the Sixth Committee of the Seventy-Eighth session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative provided a reminder that with every moment that passes by, every moment that the international community takes no action, the sufferings of the Myanmar people continue, and the absence of concrete action from the UN will indirectly encourage the inhumane military junta to commit further atrocities against innocent civilians in Myanmar.

On 12 October 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations delivered a statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders of the Third Committee of the 78th Session of the UNGA. The Permanent Representative stated that despite significant risks, women human rights defenders in Myanmar continue to be at the forefront of opposition to the military dictatorship and continue to document and report on human rights abuses committed by the military. He stressed that the only way to protect and promote the role of Human Rights Defenders in Myanmar is to end the military dictatorship, restore democracy and build a federal democratic union.

On 14 October 2023, Acting President Duwa Lashi La of the National Unity Government of Myanmar delivered his monthly address to the public, stating that the National Unity Government will stand unwaveringly on its fundamental standards and policies, and will work hard until the establishment of a peaceful and prosperous federal democratic state is achieved for the people by collaborating with the ethnic revolutionary forces.


Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état


According to the Myanmar Humanitarian Update prepared by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued on 2 October 2023, ongoing conflict and monsoon floods continue to cause new displacement, civilian casualties, and destruction of civilian properties, further worsening the already dire humanitarian situation in Myanmar. It stated that nearly two million people are now internally displaced in precarious conditions and require lifesaving assistance, and the threat to civilians from explosive ordnance is spreading with new data showing that for the first time, landmine casualties have now been recorded in every state and region, except Nay Pyi Taw. The Humanitarian Update underlined that local and international humanitarian partners continue to scale up and adapt in response to the deepening needs, reaching at least 1.8 million people during the first half of 2023.


On 4 October 2023, the International Labour Organization issued a press release stating that the Organization’s Commission of Inquiry for Myanmar found that the actions taken by the military authorities since the coup have resulted in far-reaching restrictions on the exercise of basic civil liberties and trade union rights, as well as in the incapacity of trade unionists to engage in trade union activities, which violate Myanmar’s obligations under Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention 1948 (No. 87). The Commission also found that Myanmar did not comply with its obligations under the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), since the military continues to exact different types of forced labour in the context of armed conflict. The Commission of Inquiry urges the Myanmar military authorities to immediately cease all forms of violence, torture and other inhumane treatment against trade unionists, and to end all forms of forced or compulsory labour.

At the United Nations daily press briefing on 10 October 2023, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said that they are alarmed by reported attacks on the Munglai Hkyet (IDP Camp) in Kachin State which is home to more than 6,000 displaced people. The Deputy Spokesperson added that according to reports from humanitarian partners, 30 internally displaced people and other civilians were killed and dozens more injured. He said that humanitarian organizations have faced severe access restrictions in this part of Kachin for many years, and they need unimpeded and safe access to deliver timely and efficient assistance to displaced communities. He stressed that the reported attacks on IDP Camp underscores the dangers faced by the nearly two million people who are now displaced in Myanmar, including 1.7 million people who have fled their homes as a result of conflict and insecurity since February 2021. He further said that the Humanitarian Response Plan for Myanmar, which calls for nearly $890 million, is just 28 percent funded.

On 10 October 2023, the Office of the Spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State issued a press statement in response to the Myanmar military’s attack on the IDP Camp near Munglai Hkyet Village in Kachin State on 9 October 2023. The press statement said that the U.S. strongly condemned the military’s ongoing attacks that have claimed thousands of lives since the military coup and continued to exacerbate the region’s most severe humanitarian crisis, and more than 1.6 million people have been internally displaced since the coup. It further stressed that the U.S. will continue to support the people of Myanmar and all those working peacefully to support their aspirations for peace and inclusive democracy.


*****


Date: 15 October 2023

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York






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