Bi-Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (14-08-2023 to 27-08-2023)
Bi-Weekly Updates on the Current Situation in Myanmar
(14-08-2023 to 27-08-2023)
It has been more than 30 months since the Myanmar military carried out a coup d’état and removed the democratically elected government of Myanmar. Since the coup on 1 February 2021, the illegitimate military junta has detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and cabinet members, senior government officials, parliamentarians, and human rights activists. The junta continues to commit gross human rights violations against innocent civilians, dragging the country into political, economic, and social turmoil.
As of 25 August 2023, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the junta has murdered 4,007 civilians and arrested 24,462. Of those arrested, 19,943 remain in detention, whereas 144 have been sentenced to death, including 101 post-coup death row prisoners and 119 in absentia. Four democracy activists on death row were executed in July 2022.From 1 January to 21 August 2023, the junta murdered 217 civilians. The highest fatalities were recorded in Sagaing Region, with 90 victims.
On 31 July 2023, the military junta extended its unlawfully declared state of emergency, to prolong its rule by another 6 months.
Military Junta’s Crimes Against Humanity
According to AAPP, between 1 January and 14 August 2023, the junta murdered 246 women across the country. The highest number was in Sagaing Region, with a total of 135 women murdered. Of those, 93 were killed by airstrikes and 74 by artillery fire.
Civilians Killed in Airstrikes and Artillery Fire
According to AAPP, between 1 January and 15 August 2023, the junta killed 265 civilians in airstrikes across the country, with Sagaing Region recording the highest fatalities at 210 civilians.
Between 1 January and 17 August 2023, the junta killed 172 civilians in artillery strikes across the country, with Sagaing Region recording the highest fatalities at 56 civilians.
Junta Airstrikes and Heavy Artillery Fire Against Civilians
On 11 August 2023, junta forces fired artillery at Setkant Village in Kale, Sagaing Region, and destroyed a church and several houses. On 12 August 2023, junta forces conducted aerial bombardment on Ramthlo Village in Falam Township, Chin State, and injured 7 civilians and destroyed a church and several houses. There was no fighting with anti-junta forces in the area.
On 11 August 2023, junta forces bombed Kan Oo Monastery in Ta Laing Village, Sagaing Township, Sagaing Region. The junta bombing killed 1 eight-month-old infant, 2 women (including a 65-year-old), 1 monk, and injured 15 civilians seeking refuge inside the monastery while fleeing from junta troops disembarking from a ship docked near Sintgaing Village.
Junta Fires Artillery Against Villages
On 13-16 August 2023, junta troops repeatedly fired heavy artillery at villages under the control of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in Nyaunglebin District, Bago Region. Junta troops stationed at Pein Za Loke, Thu Htay Kone Village, and Kyauktaga, all located in Nyaunglebin Township, shelled villages on both sides of the Sittaung River in Kyaukkyi Township. The shelling killed 2 children (aged 13 and 16) and injured 2 more in Pethaung Village, injured 1 teacher and 2 children in Shwegyin Township, and killed 2 men identified as Maung Htwe (60) and Thant Zaw (35) in Za Loke Gyi, Mone Township.
Between 1 January and 16 August 2023, the junta killed 369 detainees across the country. Sagaing Region recorded the highest fatalities, with 208 victims.
Murder and Arrests in Magway Region
Between 1 January and 18 August 2023, in Magway Region, the junta murdered 51 civilians and arrested 180. Of those murdered, 14 were women and 37 were men. Of those arrested, 35 were women and 145 were men. Military junta-controlled courts in Magway also handed prison sentences to 79 civilians (17 women and 62 men) under trumped-up charges.
Murder and Arrests in Mandalay, Yangon, and Tanintharyi by the Military Junta
Between 1 January and 24 August 2023, the junta murdered 61 civilians in Mandalay Region. Junta forces also arrested 245 civilians and junta-controlled courts handed prison sentences under specious to 42 civilians. Between 1 January and 25 August 2023, junta-controlled courts sentenced 19 civilians to death in Yangon Region.
Between 1 January and 22 August 2023, junta troops killed 51 civilians and arrested 66 women and 87 men, in Tanintharyi Region. Junta-controlled courts also handed prison sentences to 6 women and 10 men.
Raids, Arson, Torture, and Murder by the Military junta
Gangaw Township: On 9 August 2023 and 10 August 2023, respectively, around 80 junta troops raided Ah Nauk Gangaw Village and neighboring Shone Shi Village, in Gangaw Township, Magway Region. Junta troops murdered 4 civilians in the raids. A resident from the town of Gangaw reported that junta troops captured 3 villagers before entering Ah Nauk Gangaw Village and killed 1 captive afterwards. Junta troops also killed 1 captive from Ah Nauk Gangaw Village and 2 residents from Shone Shi Village in their raid on Shone Shi Village. The 3 victims’ bodies were disposed off at a bridge over the Myittha River. At the time of reporting, the status of the 1 remaining civilian captive remains unknown. The Gangaw resident reported that around 5,000 residents of Ah Nauk Gangaw, Shone Shi, and Zar Haw Villages, all on the river’s west bank, were forced to flee their homes and remained displaced due to continuing raids by reinforced junta troops.
Budalin Township: On 11 August 2023, around 70 junta troops raided Thakhuttanei Village in Budalin Township, Sagaing Region. On 12 August 2023, the troops set fire to approximately 40 homes and a clinic operating inside a Buddhist monastery. The raid was reportedly a deliberate targeting of civilians in retaliation against a raid by anti-junta resistance forces against junta troops stationed at a local fire station a week prior. Junta troops shot villagers who returned to the village in an attempt to extinguish their homes on fire. The troops shot a male civilian multiple times, seriously wounding him in the process. The troops left the village on 14 August 2023.
Pinlebu Township: On 14 August 2023, around 100 junta troops raided a gold mine in Mu Le Village, Pinlebu Township, Sagaing Region. An officer in the anti-junta Pinlebu People’s Defence Force (PDF) reported that junta troops arrested 12 civilians and later executed 4 of them for allegedly supporting the pro-democracy movement. The victims were identified as the mine’s owner U Set Hlaing, his daughter Wyne Wyne (21) who was eight months pregnant, and 2 male workers Shan Lay (21) and Nyi Nyi Aung (21). Junta troops shot the 4 victims and burned their bodies inside a hut nearby. Their charred bodies were later discovered ty the local PDF. The remaining 8 captives (4 men and 4 women) were set to be killed, but were spared at the pleading of a local monk from Sin Le Village. Junta troops tortured the 4 men before releasing them with a warning that they would not be spared next time.
Kale: On 12 August 2023, junta troops arrested and murdered a mother (50) and her son (30) returning on motorbike from a clinic in Tar Han Ward, Kale Town, Sagaing Region, near Set Kan Village. The victims were from Kyun Chaung Village in Kale Township, Sagaing Region. The troops reportedly burnt their bodies. Moreover, From 16 to 20 August 2023, a junta column of over 200 troops raided and set fire to 100 houses in Thar Si Village in Kale, Sagaing Region. Around 3,000 residents had to flee for safety.
Yinmabin and Pale Townships: On 10 August 2023, junta troops captured 6 civilians from Yinmabin and Pale Townships. The troops later tortured, murdered, and dumped the victims’ bodies in a creek. The bodies were discovered by residents and members of the anti-junta resistance forces on 16 August 2023, in Myauk Yamar Creek, near a bridge on the Pathein-Monywa Road, Yinmabin Township, Sagaing Region. Witnesses reported that junta troops cut the victims’ throats and inflicted multiple injuries on their bodies. One victim had a gunshot wound to the head. The victims were Thein Ngwe (44), Pho Nyan (48), Zaw Myint Htay (34), Zaw Myo Khaing (22) from Lae Ngauk Village, who were on route to feed their cows, and Win Zaw Oo (45) and Kyaw Myo Win (38) from Pale Township. The perpetrators were junta troops on patrol around the town of Monywa providing security for the Letpadaung copper mine project owned by the military junta’s business partner Wanbao Mining from China.
Tabayin Township: On 19 August 2023, over 80 junta troops attacked the western part of Tabayin Township, Sagaing Region. An estimated 10,000 residents from Kya Khat, Pyan Kya, Hna Be Hla, Bagan, Lat Tee, Khun Taung, Hnaw Pin, Nyein Chan Ywar Thit, Gway Pin Kone, Min Te Kone, Ma Kyi Sauk, and other nearby villages were forced to flee to for safety.
Shwebo Township: On 22-23 August 2023, locals discovered the bodies of 4 people arrested and murdered by junta troops in Shwebo Township, allegedly for breaking the junta imposed 6 PM curfew. Two of the bodies were found in Chi Par Village and another two were found in Me Taw Village. One of the victims was beheaded. The junta reportedly forced the captives to navigate guide them through territory where anti-junta forces were present, using them as human shields, a common practice by the military junta.
Khin-U Township: On 25 August 2023, around 200 junta troops from units LIB-361, 701, 702, and 708 fired artillery and raided several villages in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region. The assaults forced over 6,000 residents from Pin Din, Kyar Pin Aing, Nyaung Pin Gyi Su, Thein Taw, and nearby villages to flee their homes.
On 13 August 2023, around 30 junta troops raided and opened fire at U Yin Su Village in Yesagyo Township, Magway Region. The troops killed a civilian from Htan Chaung Village, who had been living in U Yin Su Village. The victim died from gunshot wounds to the head and stomach.
On 25 August 2023, junta troops from No.14 Advanced Military Training School based in Hparuso, Kayah State, targeted drone bombings against civilians in a village in eastern Hparuso Township. The explosives injured 3 children and destroyed a civilian home.
On 23 August 2023, junta troops raided a church and took 40 civilians, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), hostage in Hpakant Township, Kachin State. The junta troops held the hostages as human shields at their base until they were ready to leave the area on the morning of 25 August 2023. The troops also raided several homes in the area. The incident was likely deliberate targeting of civilians in retaliation against the anti-junta Kachin Independence Army’s attack on junta troops traveling from the nearby town of Kamaing to Hpakant, a day prior.
On 22 August 2023, junta troops shot dead a man, Hla Ngwe (33), traveling with this wife (20) by motorbike near Kone Hson Village, Pekhon Township, in Shan State. The troops did not ask questions and immediately opened fire on the husband. The troops shot the husband seven times, kicked the wife, and left them lying on the road.
Rohingya Civilians Arrested
On 11 August 2023, junta forces arrested around 150 Rohingya (127 men and 18 women) near Waekhami Village, in southern Mon State, for allegedly attempting to leave Myanmar. Junta spokesperson for the Mon State Administration Council stated that the civilians were under investigation according to the junta’s immigration law.
Junta’s Weaponization of Digital Platforms
The military junta continues to weaponize digital platforms to target civilians expressing dissent against the junta on social media. Around 19 prominent pro-junta telegram channels, including “Han Nyein Oo”, use doxing to alert junta security forces of dissidents’ locations, triggering their arrests within hours. Approximately 50 less prominent telegram channels disseminate information from the 19 channels. There has reportedly been an increase in such arrests.
From 9-15 August 2023, at least 16 civilians were arrested in Mandalay after doxing by pro-junta Telegram channels. On 9-10 August 2023, junta forces arrested 6 civilians during raids in pubs and teashops in Chanmyathazi and Aungmyaythazan Townships. On 12 August 2023, junta forces arrested a woman (25) and a man (45) in Chanmyathazi Township, for criticizing coup leader Min Aung Hlaing online.
On 13 August 2023, junta troops raided a stationery store in Chanayethazan Township, detained store owner Myint Myint Than (70), her 2 daughters and 1 relative, and sealed off their house and shop for criticizing the military junta in a social media comment under a news article post. On the same day, junta forces also arrested a betel nut vendor in Chanmyathazi Township for complaining on TikTok about inflation under the junta.
On 14 August 2023, junta forces arrested a young man from Maha Aung Myay Township for allegedly having undergone training with anti-junta forces. Junta forces also arrested a CDM teacher, Nan Zeyar Oo, in Chanayethazan Township for criticizing the junta and coup leader Min Aung Hlaing on TikTok.
On 15 August 2023, junta forces arrested store owner Zin Min Aung in Chanayethazan Township, for his Facebook posts from 2021 and 2022. Junta forces also arrested a CDM female doctor in the same township.
Forced Relocation by Junta Troops
Around 40 civilians in Wet Hmay Village, near Wanbao Mining Company’s Letpadaung copper mining project in Salingyi Township, Sagaing Region, were forced to relocate their homes by junta troops at the demand of Wanbao Mining. The residents have resisted forced relocation for over a decade and were finally forced to leave as 300 junta troops arrived to place barbed wire fencing around Wet Hmay Village on 3 August 2023. The troops gave the residents an ultimatum to leave or face whatever consequences may follow. A resident reported that the villagers were already facing food insecurity and living in fear of atrocities from junta troops, adding that they were restricted from leaving and that outsiders were prohibited from entering the village.
On 8 and 11 August 2023, 6 villagers were summoned by Wanbao Mining and were offered compensation to leave Wet Hmay Village. However, negotiations with Wanbao Mining have not been successful to date. No compensation has yet been paid to the residents. Accordingl to the Salingyi Township Public Administration Team, over 400 homes in 13 villages have been burnt down and 17 civilians killed by junta troops stationed in and around the Wanbao Mining compound.
On 14 August 2023, over 100 junta troops raided and shelled villages along the Pathein-Monywa Road. The attacks forced around 7,000 civilians to flee their homes. Junta troops arrested 7 civilians, killed a 9-year-old boy, Kyaw Thiha (from Pay Kone Village, Yinmabin Township) and injured 5 civilians (3 women and 2 men) in artillery fire. The junta troops were stationed in Salingyi Township, where Wanbao Mining operates.
CDM Professor and Family Detained
On 23 August 2023, junta forces detained retired ophthalmologist Dr. Mya Than and his wife Myint Myat Khine, both in their 70s, and son Yan Naung Tun (45), in Mandalay. Junta forces also sealed off their clinic and condominium unit. It is believed that the arrest and confiscation of property were related Myint Myat Khine quitting her job as an associate professor at the Mandalay University of Distance Education following the military coup, as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the junta.
Junta Shuts Down Private Hospital in Mandalay
On 25 August 2023, the military junta forced the 150-bed Mingalar Private Hospital in Mandalay to be shut down. The junta accused the hospital of employing doctors involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement against the junta. The forced suspension harmed the hospital’s patients, as the private hospital had significant modern equipment and treatment capacity for its patients. CDM doctors have been persecuted by the military junta, many detained or made jobless by having their medical licenses revoked. In March 2022, the junta’s central regional command based in Mandalay ordered private hospitals and healthcare providers to submit daily patient logs to the junta.
Dissident Hip-hop Artist Detained
On 24 August 2023, the military junta sentenced hip-hop artist Byu Har (38) to 20 years in prison for criticizing the junta. The singer called junta leader Min Aung Hlaing incompetent in a live stream on social media, criticizing the frequent power outages under junta rule. The 20-year prison sentence is by far the most severe of sentences handed to dissident celebrities and artists.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 14 August 2023, the National Unity Government (NUG) published its activities in its Weekly Press Update 32/2023. The Update included the NUG’s Foreign Minister H.E. Daw Zin Mar Aung sending a congratulatory message commemorating ASEAN’s 56th anniversary, Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun delivering a statement at the United Nations Security Council’s “Discussion on the Problem of Global Food Insufficiency Caused by the Threat of Hunger and Conflict”, the Ministry of Labour holding a campaign titled “Hold the Hands Firmly, Can Take Spring Victory” to support CDM railway workers, PDFs, and displaced civilians in refugee camps.
On 14 August 2023, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management reported on its provision of humanitarian assistance and support to IDPs, civilians injured by junta attacks, family members of pro-democracy activists and PDFs killed by junta forces, CDM dissidents, and political prisoners. In cooperation with local administrative teams, humanitarian representatives, strikes committees, and civil society organizations, the Ministry donated food supplies worth MMK 22,721,000 to communities in Thabeikkyin, Singu, Madaya, Mahlaing and Myingyan Townships in Mandalay Region.
On 16 August 2023, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management announced its provision of rice and food supplies to local residents impacted by floods and landslides in Kyar Inn Seikgyi, Myawaddy, Hlaingbwe, Hpa-An Townships of Karen State. The humanitarian assistance was delivered through relevant stakeholders and local institutions.
On 18 August 2023, the Ministry of Human Rights issued its Human Rights Newsletter Volume 1, No. 40. The Newsletter included an interview with Union Minister H.E. U Aung Myo Min by Burma News Network, a call for complaints to be submitted on human rights violations, statistics on the junta’s human rights violations from 1-15 August 2023, a summary of the Fifth Annual Report by the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar, detailed information on junta troops’ attack on Taline Village, Sagaing Region, and a discussion on the massacres committed by the junta.
The National Unity Government (NUG) released a statement dated 25 August 2023, on the 6th Anniversary of the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people in 2017. In the statement, it reiterated that the NUG recognizes the Rohingya as an integral part of Myanmar and as its nationals. The NUG acknowledged with great shame, the exclusionary and discriminatory policies, practices, and rhetoric that were long directed against the Rohingya and other religious and ethnic minorities. The NUG expressed its commitment to creating the conditions necessary to bring the Rohingya and other displaced people home in voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable ways according to its “Policy position on the Rohingya in Rakhine State”. The statement highlighted that the current Deputy Minister of Human Rights of the NUG is a Rohingya, adding that the NUG is committed to including Rohingya perspectives in its development of policies, programs, and legislative reforms.
On 23 August 2023, the NUG’s Minister of Human Rights, U Aung Myo Min, met the President of Timor-Leste. The two leaders discussed cooperation between Myanmar and Timor-Leste in bringing justice for Myanmar people and practical coordination for building federal democracy in Myanmar.
The Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, remarked on the UN Security Council’s consultations on Myanmar on 23 August 2023. He highlighted that what is happening in Myanmar is not a civil war but a people’s revolution against a violent and despotic military junta. The Ambassador stated that the military junta continues its atrocities against the people of Myanmar even after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2669. He mentioned that the people of Myanmar demand the removal of the military from politics and the establishment of a civilian-led federal democratic union. He ascertained that only an inclusive, federal, democratic civilian government in Myanmar can deliver those goals. He called on the Security Council to take decisive action without further delay to save the people of Myanmar, end military impunity, and prevent further destabilization of the region. The Ambassador also appealed to member states of the Security Council to start a negotiation process to adopt a follow-up enforceable resolution in a timely manner.
The NUG’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement dated 22 August 2023 on the meeting between the NUG and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr. Martin Griffiths. The statement said that the meeting highlighted Mr. Griffith’s recent visit to Myanmar and perspectives on how to effectively deliver humanitarian assistance to areas in need across Myanmar. The NUG’s Ministers during the meeting expressed concern that the UN agencies are enabling the military regime to manipulate and weaponize humanitarian assistance and underscored the need for the UN to communicate with ethnic resistance organizations, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders operating on the ground, to enable more effective humanitarian assistance delivery.
International Community Actions and Remarks in Response to the Military Coup
On 17 August 2023, at the United Nations’ daily press briefing, Mr. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said that Martin Griffiths, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, has concluded a three-day visit to Myanmar and has called for expanded humanitarian access and increased funding to assist 18 million people in need of aid across the country. He added that Mr. Griffiths said that successive crises in Myanmar have left one third of the population in need of humanitarian aid and have also led to a surge in the number of displaced persons from 380,000 at the start of 2021 to 1.9 million people. He informed that Mr. Griffiths met with families affected by conflict and natural disasters, including with Rakhine and Rohingya communities, and with the Myanmar authorities. Mr. Griffiths also visited Rakhine State, still suffering from the impact of Cyclone Mocha three months ago.
On 17 August 2023, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published a report regarding Mr. Martin Griffiths’ visit to Myanmar. The Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr. Martin Griffiths said that more than one third of Myanmar needs humanitarian aid, adding that the people of Myanmar expect more and better from their leaders and from the international community. From meeting with families affected by conflict and natural disasters, Mr. Griffiths said that families are struggling to cope after the successive blows of the COVID- 19 pandemic, conflict, and Cyclone Mocha, adding that the UN stands ready to do more both in Rakhine and nationwide, but that greater accessibility and more funding are urgently needed. He stressed on the critical need for humanitarian space, to enable sustained aid deliveries across the country. Mr. Griffiths explained that a severe lack of funding has forced aid agencies to cut assistance at a time when more aid is needed, remarking that the situation needed to change.
On 17 August 2023, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees issued a Weekly Highlights of Myanmar South East- Emergency Overview Map, showing the number of civilians displaced in the South East since the military coup of February 2021. The Highlights stated that in the South East, the number of IDPs increased from 502,300 in the previous week to 503,200. In Tanintharyi Region, increased fighting near some villages due to escalating conflict displaced 960 civilians. Around 650 were displaced from Launglon Township. Among them, 340 were displaced within the township while 300 were displaced to Dawei Township. In addition, 320 IDPs from Dawei Township were displaced within the township. It also informed that across the border, around 9,100 people from Myanmar remain displaced in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand.
On 22 August 2023, 514 regional and international organizations working on Myanmar released a statement on the recent visit to Myanmar by Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr. Martin Griffiths, of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The statement criticized Mr. Martin Griffiths trip to Myanmar, saying that his visit failed to make substantial progress on humanitarian assistance and lent legitimacy to coup leaders who have weaponized humanitarian aid. The civil society groups welcomed the OCHA Head’s call for “safe, sustained aid deliveries” but said that it could not be achieved by working with the military junta. The groups called on OCHA to reflect on its current failed approach and take critical, concrete actions that truly serve Myanmar’s communities. The groups encouraged OCHA to immediately pivot to delivering aid in collaboration or partnership with local humanitarian and civil society groups, ethnic service providers, diaspora communities, local administration groups of the pro-democracy movement, members of the Civil Disobedience Movement, ethnic resistance organizations, and the NUG, all of whom have been effectively providing life-saving services on the ground.
On 23 August 2023, the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York published a joint statement on Myanmar regarding the Security Council’s meeting for closed consultations on Myanmar. The joint statement was delivered by Ambassador James Kariuki of the United Kingdom on behalf of Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, as well as the United Kingdom. The statement expressed that the countries remained deeply concerned at the situation in Myanmar and its impact on the people of Myanmar. It also reiterated strong support for ASEAN and the efforts of the ASEAN Chair, calling again on the Myanmar military to take concrete and immediate actions to implement ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus. The statement called again for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2669. The Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the U.S. Linda Thomas Greenfield also released a statement on the same day saying that the U.S. is pleased to join 12 other UN Security Council members to condemn the Myanmar military junta’s ongoing human rights abuses, to call for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2669, and to underline the U.S.’s commitment to use all tools at the Security Council‘s disposal to support ASEAN’s efforts to find a peaceful solution.
On 23 August 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended its sanctions on any foreign individual or entity that operates in the jet fuel sector of the economy of Myanmar. Two individuals and one entity in the procurement and distribution of jet fuel to the Myanmar military junta and two entities owned or operated by the junta’s affiliates persons were sanctioned. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson stressed that “By expanding the use of our sanctions authority to target an additional sector critical to the military regime, we are able to further deprive the regime of the resources that enable it to oppress its citizens”. The determination of the OFAC followed the violent airstrikes against the people of Myanmar committed by the Myanmar junta.
On 25 August 2023, to mark six years since the Myanmar military’s atrocities against the Rohingya, the UN Secretary-General called on all stakeholders to redouble efforts to find comprehensive, inclusive, and durable solutions that can adequately address the root causes of systemic discrimination and violence in Myanmar, and to respond to the growing crisis and humanitarian needs while strengthening refugee protection efforts in the region for those fleeing persecution and violence.
On 24 August 2023, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk also stressed that more must be done to hold the military junta to account for their repeated campaigns of persecution against the Rohingya, and for driving the country into its current human rights and humanitarian crisis. He called on states to fully support the ongoing international accountability efforts to account for the Myanmar military for past and present crimes against the Rohingya and other minorities.
On 25 August 2023, the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities of Canada released a statement marking six years since the Myanmar military’s attack on the Rohingya. It stated that the disproportionate act of violence resulted in the tragic loss of nearly 7,000 lives, and over half a million Rohingya people continue to endure discrimination and persecution under Myanmar’s military junta. It reassured the government of Canada’s solidarity with the survivors and families whose lives have been forever altered and condemned the continued persecution, discrimination, and violence faced by the Rohingya community.
On 25 August 2023, the Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Yangon, Mr. Ken O’Flaherty, also released a statement saying his thoughts were with those who remain displaced from their homes and villages, and with those remaining in Rakhine State who continue to face violence, discrimination, and injustice. He highlighted that the challenges surrounding the crisis continue to grow and that the UK will not forget the Myanmar military’s ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. He reassured that the government of the UK will continue to support international efforts to provide accountability and justice and that it will continue to advocate for the protection of the Rohingya and their right to be included in the future of Myanmar.
Date: 27 August 2023
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York