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  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Mission To UN

Information Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar (as of 29-02-2024)


Information Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar


(as of 29-02-2024)


Around three years ago, on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military carried out an unlawful coup, overthrowing the civilian government and unlawfully imprisoning State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, along with other prominent figures from the civilian government, parliamentarians, and activists. Since then, the military junta has disregarded the desires of the Myanmar populace, plunging the nation into chaos and inflicting suffering on its people through unjust and excessive measures. The unspeakable tragedy is unfolding in Myanmar.


As of 29 February 2024, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military has ruthlessly killed 4,611 people and arrested another 26,204 people. 20,156 people remain in detention and 164 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 militias


Crimes perpetrated by the junta troops and its affiliates, 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 Airstrikes and artillery shells on Civilian Properties


Junta Airstrikes on schools killed four children in Karenni (Kayah) State


On the morning of 5 February, the military junta carried out aerial bombings on two schools situated in Daw Si Ei and Loi Nann Pha Villages, Demoso Township, Karenni (Kayah) State. The bombings were accompanied by gunfire and heavy weaponry. Tragically, one of the bombs exploded within the school in Daw Si Ei Village, resulting in the deaths of several students, namely Khon Eh Lel Tha, Khon Eh Doh Htoo, Khon Hsann Hlaing, and Khon Christopher, who were studying at the time. Additionally, 27 other students sustained injuries from the attack.


Escalation of Military’s indiscriminate Bombing in Rakhine State including Rambyree Island


Fighting continued to escalate throughout Rakhine State, with the military losing more territory to the Arakan Army (AA) in the month of February. Amid the offensive, the AA sank three military vessels of the junta in Kyauktaw Township on 8 February, inflicting several military fatalities. Between 6 and 12 February, the AA captured Kyauktaw, Mrauk-U, and Myebon Towns.


The military junta responded with mass arrests and artillery shelling that reportedly killed 12 civilians in Sittwe market in Sittwe Town, capital of Rakhine State.


Moreover, the military junta intensified its bombing campaign on Rakhine State’s Rambyree Island in the second week of February 2024, carrying out harder strikes, and more frequent attacks near Kyaukphyu, the site of multibillion-dollar development projects with heavy foreign investment.


During clashes with the military junta and the AA in Northern Rakhine including Maungdaw Township, cross-border shelling by the junta forces reportedly killed at least two civilians in Bangladeshi territory. Subsequently, so many border guard police forces crossed the border to Bangladesh to flee the fighting. Some viewed that the situation has had its potential to undermine wider regional stability.


Civilian Casualties and Mass Displacement in Hsihseng Township due to the Military’s Attacks


During the clashes between junta forces and the coalition of the Pa’O National Liberation Army in Hsihseng Township, Shan State, since the third week of January, the use of heavy weaponry and airstrikes by junta forces has resulted in civilian casualties, including the death of an infant, as well as extensive damage to markets, houses, and religious buildings. Consequently, approximately 70,000 locals have fled for safety.


Deadly Artillery Attacks against Civilian Areas in Bago Region


On 14 February, around 7 p.m., IB-264, stationed in Pein Za Loke village, Nyaunglebin Township, Bago Region, unleashed heavy weaponry fire onto Ka Nyin Kyoe village in Kyauktaga Township, resulting in the death of a local named Yu Maw from artillery shrapnel. Additionally, at approximately 9:30 p.m. that same day, they again fired heavy weaponry into Kyaukkyi Township, leading to the demise of Yin Dwe, a villager from Khin Kant Lant, struck by artillery shrapnel.


Junta Military Raid on Internally Displaced Persons Results in Fatalities


On 15 February, around 12 p.m., militias affiliated with the junta, identified as Pyu Saw Htee troops from Myin See Village, Shwebo Township, Sagaing Region, conducted a raid on a cluster of huts housing internally displaced people from Myin See Village. They apprehended several individuals, including Hsint Kyaing, Linn, Myint Than, Sann Linn, a pregnant woman named Chit Su Aung, and her 3-year-old son Zay Thu Aung. Subsequently, on 16 February, the bodies of the captured individuals were discovered with gunshot wounds.

          

Deadly Aerial Attack by Junta's Air Force in Yedashe Township


On 21 February, around 2:15 p.m., the air force of the junta forces carried out aerial bombings using 88mm bombs and fired 0.5mm machine gun bullets into villages in Yedashe Township, Bago Region. Consequently, one adult, along with two children, Yati Zaw and Thazin Pwint from Si Paing Village, and one adult, named Chit Po from Pi Tauk Kone Village in Yedashe Township, lost their lives due to bomb shrapnel.


Extrajudicial Killings of Civilians


Junta Forces' Deadly Raids in Gangaw Township


On 14 February, at approximately 5 a.m., around 200 junta personnel and coalition members of Pyu Saw Htee militiamen from Myauk Khin Yan Village in Gangaw Township, Magway Region, launched a raid on Thin Taw Village in Gangaw Township. They initiated gunfire, arrested and forcibly took away seven local men, including Maung Pu, who was on his way to harvest crops. Later, the bodies of these individuals were discovered on the road near Pagoda Hill close to the village, showing evidence of gunshot wounds and signs of torture.


Subsequently, the junta’s column raided Shwe Bo Village in Gangaw Township, where they apprehended and killed civilians identified as Toe Lwin, Myo Thant, and Zaw Linn Maung, who were seeking refuge from Ye Thar Taw Village.


Killing Civilians on Gangaw Township


On February 16, 2024, troops from a unit consisting of 200 Myanmar junta soldiers, accompanied by Pyu Saw Htee militia, reportedly killed 10 civilians as they advanced through Gangaw Township in Magway Region, according to local accounts. Leaving the village of Myauk Khin Yan in the early hours of the morning, the troops divided into three columns and conducted raids on the communities of Thintaw and Shwebo to the south, where they attacked and fatally wounded male residents, ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s.


Human Rights Abuses


Coercive military forced conscription policy contributes to the chaos in the country


According to the AAPP, following the junta’s announcement of the implementation of forced conscription plan on February 10, the number of arrests across the country has increased, and there have been cases of people going missing without any trace of information about them. In the previous week, the junta established military conscription teams from the Central to Regional and State levels. In addition to creating lists for drafting, they conducted drafts in some regions by drawing lots. Consequently, more and more people are preparing to flee abroad to avoid conscription. All the young people are in panic mode and are considering a way to escape from the country before the enforcement of this coercive policy. Their parents are also panic and worried of their children to be forcefully conscripted.


On the other hand, the National Unity Government of Myanmar announced that the law is Illegal, and calls the international community for global action.


Tragic Death of Yin Moe Due to Lack of Medical Treatment in Prison


Yin Moe, who was sentenced to serve 6 years in prison under two charges of Section 505 A of the Penal Code by Obo Prison Court, was unaware of her kidney disease until it was too late. The Prison Department cited security concerns as the reason they could not provide her with full-time medical treatment in a hospital outside the prison while she was suffering. As a result, she died from kidney disease at Mandalay Hospital on February 4, 2024. Although she was transferred to Myingyan Prison in July 2022, her poor health led to her being returned to Mandalay Prison. 


Actions of resistance forces against the Junta


Arakan Army seized another Rakhine State town


On Thursday, February 15, 2024, the Arakan Army (AA) seized control of Myebon, marking the addition of a sixth town to the territories it control in Rakhine State. The AA announced, "Following a three-month operation in Rakhine and Paletwa, the AA has gained control over Paletwa, Pauktaw, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, and now Myebon, as well as numerous military bases and police stations."


Junta forces killed in resistance drone strikes in Bago


On February 17th, the strikes were carried out by combined PDF groups targeting junta forces stationed at the Kywe Yine Pyin Bridge crossing on the Sittaung River, as reported by the Red Scarf Column, which coordinated the bombardment. Following the drone strikes, military bases in the township indiscriminately shelled the east bank of the river, firing over eight 120-mm mortar rounds.


Junta soldiers killed as fighting continues near Shan State capital


On 21 February, 2024, at least five soldiers from the junta were killed during clashes between the junta forces and the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) near the Shan State capital of Taunggyi. According to the PNLA, the fighting erupted early on Wednesday when junta troops launched an assault on a PNLA column in Hopong Township, approximately 15 miles east of Taunggyi. The skirmishes persisted for several hours until the junta forces withdrew and commenced shelling the surrounding area, as reported by the PNLA.


Myanmar Junta Loses Base in Kachin State 


On 21 February 2024, a strategic junta base on the Mandalay-Myitkyina Road in Kachin State was seized by combined ethnic resistance forces after three days of fighting on Monday, the AA said. It said the military junta base in Sikhangyi Village, Mansi Township was seized in a coordinated offensive with the Kachin Independence Army and Kachin Region People’s Defense Force. Troops from two junta infantry battalions, 276 and 223, were stationed at the 30-year-old base. The junta’s air force conducted more than 60 airstrikes to defend the base. The airstrikes killed six civilians and injured 15 more, resistance groups said.


Junta command headquarters bombarded in Mon


Ye Guerrilla Force said it used drones to drop bombs on the headquarters of Military Operation Command Center 19 in Ye Township, Mon State on 21 February 2024. Details of junta casualties were unknown. After being bombarded, the military HQ randomly shelled nearby areas using over 50 heavy explosives, said Ye Guerrilla Force.


Activities of the National Unity Government


National Unity Government Achieves Milestone Agreement with Ethnic Leaders on  Third Anniversary of Spring Revolution 


At the cabinet meeting held on February 6, Acting President Duwa Lashi La of the National Unity Government announced significant progress in fostering unity among ethnic groups. He highlighted the successful joint position statement reached by leaders from the Kachin, Karen, Chin, and Karenni communities on the third anniversary of the Spring Revolution. Referred to as K3C, this collective stance, formed in collaboration with the KIO, KNU, KNPP, and CNF, serves as a practical roadmap to expedite crucial reforms. The Acting President stated, “We must continue to strive for the unity of the ethnic alliance organizations, and the role of the Northern Alliance (3) is very important in this”. The statement, comprising a vision, six objectives, nine positions, and six process steps, was issued on January 31. Notably, by the third year of the Spring Revolution, leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including those from the northern Kachin area, southern Karen area, northwest Chin area, and southeastern Karenni area, actively contributed to forging this collective agreement.


NUG Vows Collaboration with Karen National Leaders on 76th Karen National Day


On February 11th, commemorating the 76th Karen   National Day, the National Unity Government (NUG)   conveyed a message reaffirming its commitment to collaborate with Karen national leaders across various sectors to expedite the success of the revolution. The NUG pledged full cooperation with Karen national leaders to uphold common agreements and enhance collaboration across all sectors, aiming to accelerate the realization of the People’s Spring Revolution.


Prime Minister Mahn Winn Khaing Thann Addresses Preparation for the military junta’s forced conscription


On 16 February, Prime Minister Mahn Winn Khaing Thann of the National Unity Government (NUG) stated that the Central Committee for Interim Implementation of Local Administration is in the process of developing a management plan to address the military junta’s forced conscription plan, which was issued by the illegitimate Myanmar military council. Speaking at the committee’s meeting, he emphasized the importance of addressing inquiries regarding the forced conscription plan issued by the terrorist Myanmar military council during regular meetings of the people’s administration groups and the Central Committee for Interim Implementation of Local Administration. The Prime Minister further added, “the National Unity Government is preparing a plan to deal with this issue.” 

 

NUG Declares Forced Conscription Plan Illegal,  Urges Non-Compliance 


The National Unity Government (NUG) issued a statement on 13 February, declaring the forced conscription plan,  promulgated by the illegitimate Military Council on 10 February, as an illegal act. The NUG asserted that the populace is under no obligation to comply with it,  emphasizing the illegitimacy of the terrorist military group attempting to seize state power through forceful means.  


Affirming its commitment to safeguarding the people’s interests, the NUG pledged cooperation with allied organizations to provide necessary protection and support. 


NUG Urges Global Action Against  the military junta’s Forced Conscription Plan 

In a statement issued on 13 February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) called upon the United Nations, ASEAN member states, and global leaders to take decisive action against the military junta’s forced conscription plan.  


The ministry’s statement emphasizes that there is an urgent need for swift and effective measures to prevent the Myanmar Military Council’s actions, which blatantly disregard the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus and the UN’s Resolution 2669 (2022).


NUG Ministry of Health Announces Job Openings in Healthcare Sector

 

The Ministry of Health of the National Unity Government (NUG) announced on 16 February an invitation for individuals interested in working in hospitals and clinics within the Interim State/Federal Units. Positions available for application include specialists, doctors, dentists, post-graduate trainees in medicine and dentistry, specialized nurses, and general nurses, as well as diploma and degree holders from medical technology and pharmaceutical universities. 


Acting President Duwa Lashi La Highlights the Importance of Nation-building Vision


During the National Unity Government’s cabinet meeting convened on 20 February, Acting President Duwa Lashi La emphasized the imperative of cultivating a comprehensive nation-building vision among government members. He underscored that merely possessing political or revolutionary perspectives is insufficient, advocating for the integration of nation-building objectives into their agenda. In his address, he asserted, “To dismantle the military dictatorship, we must harmonize political and revolutionary outlooks, while actively fostering a constructive vision for the future.”


The Acting President stressed the significance of collaborative efforts with revolutionary endeavors to establish robust foundations and conducive environments for the nation’s youth. “Undermining the potential and capabilities of our younger generation could impede the realization of a united and prosperous future,” he reiterated.


Spring Lottery Introduces Increased Prizes


The Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Investment of the National Unity Government announced enhancements to the “Aung-lan Hlwint Chi, Nway Oo Hti” or Spring Lottery, effective from 20 February. Notably, the winnings of lottery prizes have been substantially augmented to offer participants greater incentives.


The revised prize structure for the Spring Lottery includes a first prize of 500 million kyats, a second prize of 200 million kyats, and a third prize of 100 million kyats, alongside a special prize of 50 million kyats. Additionally, each Spring Lottery ticket, priced at 2,000 Myanmar kyats, presents an opportunity to win one of over twenty thousand prizes.


 

*****


 

Date:  29 February 2024

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York

 

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