top of page
  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Mission To UN

Information Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar (as of 31-01-2024)


Information Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar


(as of 31-01-2024)


About three years 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 26 January 2024, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military has ruthlessly killed 4,474 people and arrested 25,931 people. 19,993 people remain in detention and 162 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.


Serious crimes committed by the Military  

           

According to AAPP, in the month of January 2024, the military junta killed 206 people – 74 women and 132 men - across the country, with the highest number in Sagaing Region of 55 people. Among them, 32 people were under the age of 18. Moreover among 206 deceased, 69 were killed by the military junta’s artillery strikes.

           

Moreover, in this month of January 2024, in total of 55 people – 12 women and 43 men - were arbitrarily arrested throughout the country, with the highest in Magway Region of 16 people.

           

Firing artillery shells and killing civilians in Nyaunglebin Town

           

AAPP reported that on 5 January 2024, the junta troops from LIB – 20, stationed in Nyaunglebin Town in Bago Region, indiscriminately fired 120 mm artillery shells, although there were no clashes in the area. As a result, the explosion hit a funeral house in Yae Phyu Kan Village in Nyaunglebin Township, and killed four civilians identified as Aye Mar, Nyunt Tin, Hein, and Sann Po.

           

Firing heavy artillery in villages within Kyauk Kyi Township

           

It was reported that on 25 January 2024, the junta troops fired heavy artillery in the villages within Kyauk Kyi Township of Bago Region, where there were no clashes. Due to the artillery explosion, a civilian was killed, 7 civilians including 2 children were injured, and 4 houses were destroyed.


Conducting Aerial Attacks and killing civilians in Tamu Township

           

On 7 January 2024, the junta forces attacked Ka Nan Village in Tamu Township of Sagaing Region, dropping around five-pound bombs at least twice from their A5 Jet Plane. The bomb from the A5 Jet hit Christian church and school in the village, and worshippers in the church had to flee in fear, killing 17 local residents including 9 children.


Raiding a village in Tabayin Township and killing civilians

           

On January 18, 2024, a junta column raided Me Oe Village in Tabayin Township of Sagaing Region, resulting in the arrest of 15 local residents. These individuals were then taken away as human shields to Ye-U Township. Tragically, five of the victims were found dead, while the whereabouts of the remaining ten are unknown, indicating they are still under enforced disappearance.


Attacking townships in Rakhine State

           

On 14 January 2024, the junta forces, consisting of the army, navy and air forces, conducted an attack in townships in Rakhine State as a brutal response, as the Arakan Army (AA) completely captured Paletwa Town in Chin State. AAPP reported that in Rakhine State, the junta forces have been firing various weapons on an almost daily basis, targeting civilians, and as a result, the rate of deaths and casualties of civilians has been on the rise.

           

On 15 January 2024, the junta forces stationed at San Goe Htaung Hill in Buthidaung Township of Rakhine State fired artillery shells on nearby villages. As a result, the artillery explosion hit Hsin Thi Pyin Village in the township and killed the civilians named Arzawli and a six-year-old Taw Sha Me Dar.

           

Raiding three villages and torturing the civilians in Ngape Township      


On 16 January 2024, junta forces, comprised of 100 personnel from the Defence Industries battalion in Pa Dan Town, conducted raids on three villages in Ngape Township of Magway Region: Ma Htone Village, Kan Myint Kan Village, and Goke See Yoe Village. They arrested and physically assaulted 15 local men, alleging their support for the PDFs. The victims, with their hands tied behind their backs, were taken to the Defence Industries battalion in Pa Dan Town. As of now, their families remain unaware of their whereabouts.

           

Attacking and Targeting civilians across the country

           

The Irrawaddy news reported on 26 January 2024, the junta forces have been conducting attacks on civilian targets and continuing its atrocities including bombing and arson attacks against civilians across the country over the past eight days, killing at least 16 civilians and injuring dozens.

           

The targeted areas included the places in Sagaing Region, Magway Region and Bago Region, as well as Shan State, Rakhine State and Mon State.


Mass displacement and extensive damage in Mongmit township

           

Myanmar Now News reported that in Mongmit Town of Shan State, fighting broke out between junta forces an armed coalition of anti-junta fighters led by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and the clashes have been intensifying during the fourth week of January 2024.


It was reported that the clashes have caused extensive damage in the town and forced most residents to desert the town. According to the people who have fled from Mongmit to Mandalay, the town has been almost totally deserted.


Mizzima News reported that as the junta forces blocked entering to and existing from Mongmit Town on 27 January 2024, the residents were trapped in the town, as well as those who wanted to enter were not also allowed to do so. According to a resident, the junta forces are taking the properties including money and jewelry from the residents and arresting the people.

           

Conducting airstrikes on Hsihseng Town

           

According to the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the clash between the junta troops and resistance fighters has been intensifying in Hsihseng Town of southern Shan State since the morning of 26 January 2024, and the junta troops used jet fighters, dropping 500-pound bombs twice. Due to the junta’s airstrikes, private properties including houses and a monastery were destroyed, and the residents had to flee for their safety.

           

According to the statement issued by the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA), the junta troops conducted airstrikes and dropped bombs about 20 times at Sisai Township and four villages located nearby.

           

Charging a civilian in Yinmarbin Township

           

News reported that the junta forces arrested a civilian named Shwe Soe from Kyauk Pyoke Village in Yinmarbin Township of Sagaing Region, for allegedly being a PDF member. It was said that on 17 January 2024, he was charged with 7 years imprisonment with hard labour under Section 52 (a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law.

           

Arbitrary Arrest against Media Professionals

           

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported on January 20, 2024, that at least 176 media workers have been arrested in Myanmar since the illegal military coup in February 2021, and the media licenses of 15 outlets, including DVB, have been revoked since March 2021. To date, 118 journalists have been released, but more than 50 remain imprisoned across the country. Four journalists have been killed, two of whom died during military interrogation. Six female journalists are detained on various charges, with three sentenced to two to five years in prison. During the third week of January 2024, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Myanmar as the second worst jailer of journalists globally, only behind China. Myanmar now ranks at the bottom of the 2023 World Press Freedom Index (173 out of 180 countries) by press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


Junta Auctioning off the family home of the State Counsellor

           

According to the news, a military court ordered on 25 January 2024, to auction off the family home of the State Counsellor of Myanmar, where the State Counsellor has spent 15 years under house arrest at that home after she was arrested in 1990. It was reported that after she was released from house arrest, the house became the site of some of her most high-profile meetings with dignitaries, including former US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


The source said that the auction of this family home – the lakeside villa in Yangon – will be held in March 2024, with starting bids at 90 million dollars.


Actions of resistance forces against the Junta

           

Taking control of Paletwa Township in Chin State


According to the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the Arakan Army seized control of Paletwa Township in Chin State on 14 January 2024, controlling all military outposts in the town along with the township’s border checkpoints with India and Bangladesh. The source said that the number of casualties has not been reported.


News reported that the Arakan Army (AA) warned the public to remain vigilant and be on the lookout for junta troops remaining in Paletwa town. It was reported that since the attacks started on 13 November 2023, more than 40,000 residents have been displaced from their homes. 


Taking control of Pauktaw Town in Rakhine State


According to the news, the Arakan Army (AA) said on 24 January 2024 that the resistance fighters have completely controlled a port town “Pauktaw” in the western Rakhine State, after more than two months of intense clashes with the junta troops. It was reported that Pauktaw is a town of 20,000 people close to a crucial port in the western Rakhine State.


 The Statement of AA said that intense clashes were ongoing in the townships of Mrauk-U, Minbya, Kyauktaw and Rathedaung.


Seizing of Light Infantry Battalion 380 headquarters in Minbya Township


According to the Irrawaddy, the Arakan Army (AA) said that on 28 January 2024, they seized Light Infantry Battalion 380 headquarters in Minbya Township of Rakhine State. It was said that fightings were ongoing in the townships of Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw and Rathedaung. According to the AA’s statement, the junta is using more shelling and airstrikes and is no longer able to compete with the AA forces.


It was reported that Mrauk U Township in Rakhine state was being shelled by Light Infantry Battalion 377 and 540 and from Police Battalion 31, and the junta’s shelling on 28 January 2024 reportedly killed 4 civilians in Mrauk U Township and injured at least 20 people.


Taking control of Hsihseng Town in southern Shan State


Myanmar Now News reported that on 25 January 2024, Hsihseng Town in the southern Shan State was captured by a joint force of Pa-O and Karenni fighters. The source said that Hsihseng Town is located about halfway between the Loikaw Town of Karenni (Kayah) State and Taunggyi of Shan State, and is part of the P-O self-administered zone (SAZ).


According to a resident there, flags of the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) have been raised around the town. It was reported that there is still some shooting by the junta forces and some junta troops are still in the town.


Overview of Military Operation

           

According to the weekly update (4/2024) prepared by the National University Government, third week of January 2024 witnessed several significant military developments, including the downing of an enemy fighter plane, clashes in the Irrawaddy Region and Kachin State, the encirclement of the town of Mongmit in Northern Shan, and the escape of hundreds of military junta soldiers to India due to an attack by the Arakan Army. It was stated that in a special development, the Arakan Army succeeded in gaining control of Paletwa Township in the border region between India and Myanmar.


Activities of the National Unity Government


On 1 January 2024, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government issued a statement on the NUG’s Position on China. The statement highlights that Myanmar regards the People’s Republic of China as a specifically important country, not only for close, profound historical ties between the two countries but also for China’s status as a global superpower and upholds the One China policy. Moreover it also mentions that endeavours will be made to promote and sustain cooperation grounded in shared socio-economic interests between the two countries and Myanmar remains committed to engaging in close cooperation with China and other countries in the region to combat transnational crimes, including online scams and gambling, human trafficking and drug-related activities, which pose threats not only to the border stability of the two countries but also to the stability and security of the whole region.


During the Cabinet meeting on 16 January 2024, Acting President Duwa Lashi La emphasized the need for vigilance against political traps that may jeopardize the principle of national unity. The Acting President declared that in 2024, the National Unity Government is dedicated to fostering stronger political agreements with our ethnic allies. Furthermore, the Acting President underscored the importance of individuals being mindful and avoiding political pitfalls that undermine the principle of national unity. The Acting President urged citizens to adopt a resolute stance in their unique way, cautioning against becoming mere followers of regional or global powers.


On 17 January 2023, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of the National Unity Government announced that from 16 April 2021 to 31 December 2023, a total of USD 5.01 million (approx. MMK 10.51 billion) in humanitarian aid has been provided regionally. This assistance targets those affected by the terrorist acts of the Military Council, including displaced individuals seeking refuge from offensive attacks, vulnerable groups, families of those injured or lost during the revolution, and individuals with disabilities in need of support.


On 19 January 2024, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration of the National Unity Government successfully inaugurated the Public Security Force Investigation Basic Course (2/2024) in Khin-U Township of Sagaing Region. According to a report by the People’s Police on January 20, 70 trainees participated, receiving firearms and training materials.


On 31 January 2024, allied organisations engaged in revolutionary struggle towards annihilation of military dictatorship and establishment of a Federal Democratic Union issued Joint Position Statement, underlining Vision, Objectives, Positions and Action Plan. It was said in regard with Vision that in order to preserve and promote the unique characters and identities of diverse ethnic communities that form the nation, the establishment of a federal democratic union upholds the principles of democracy, national equality and self-determination in its constituent states. The objectives underlined in the joint statement are as follows:


A.        To overturn the usurpation of state power by the military, and to terminate the involvement of the armed forces in politics.

B.        To ensure that all armed forces operate solely under the command of a civilian government elected through democratic processes.

C.        To abrogate the constitution of 2008 in its entirety, and to quash all attempts to reinstate its provisions.

D.        To draft and promulgate a new constitution that embodies federalism and democratic values, garnering the consensus of all relevant parties,

E.         To establish a new federal democratic union in accordance with the proposed federal democratic constitution.

F.         To institute a system of transitional justice in order to address and remedy the injustices inflicted upon innocent parties throughout the conflict.


According to the statement, to bring to fruition the vision, objectives, and positions, and to implement the action plans, the allied organizations are committed to the creation of robust mechanisms for cooperation across all strategically significant sectors, and they pledge to persist in our revolutionary endeavours, maintaining unwavering cooperation and collaboration with the allied revolutionary forces.


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

           

On 16 January 2024, the Human Rights Watch said that the authorities of Indonesia should immediately stop all pushbacks of boats carrying Rohingya refugees. It was added that the Indonesia authorities should allow the refugees to disembark in the nearest safe port, provide protection and humanitarian assistance, and investigate online incitement of violence against them. Furthermore, Human Rights Watch added that the authorities should fully investigate who is disrupting the practice of fishermen and villagers in Aceh to assist Rohingya refugees arriving in rickety boats, and Indonesia should not join other Southeast Asian countries that have been pushing back Rohingya boats and letting those people float away to their deaths.

           

During the World Economic Forum’s 54th Annual Meeting in Davos in Switzerland held on 16 January 2024, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said that Thailand has committed to providing humanitarian aid to Myanmar and will work with members of the ASEAN to promote peace in Myanmar. He also stressed the need for all parties in Myanmar to participate in negotiations that would lead to harmony and a peaceful political resolution. During the bilateral discussion with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), He said that Thailand was happy to house the regional office of the ICRC and they would provide humanitarian support in the region, especially cross-border humanitarian assistance to Myanmar.


At the press briefing at the United Nations in Geneva held on 23 January 2024, the Spokesperson of UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) Matthew Saltmarsh said that UNHCR is alarmed by the statistics revealing a surge in the number of Rohingya refugees reportedly dying or going missing while taking risky boat journeys in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal during 2023, and some 569 Rohingya were reported to have perished or gone missing last year in South-East Asian waters, with nearly 4,500 embarking on deadly sea journeys – a significant increase on previous years. It was said that the number reported missing or dead is the highest since 2014, when the total reached 730. The Spokesperson stated that UNHCR called on regional coastal authorities to take urgent action to prevent future tragedies, and saving lives and rescuing those in distress at sea is a humanitarian imperative and a longstanding duty under international maritime law.


At the United Nations daily press briefing on 23 January 2024, the Spokesperson for the Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric said about Rohingyas, referring to what was said by UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) that UNHCR calls on regional coastal authorities to take urgent action to prevent further tragedies.


           

*****

 


Date:  31 January 2024

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York

 

         

 

 

 

 


댓글


bottom of page