Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (10 October 2021)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
After more than 240 days have passed since the coup, the Myanmar military group is still ignoring the will of the people, putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate actions when the people are facing the nationwide health crisis under the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 9 October 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1161 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 8,835people have been arrested, 7,164 people have still been detained, and 1,989 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Despite the military’s brutal oppressions against the peaceful protestors and strict security guidelines, flash strikes are still ongoing in different townships of Yangon and other cities of Myanmar. Although the numbers of protestors are not a big as early days, the protestors informed the media that they would continue their peaceful protests according to their security conditions to show their strong determination against the military coup and the inhumane actions of the military.
Military Deployment to Upper Myanmar for Clearance Operations
The military has deployed reinforcements with 3,000 military troops to conduct clearance operations in Sagaing Region and Magway Region, where the civilian resistance forces are launching strong defensive movements, according to credible reports.
According to locals, it is reported that military reinforcements were deployed within Sagaing Region last week; an estimated 1,000 troops in Shwe Taung Oo, near Monywa; 100 military troops in Yinmabin Township; 500 reinforcements in Pinlebu Township, and 300 troops in rural areas. Residents from nearby villages have fled their homes due to the fear of possible serious crimes against civilians by the military.
In Magway Region, the military has deployed 500 troops to Gangaw Township, and heavy weapons and ammunition were supplied from Helicopters. In addition, it is reported that 100soldiers are searching the villages for the members of PDF.
It is also reported that besides raiding and burning down the villages in these regions, the military forces have used heavy explosives, jet fights, and helicopters in attacking civilian resistance fighters.The disproportionate use of force can only result in numerous civilian casualties. Many are of the view that the Myanmar military does not follow international humanitarian law and customary laws of war.
Continuous Disproportionate Actions by the Military against the Civilians
The security forces reportedly raided the home of Mr. Min Zaw, owner of an aluminum and doors business at Tha Pyay Kone Village in Myanaung Township of Ayeyarwady Region, on 2 October 2021. He was accused of making handmade-guns and mines. His wife Yi Yi Cho was taken hostage when the security forces did not find Mr.Min Zaw.
On 2 October 2021 in Mandalay, an LGBT activist Sue Sha Shin Thant, was reportedly arrested while driving a motorbike. The SAC’s forces crashed a car into the motorbike to stop and arrest the activist. Sue Sha Shin Thant is now detained at an interrogation center in Mandalay.
On 3 October 2021, a 15-year-old Grade-8 student named Tun Aung Kyaw was arrested at home at Nay Pyi Taw. He is the chief of the Basic Education Students Union of Zabu Thiri Township of Nay Pyi Taw Territory. It is reported that his parents were not allowed to meet him after his arrest. The military detained another student leader named Yan Paing in Naypyitaw and reportedly died on 1 October 2021 during an interrogation.
On 3 October 2021, there was an explosion near the entrance of the Dedaye Township, Ayeyarwaddy Region. After the explosion, the military has arrested over 30 civilians.
During the night of 4 October 2021, a one-story building in Myawaddy ward, Monywa, was raided by destroying the door and collecting the properties. 17-year-old and 14-year-old kids who rent the room in the same compound were arrested.
On 5 October 2021, the military forces burned houses from at least ten villages of Gantgaw Township. They seized the private properties, which forced the innocent civilians to flee from their homes and hide in the forest. According to the reports, those IDPs are in desperate need of rations and medicines. United Nations and other NGOs need to send humanitarian aid immediately to those places. The path to delivering food and other necessities is challenging because the junta block roads. However, we urgently call on the international community to help those in desperate need.
On 5 October 2021, the military forces have raided the Yaylalthaung village tract of NgaZun Township in Mandalay Region and arrested one monk and six civilians.
On 4 October 2021, it was reported that a 21-year-old university student named Mr. Thuta Aung died after being shot in the head during the military raid at a teashop in Yezagyo Township in Magway Region. A tea shop owner and five youths were reportedly detained after the raid. According to the DVB news, the detainees were forced to admit that Mr.Thuta Aung was killed while bombing a military truck at a checkpoint onthe evening of 3 October 2021.
On 6 October 2021, in Kanni village, it is reported that soldiers raided not only the house of an ousted NLD lawmaker named Maung Maung but also raided the houses of Maung Maung’s mother and his sister. When Maung Maung was not found out, they took 150,000 kyats and some jewelry from his home and destroyed furniture.
Taking Family Members as Hostages
On 5 October 2021, soldiers reportedly raided Thapyay Thar Village Myingyan Township of Mandalay Region. During the raid, Mr. Mya Shin, 50 years old, was beaten and arrested at home for helping his son to escape from the soldiers. Moreover, the wife and daughter of Mr. Kyaw Myint were detained as hostages when the troops did not find Mr. Kyaw Myint at home.
On 7 and 8 October 2021, three 15-year-old children were reportedly arrested by the military after being unable to find the people they wanted to capture during the raids in Htigyaing in Sagaing Region. According to the Myanmar Now news, two of the teenagers were arrested while playing video games after the military forces raided the house of an NLD supporter. On the same day, the wife and 15-year-old daughter of NLD supporter, Mr. Hpone Kyaw, were taken into custody when they could not find Mr. Hpone Kyaw. According to the locals, the forces searched the whole town,primarily targeted the NLD members, and accused them of having connections to the PDF.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 8 October 2021, the National Unity Government (NUG) released a press statement responding to the briefing by Mr. Andrew Kirkwood, the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. In the response, while the NUG has recognized the role of UN agencies and restates its commitment to working with the UN Country Team and Resident Coordinator’s Office, it expressed its concerns on the inaccurate and misleading representations and significant omissions during the media briefing by the RC on 3 October 2021. It explained that during the press briefing, the Resident Coordinator a.i has used the wordings that would make the audience misinterpret which would make the audience misinterpret on the ground situation in Myanmar after the military coup and the endeavors of the National Unity Government. Those words included “a military takeover,” “the military has seized control,” “newly displaced due to the conflict between the Myanmar armed forces, many of the ethnic armed organizations, and these newly formed People’s Defence Forces.” The NUG further stated that in addition to using those words, the Resident Coordinator a.i did not make a single reference to human rights violations or military atrocities in his statement and only called for “depoliticized humanitarian responses.”. Among the recommendations of the NUG in the statement, the NUG has requested clarifications from the Resident Coordinatorin the form of a corrective statement.
During the week from 4 to 8 October 2021, U Kyaw Moe Tun, Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered statements at the First Committee, Second Committee, Third Committee, and Sixth Committee of the ongoing 76th UN General Assembly in both in-person and virtual format. During his statements, the Ambassador has informed and explained to the international community the real situation in Myanmar and the efforts and actions of the National Unity Government for the people of Myanmar.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
Due to the lack of cooperation of military with ASEAN Special Envoy, Foreign Minister of Malaysia Saifuddin Abdullah said in a post on Twitter that Malaysia has expressed its disappointment with the failure of the military to cooperate with Special Envoy, following the virtual ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting on 4 October 2021. He also added in his post, “unless there is progress, it would be difficult to have the chairman of the SAC (military) at the ASEAN summit."
In response to the inaction of the military on the implementation of the ASEAN five-point consensus to restore peace in Myanmar, ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar Erywan Yusof said on 6 October 2021 that Southeast Asian countries are making deep discussion on excluding the head of Myanmar’s military to ASEAN summit to be held later this month. It is learnt that the military has neither responded to ASEAN Speical Envoy’s proposed plan for the visit to Myanmar nor his request to meet with the detained Myanmar State Counsellor.
The French Senate adopted a resolution to recognize the National Unity Government of Myanmar on 5 October 2021. Considering the result of the democratic elections in Myanmar in November 2021, of the facts included in the resolution, it calls on its government to proceed with a recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) which will enable a process of return to constitutional order to be initiated and to support the actions of NUG for the restoration of peace and democracy in Myanmar.
On 6 October 2021, the European Union adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar, including the situation of religious and ethnic groups. Having condemned widespread and gross human rights violations committed by the military against the people, the resolution calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the President of Myanmar, State Counsellor of Myanmar, and all others detained during and after the coup, and to support the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG) as the only legitimate representatives of the democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar. The resolution also calls on ASEAN and the international community to include and involve them in genuine and inclusive political dialogue fora peaceful solutionto the crisis.
On 8 October 2021, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani expressed grave concern on the deployment of heavy weapons and troops by the military in Kanpetlet and Hakha townships in Chin State, Kani and Monywa townships of Sagaing region, and Gangaw township of Magway Region over the past few weeks. A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that we urge the international community to speak with one unified voice to prevent the commission of further serious human rights violations against the people of Myanmar, as well as call on the influential states to prevail on the military to de-escalate the situation, protect civilian lives and property, and ensure access to humanitarian aid for those needed.
Date: 10 October 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York