Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (16 January 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Already eleven months have passed since the attempted coup; the Myanmar military is still ignoring the will of the people and putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate violent actions.
As of 14 January 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 1,469 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 11,554 people have been arrested, 8,603 people are still detained, and 1,966 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Continued Military Airstrike Attacks in Karenni State
The military’s airstrike attacks against Loikaw, the capital of Karenni State (also known as Kayah State), continued and forced the locals to flee from their residences. It is reported that on 11 January 2022, a fierce clash between military troops and resistance forces broke out in Loikaw, and on that evening, military’s jets bombarded the city nine times. According to the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF), the military forces torched houses in Minelone ward in Loikaw city, and the military is committing war crimes by bombarding residential areas, burning houses and conducting indiscriminate attacks against civilians.
According to credible reports, more than 60,000 residents, which amount to two-thirds of the total population of Loikaw, are now displaced and seeking safety in towns within Southern Shan State, while others are trapped near the border of Shan and Karenni States, as they were unable to cross the military’s checkpoints.
Due to the military’s unstoppable airstrike attacks and other indiscriminate use of heavy weapons and artillery, local residents in Loikaw are currently forced to choose between fleeing from their homes or remaining at their residences to protect their homes. Local residents said that it is easier to tell them to flee, but on the ground they are facing a lot of trouble and difficulties deciding which belongings to take with them and finding a vehicle to move out.
Military’s Atrocities in Villages within Sagaing Region
Credible local news reported that the military troops committed atrocities and destroyed villages within Sagaing Region. On 10 January 2022, it is reported that two unarmed civilians were shot dead near a bridge in Htigyaing Township of Sagaing Region, while they were travelling to a village of Thabeikkyin Township in Mandalay Region. In addition, it is reported that two other villagers were shot dead by the military when they were heading back to the village on a motorbike. On the same day, the leader of local resistance group named Eagle Army said that the bodies of two men, who had been taken into custody, were the members of a local resistance group, and the bodies were badly disfigured.
On 10 January 2022, it is reported that 130 of the military’s troops raided Chanthar Village in Ye-U township of Sagaing Region, and during the raid two civilians were killed. Signs of extreme abuse were found on the bodied of those killed. According to a villager, the bodies of two villagers who were killed, had stab wounds to the chests, while one body had a crushed skull. The military’s raid forced most of the villagers to flee, and it is reported that three other local men were also tortured by the military forces. Residents said that the village remains empty, and the villagers feared that the military troops could open fire with heavy artillery again.
Local news reported that the military troops fired artillery shells and raided Ke Bar Village in Ayadaw Township of Sagaing Region on 10 January 2022. According to a villager, during the raid more than 100 houses were torched, a school was destroyed, and two villagers in their 40s were abducted.
According to a local news agency, the military troops raided U Nhauk Village in Pearl Township of Sagaing Region on 10 January 2022, and hit the village with airstrike attacks and bombardment. Local residents who escaped from the military’s atrocities said that the military killed the villagers by committing atrocities, inhumanely torturing and burning people alive. Furthermore, the military forces committed other disproportionate acts – destroying houses and villagers’ properties, burning more than 40 motor vehicles, and killing animals (chicken, pigs and cows) of villagers and eating them.
Military’s Unstoppable Airstrike Attacks in Sagaing Region
According to the reports of “Myanmar Now”, the military’s war planes bombarded Moe Dar Gyi village in Katha Township of Sagaing Region on 12 January 2022, and a child was injured from this attack. According to a local resident, the child was hit in the foot by shrapnel and taken to hospital, and the child may need to have the foot amputated.
It is also reported that during the airstrike on the village, the military’s three fighter jets dropped around 20 bombs and fired machine guns, destroying the roofs of at least five houses. Villagers are extremely worried, as the military’s jets flew above the village to drop bombs. Local villagers assumed that the fighter jets came from the Kachin state capital Myitkyina, where there is an airbase of the military.
International Response to the Military’s Sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 10 January 2022, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Mr. Stéphane Dujarric said, in response to the question about the military’s sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, that the United Nations called again for the immediate release to all those who have been detained arbitrarily, including known political figures and all those detained following the military coup.
Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Mr. Ned Price said at the department press briefing on 10 January 2022 that the Myanmar military’s unjust arrests, conviction, and sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an affront to justice and the rule of law, and called on the military to immediately release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all those unjustly detained, including other democratically elected leaders. He also added that the U.S. continues to call on the military to engage in constructive dialogue with all parties to seek a peaceful resolution in the interests of the people, as agreed to in the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.
On the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France issued a statement condemning the military’s sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor. The statement stressed that the resolution to the crisis in Myanmar requires a political dialogue involving all parties to the conflict, the immediate cessation of attacks perpetrated by the military against civilians and the unconditional release of all political prisoners detained since the coup. The statement by France also underlined that France continues to fully support ASEAN in order to implement the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.
In addition, on 10 January 2022, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt condemned the military’s sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor to four years’ imprisonment and said that the military is using the judicial system to silence political opponents and crush the National League for Democracy. The Foreign Minister reiterated the calls for the military to release all political prisoners, to uphold democratic institutions and processes, to refrain from violence, and to fully respect human rights and the rule of law, as well as that Norway also calls on the military to participate in an inclusive dialogue and resume the democratic transition process.
In response to the sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor to an additional four years’ imprisonment by the military’s special court, the European Union (EU) said on 11 January 2021 that these proceedings are a clear attempt to exclude the democratically elected leaders from the inclusive dialogue process in line with the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus. The statement underlined that the EU reiterated its urgent call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and all those arbitrarily detained since the coup.
Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On 11 January 2022, UNICEF issued a statement, condemning the killing of at least four children and the maiming of multiple others during the recent escalation of conflict across Myanmar. UNICEF expressed a grave concern over the escalating conflict in Myanmar and condemned the reported use of airstrikes and heavy weaponry in civilian areas, including the attacks on children during the escalation of fighting. The statement stressed, "parties to conflict must treat the protection of children as a foremost priority and must take all steps necessary to ensure that children are kept away from fighting”.
On 13 January 2022, the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Ms. Noleen Heyzar urged immediate action based on strengthened UN-ASEAN cooperation to prevent further deterioration of the situation in Myanmar in her virtual discussion with the Cambodian Prime Minister. Addressing the desperate needs of the people of Myanmar, the Special Envoy expressed deep concern about continued intensification of military operations, including aerial attacks in parts of the country. She urged swift implementation of the ASEAN “Five-Point Consensus” with a Myanmar-led process by the will of the people towards a peaceful, democratic and inclusive future.
Date: 16 January 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York