Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Already ten months have passed since the coup; the Myanmar military group is still ignoring the will of the people and putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate and inhumane actions.
As of 18 December 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1,346 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 11,047 people have been arrested, 8,100 people have still been detained, and 1,964 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
There were continued several clashes between the Myanmar military and Ethnic Armed Organizations and People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) across the country during the week.
Clashes between the SAC’s Forces and KNLA
The clashes between the SAC’s forces and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) reportedly broke out on 15 December 2021 after the military forces raided a town in Karen State controlled by KNU/KNLA called Lay Kay Kaw on 14 December 2021. During the raid, the military arrested between 30 to 60 people, including two MPs.
It is reported that the clashes continued intensify for the sixth straight day. Those involved in fighting reportedly are members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) and most of them have been awhile in the area which is under the control of the KNLA’s Brigade 6.
According to the credible reports, the military used heavy artillery targeting the residential areas of civilians. As a result of the clashes, there were casualties and deaths at both sides. And thousands of residents from Lay Kay Kaw and around the areas have also been forced to flee to safe zones. About half of the displaced villagers have reportedly crossed into the border of Thailand. Thai authorities have reportedly been providing shelters and medical assistance for the fled persons.
Military Air Strikes over Hnan Khar
The SAC’s military deployed air strike attacks on Hnan Khar Village in Gangaw Township of Magway Region on 17 December 2021. Three helicopters were reportedly used during the brutal attacks. The military also fired heavy weapons and torched the houses in the village as well.
According to the credible reports, there were casualties and at least 20 people were killed due to the incident. Local residents said after the attack, the helicopters landed in Hnan Khar and the nearby villages of Yehla and Shwebo with troops.
According to the Myanmar Now news, nine death bodies were reportedly discovered in Hnan Khar by a rescue team on 19 December 2021. The Gangaw PDF released a statement and stated that two of the victims were under the age of 18 and the others ranged in age from 18 to late fourties. According to the rescue team, the wounds on the seven bodies suggested that they had been shot on their heads at close range while trying to flee.
Due to the military’s use of excessive forces, around 1,000 local residents from Hnan Khar and other villages in the area were also forced to flee the villages. The military has raided Hnan Khar Village six times and has fired several houses since June 2021.
Clashes between the Military and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)
During the week, there were reportedly clashes between the military forces and ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in Mogok. It is reported that the military used fighter jets and heavy artillery to attack the Mang Yang base of the MNDAA, located nine miles east of Mongko in northern Shan State’s Muse Township.
According to the ethnic armed organization, the shelling began early morning on 19 December 2021 following a ground attack. It is reported that the fighting was last the entire day and around 500 Myanmar military troops from four Infantry Battalions (IB) — 15, 59, 79 and 113 — under Light Infantry Division (LID) 99 and one, IB 313, under LID 77 were involved. The MNDAA said around 100 Myanmar army soldiers were killed and more than 80 injured.
Residents of Hpawnhseng village tract in Mongko were forced to take shelter in nearby villages and forests, according to the locals. Clashes have reportedly been breaking out between the Myanmar military and the MNDAA since June and escalated in August. Over 500 locals from Kaunglon village tract which is seven miles east of Mongko are taking shelter in Mongko Baptist Church.
Clashes between the Military and the Chin Defence Force (CDF)
According to the Chin Defence Force, there were clashes with the military forces on 19 December when two military columns entered Mindat Township. Clashes reportedly happened near the villages of Shit Hmay in Mindat. The Mindat CDF said the two columns of the military believed to cover Mindat in the following days. At least one soldier was killed and several were wounded, the Mindat CDF said.
According to the credible reports, at least 2,000 civilians from more than a dozen villages have been forced to flee their homes since fighting began to intensify in the area of Chin State and Magway Region earlier this month. The SAC is sending massive reinforcements into the region since early October to wipe out local resistance forces.
Activities of the National Unity Government
The National Unity Government (NUG) issued Press Statement on 17 December 2021, appealing for urgent humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees affected by military’s operation.
In the Press Statement, it is underlined that the illegitimate military troops raided Lay Kay Kaw in Karen State on 14 December 2021 and arrested between 30 to 60 people, including two members of Parliament, and due to the ongoing armed confrontation between the military’s troops and alliance of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), nearly 3,000 civilians fled Lay Kay Kaw, prompting refugee outflow to Thailand's border. It is stated that as of 17 December, at least 2,503 people (804 men, 910 women, 348 boys, 441 girls) have crossed the border while many are still trapped inside the country.
The statement also highlighted that the recent incident in Karen State is another example of the military’s continued disregard for Myanmar people's welfare and human rights.
Due to the deteriorating humanitarian condition and security situation in the country under the barbarism and self-serving goals of the military, the National Unity Government (NUG) in Myanmar urgently call for the following:
We appeal urgently to the international community, especially the Thai government, UNHCR and INGOs to deliver an emergency humanitarian response to the IDPs and refugees. Provisions of food, clothing, and medicine are urgently needed and can be delivered through local groups responding to the refugees. Furthermore; we urge the international community to call for de-escalation of violence strongly.
We also would like to request the government of India for continues humanitarian support and cross border access for Myanmar people seeking refuge at the border.
Publication of “War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Myanmar” Booklet
The booklet named War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Myanmar was released in the early of December 2021 which was prepared based on the speeches at the virtual protest organized by CRPH/NUG Support Group (Australia) on 13 November 2021. The publication can be found on the facebook page of the CRPH/NUG Support Group (Australia) (https://www.facebook.com/AUsupportGroup).
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On International Human Rights Day on 10 Dec 2021, the United States (U.S) imposed financial sanctions and visa bans on former and current government officials and entities in nine countries including China, Myanmar and Russia, and Canada and the United Kingdom joined the U.S in imposing sanctions in response to the human rights abuses in Myanmar. Canada announced additional sanctions against 4 entities under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations, and the United Kingdom issued fresh sanctions on the military of Myanmar, only days after the military’s imprisonment on the country’s State Counsellor.
On 13 Dec 2021, Global rights advocacy group – Human Rights Watch (HRW) – called on the United Nations and ASEAN to pressure the Myanmar's military into allowing the humanitarian aid. HRW Director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth posted on Twitter, accusing the military for "blocking desperately needed aid from reaching millions of displaced people and others at risk."
On 14 December 2021, the U.S Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that working with allies and partners, the U.S will continue to press the military to end its indiscriminate violence, to release all those unjustly detained, to allow unhindered access, and to restore democracy in the country. During his trip to Malaysia, Secretary of State of the U.S said on 15 December 2021 that the U.S is looking at additional steps and measures to pressure the military, to put the country back on the democratic path.
Date: 19 December 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York