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  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Mission To UN

Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (23 April 2023)

Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar


More than twenty-six months ago, on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military attempted an illegal coup, toppled the elected civilian government, and unlawfully and unjustly 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 the people suffer with inhumane and disproportionate actions.

As of 21 April 2023, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 3,427 people have been ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 21,474 people have been arrested and a total of 152 individuals have been sentenced to death, of which 110 (including two children) are detained and 42 remain in absentia since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians. Four democracy activists who were given death sentences were executed by the military junta in July 2022.

Atrocities committed by the military

Raiding, killing, torching and looting villages in Sagaing Region

According to AAPP and Myanmar Now, on 19 April 2023, a group of junta forces and its affiliate, Pyu Saw Htee’s militia members, of around 100 personnel, raided Mya Kan Village in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region. During the raid, the group clashed with the local People’s Defence Forces and used heavy weaponries. Reportedly, during the retreat, five PDF members were captured and killed by the junta forces. The names of the deceased PDF members were Tayote Gyi, Moe Hein, Phoe Kyaw, Naung, and Kyaw Naing. Their bodies were discovered with gunshot wounds and their eyes gouged out. It was also reported that the junta forces took five local men as hostages while leaving the village.

News reported that on 19 April 2023, a column of more than 100 junta soldiers arrived Pa Zi Gyi Village in Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region. Pa Zi Gyi Village was targeted in junta’s deadliest assault on 11 April 2023 since its attempted coup in February 2021. According to a spokesperson for Battalion 4 of the Kanbalu District People’s Defence Force (PDF), no clashes were reported since resistance forces were busy at the time assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the area. A spokesperson for Kanbalu Township’s anti-regime People’s Administration Team also said that another junta column was also seen approaching Pa Zi Gyi from the west, but was still more than 15 km away from the village as of late 19 April.

According to Irrawaddy News Media, on 21 April 2023, junta forces of around 100 soldiers burned down most of the 700 houses in Inn Sa Village, Sagaing Township. Sagaing True News said that the junta troops made the arson attack in Inn Sa village after raiding nearby Ta Laing Kyun Village. Local PDF member said that almost the whole village was razed in the arson attack. The junta forces then torched ten houses in adjacent Taung Kyar Village and split in two and raided two more villages. News reported that an estimated 7,500 people from six Sagaing Township Villages, including Inn Sa, have left their homes.

Raiding, arresting, torching and looting villages in Mon State

On 12 April 2023, junta forces raided Ah Lu Lay Village in Kyaikto Township, Mon State, and set three houses on fire. They reportedly seized six motorbikes which were traveling across the area and abducted a 55-year-old man from Ah Lu Gyi Village along with his motorbike for no apparent reason.

Killing innocent civilians

On 19 April 2023, during the raid onto Si Thar Village in Shwegu Township, Kachin State, junta forces arrested ten locals, including a local villager Soe Kyaw with a mental illness. Among those ten arrested, except Soe Kyaw, nine were killed by the junta forces before leaving the village. The bodies of the nine, namely Mya Aye, Than Cho, Htwe, Aung Myo Khaing, Maung Naing, Sein Win, Myat Nyein, Khin Nwe Oo, and Soe Moe, were discovered afterwards. The whereabouts of Soe Kyaw was unknown at the time of reporting.

Abducting civilians as human shields

According to Burma News International News Media, on the early morning of 18 April 2023, at approximately 4:00 AM, junta troops raided Hseng Hpa Yar Village in Kan Mhaw Zut Village Tract along the Myitkyina-Hpakant Road in Kachin State and abducted over 30 civilians residing in the village. According to local residents, junta forces initially abducted around 50 individuals by forcefully entering nearly every home in the village, breaking down doors and threatening residents with gunfire before taking them away. When they reached the edge of the village, they released only mothers of children and elderly women, while all able-bodied adults were taken along with them. Reportedly, the majority of those who remain detained are women. Locals estimated that the purpose of abduction is to use them as human shields. Afterwards, the junta troops who apprehended the villagers as human shields stationed at Hkunsaiyang Village in the upper part of Hseng Hpa Yar Village.

Death of members of resistance group in prison

According to Myanmar Now news media, through the social media platform Telegram, the Special Task Force-Mandalay (STF-MDY) released a statement and confirmed the death of 20-year-old Zaw Min Thein, also known as Myat Thu in junta custody, on 18 April 2023. No cause of death was given in the statement. Zaw Min Thein was arrested on 6 April 2023 during a raid on the Mya Yee Nandar Residence in Chanmyathazi Township, Mandalay, where he was living at the time. A witness told the media that he was brutally beaten during the arrest. On 7 April, junta forces carried out another raid at a student hostel in Maha Aungmyay Township, near Mandalay University. When they failed to apprehend the STF-MDY member they were looking for, they arrested two other young men whom he was sharing his room with. The victims were identified as Shine Wunna Tun and Nan Myo Aung, both 18 years old. On 8 April, another STF-MDY member Thawdar Tun was captured following an airstrike on Oak Pho Village in Sagaing Township, Sagaing Region. Three days later, however, the military announced, through state media, the capture of the four individuals, published photos of them and the seized weapons and ammunition.

Attacking and destroying healthcare facilities

A Japanese-funded hospital in Myaing Township, Magwe Region, was destroyed during the military’s airstrike on 18 April. According to a Ma Gyi Kan villager, the hospital had been running for about eight months, and it mainly provided maternity care to several townships, with around 670 babies being delivered there. He also said that since the attack targeted the main building out of six which held the important devices, the X-ray machine purchased with the public donations was destroyed. He stressed that the sick villagers now have to take long journeys to receive care. According to the NUG Health Ministry, during April 2023, at least four clinics were targeted in junta airstrikes in Sagaing and Magwe Regions and Kachin and Kayah States.

Airstrikes, heavy artillery, and other targeting of civilian areas

According to news, on 12 April 2023, at around 1:30 a.m., the junta’s No. 28 Police Battalion fired artillery shell from the side of Pathein-Monywa Road in Yinmarbin Township, Sagaing Region. With the artillery shell’s explosion on a house in Shwe Pay Kone Village, Yinmarbin Township, a thirteen-year-old Thuzar Tun was killed and a local woman seriously injured.

On 16 April 2023, due to junta forces’ aerial attacks on Pang Par Village, Mindat Township, Chin State, a four-year-old Har Khui Shin and a seventy-year-old Har Young were killed on-scene and seven others were injured. Later that day, among the seven injured, a seventeen-year-old Thang Myu Maung died from her injuries. According to a statement released by the Mindat chapter of the anti-junta Chinland Defence Force (CDF), among the remaining six injured were four women and two men, and nine houses were destroyed in the junta airstrike. According to a Mindat resident, the recent airstrike on Pang Par Village was not preceded by any recent episodes of fighting between junta troops and the CDF.

News reported that due to the junta’s intensified aerial attacks, around 3,000 residents from Me Ka Nei and nearby villages are taking shelter at monasteries in Myawaddy Town, Karen State. The heavy clashes between the junta troops and a combined force of several resistance groups and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) were initiated on 18 April 2023 when the junta troops attempted to occupy the area around Kyauk Mine near Me Ka Nei Village. According to the locals in Myawaddy Town and members of the resistance groups, the junta have intensified bombing on 21 and 22 April when its ground troops, in alliance with Border Guard Forces had to struggle in the clashes and couldn’t occupy the area. According to the resistance groups, the junta used fighter jets, multiple rocket launchers, shelled heavy artilleries. During the shelling on 21 April, buildings were damaged and a resistance fighter was injured.

According to Myanmar Now, the KIA information officer Col. Naw Bu said that the junta launched airstrikes on a base operated by Battalion 6 of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Hpakant Township, Kachin State on 19 April 2023. During the incident, two fighter jets fired rockets on the base, located about 30km northeast of the town of Hpakant, and although no one was hurt, several houses were destroyed. He added that several rockets landed on a nearby hill where an addiction rehabilitation centre is located. According to a local resident, the fighter jets fired a total of nine times. Those airstrikes were likely a response to the KIA’s two attacks against the junta troops very recently, which were seizing control of a base jointly operated by junta troops and its allied Shanni Nationality Army in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region which borders with Hpakant on 17 April and the KIA ambushed on a junta convoy near Hseng Hpa Yar Village in Hpakant Township.

Arresting innocent civilians

According to news report, on 16 April 2023, junta forces arrested four members of the Revolutionary Thingyan Strike who were protesting the military dictatorship on Bogyoke Road in Tat U Thi Dar Ward, Kale Town, Sagaing Region. The four strike members are Than Soe Oo, Kyin Date Kin, Hnin San, and Myo Ko Win.

News reported that at least eleven celebrities who posted about the Pa Zi Gyi airstrikes in Kantbalu Township on their social media accounts, and who changed their Facebook profiles to black colour were arrested on 12 April 2023 and charged with Article 505 of Penal Code. The arrested celebrities included actress May Panche, singer Shwe Yee Thein Dan, singer May La Than Sin and journalist Kyaw Min Swe. Reportedly, at the time of arrest, May Panche, Shwe Yee Thein Dan and Kyaw Min Swe were taken to an interrogation centre but were transferred to police stations on 20 April.

Charges against State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

According to news, on 19 April 2023, the Union Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeals made by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi regarding some of the charges she is facing. The appeals concern charges under Penal Code Section 130(a) for election fraud and the Myanmar Official Secrets Act Section 3(1)(c), as well as five counts of corruption involving the purchase and rental of a rescue helicopter.

Restrictions on passport process for Myanmar nationals in Thailand

According to news, the junta-controlled consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand, announced on 17 April 2023 that Myanmar nationals, holding visit (PV) or student (PE) passports, who live in Thailand will have to follow new, more onerous rules in renewing their passports. One of the new rules said that in order to maintain their passport status and remain in Thailand legally, they will need to present reference letters from their parents as well as endorsements from relevant police, residential ward, and government officials. In addition, applicants will need to submit handwritten letters documenting their activities in Thailand, and students will have to present supporting documents from their schools. The statement by junta-controlled consulate also noted that the consulate is not authorized to approve or deny passport renewals, even when applicants submit all the necessary documents, which will be referred to the relevant department in Naypyitaw. The new restrictions do not apply to holders of employment (PJ) passports in Thailand. News also said that although the new requirements were only announced this week, the Chiang Mai consulate has effectively been enforcing them since early 2023.

Blue Shirt Online Campaign for an immediate release of all political prisoners

On 21 April 2023, the Blue Shirt for Burma Day Online Campaign was held and called for the immediate release of all political prisoners. During the campaign, prominent pro-democracy figures around the world posted pictures online wearing blue shirts with calls to release political prisoners in Burma, or with the name of someone currently jailed by the military scrawled on their hands.

Activities of the National Unity Government

On 17 April 2023, the National Unity Government (NUG) issued Weekly Newsletter No.16/2023, containing articles related to the NUG’s activities. Those articles included remarks by the NUG’s Acting President at the cabinet meeting that NUG is in need of international support, NUG negotiating with Thai authorities to release three detainees, remarks by Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun regarding junta’s massacre in Pazigyi village, and NUG’s Ministry of Human Rights sending a report on Kantbalu massacre to members of United Nations Security Council.

The NUG’s Ministry of Health released an announcement (3/2023) on 20 April 2023. The announcement said that the terrorist Military Junta repeatedly attacked the healthcare sector since the coup on 1st February 2021. It underlined that since the beginning of 2023, the junta’s inhumane attacks, targeted intentionally the health facilities, especially by means of the airstrike, were escalating. It mentioned that the attacks on the health sector have been found during the first 18 days of April 2023 by the Military Junta. It informed that those attacks included the soldiers of the terrorist Military destroyed and burnt down the outpatient department, two patient-wards, a drug store, and the operation theater at Nyaung Pin Thar Hospital situated in Htigyaing Township, Katha District, Sagaing Region; on 5th April 2023, the terrorist Military Council launched airstrikes three times and heavy artillery attacks resulting in the destruction of Si Thar Station hospital, school, and about 20 houses at Si Thar village, Shwe Gu Township, Kachin state. Si Thar Station Hospital was totally destroyed and all the medicines and medical equipment were lost; on 18 April 2023, the terrorist junta attacked the Ma Gyi Kan hospital situated in Ma Gyi Kan village, Myaing township, Magway Region by airstrike and raided. The terrorist military council fired and destroyed this hospital resulting in the destruction of the hospital donated by the people of Japan for the Japan-Myanmar friendship. It was informed that from 1 February 2021 to 28 February 2023, the military junta brutally killed 70 healthcare workers, arrested 836 healthcare workers, occupied, attacked and destroyed health facilities (188 times), destroyed 59 ambulances, and stolen or highjacked 49 ambulances. Underlining that those inhumane attacks of the terrorist military, targeting intentionally the health facilities and health system, are breaking Geneva Conventions, the UN Security Council’s Resolutions, and International Humanitarian and Human Rights laws, the NUG urged the international community to take urgent action to immediately halt the military junta’s escalating war crimes and crimes against humanity in Myanmar.

On 20 April 2023, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations delivered a statement at the General Debate of the 2023 ECOSOC Financing for Development Follow-up Forum held in New York. In his statement, he mentioned that the unfolding of multidimensional and interlinked crises has exacerbated further the existing challenges to implement the 2030 Agenda timely and successfully. He added that the unequal wealth and financial divide must not become the sustainable development divide. He urged the international community to expand the contingency financing under the framework of Addis Ababa Action Agenda and support the UNSG’s proposal for an “SDG stimulus”. He emphasized that Myanmar is fully committed to strengthening social protection systems to reduce inequalities, eradicate poverty, build resilience to climate change and support transitions to sustainable growth. He added that half of the population is living under the national poverty line and increased displacement, heavy job losses in MSMEs and disrupted education have created low level of human capital. He underscored the importance of creating an enabling environment at all levels, including for good governance, democratic transparent and accountable institutions, sound and sustainable economic growth. He also emphasized the importance of strengthening North-South cooperation, international financing, capacity building and technology transfer to help member states to achieve SDGs successfully.

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

On 15 April 2023, during a meeting with the faithful from the Italian diocese of Crema, Pope Francis has pleaded for peace in strife-torn “Myanmar”. Myanmar is in the aftermath of a recent junta airstrike that killed at least 168 lives, including 35 children. Myanmar is a tormented land which he carries in his heart for which he invited others to pray, imploring of God the gift of peace. The latest papal call for peace followed the deadly airstrike on Pa Zi Gyi Village in the Sagaing region in central Myanmar on 11 April. In another incident on the same day, hundreds of people fled their homes when the military raided a historic Catholic village Chaung Yoe also in the Sagaing region.

On 17 April 2023, the Emergency Update of Myanmar, as of 10 April was released by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR). In its highlights, it was stated that according to the UN, an estimated 1,805,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) were reported across the country as of 10 April 2023, including 1,477,000 people newly displaced since 1 February 2021. It said that in the North-West, the situation remains extremely volatile, particularly in Magway and Sagaing Regions following the declaration of Martial Law in 26 Townships. This elevated civilians’ risk of arbitrary arrest and detention and sparked an uptick in the number of clashes, checkpoints and destruction of properties. Moreover, in the South-East, indiscriminate and targeted shelling, airstrikes, clashes and destruction of properties was reported in Bago (East) and Tanintharyi Regions and Kayin, Kayah, Mon and Shan (South) States. It also explained that landmines and explosive remnants of war posed serious protection risks to civilians, especially women and children, and limited IDPs’ access to farmland for livelihoods and areas of origin. In Kachin and Shan (North), civilian safety also deteriorated. Conflict in areas of IDP returns or planned returns heightened the security risks and reduced livelihoods opportunities for returnees and IDPs. In Shan State (North), protection risks such as forced recruitment continue to be reported. In Rakhine and Chin (South) States, the informal November2022 ceasefire between the Arakan Army (AA) and the military continues to hold. In Rakhine State (Central), concerns over IDPs who returned to areas with security and protection risks persists. Stringent restrictions on the Rohingya population’s freedom of movement, access to medical assistance, education and other basic services remain in place. Fears over IDP camp closures and safety in areas of relocation or return continue to be raised by IDPs.

On 18 April 2023, the G7 Japan 2023 Foreign Ministers’ Communiqué was released. In the communiqué, remarks on Myanmar were included. It said that G7 will continue to strongly condemn the military coup in Myanmar, remain deeply concerned about the deteriorating security, humanitarian, human rights, and political situation, and express their solidarity with its people. They strongly condemned the 11 April airstrike by the Myanmar military in Kanbalu Township in Sagaing Region that killed a large number of civilians, including children. They called on the Myanmar military to immediately cease all violence, release all political prisoners and those arbitrarily detained, and return the country to a genuinely democratic path. They condemned further exclusion of forty Myanmar political parties, including the National League for Democracy, from the political process by the Myanmar military. It was mentioned that the Myanmar military should create an environment for inclusive and peaceful dialogue, which includes all relevant stakeholders in the country. They also called for safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people, especially the most vulnerable. They will continue to support ASEAN‟s efforts to implement the Five-Point Consensus, including through the ASEAN Chair and ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar. They also reaffirmed support for the UN Special Envoy of the UN Secretary- General (UNSG) on Myanmar and welcomed UNSCR 2669 on the situation in Myanmar, which calls for the immediate cessation of violence, the respect for human rights and fundamental freedom, and the protection of civilians. They reiterated their call on all states to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar. They stressed the need to create conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of all displaced persons, including Rohingya refugees.

On 19 April 2023, the British parliament debated additional sanctions against Myanmar. According to Rushanara Ali, a British Labour Party MP, the U.K. government should be doing far more to coordinate international efforts to speed things up, and they must go further with sanctions. She called on the U.K. to sanction Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a state-owned company that serves as a vital source of foreign currency for the military, and to ban British companies from supplying aviation fuel.


Date: 23 April 2023

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York

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