Myanmar Mission To UN
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (30 October 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
About 21 months ago on 1st 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 with inhumane and disproportionate actions.
As of 28 October 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military ruthlessly killed 2,401 people, arrested 15,986 people, and 12,783 people remain in detention, whereas 126 people have been sentenced to death, including 84 post-coup death row prisoners and 42 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 to death sentence were executed by the military junta in July 2022. At least 780 houses and buildings have been sealed off by the military between February 2021 and September 2022.
Serious crimes committed by the Military
Killing Innocent Civilians
AAPP reported that during the night of 23 October 2022, the military forces (IB-422) stationed in Mongpai fired heavy weaponry near Kone Thar Village in Loikaw Township of Kayah State. One of the artillery shells exploded near a farm, where a family was seeking refuge, killing a man on the spot and seriously injuring his wife in the head and their 8-year-old son in the thigh.
AAPP reported that during the afternoon of 24 October 2022, the military forces fired heavy weaponry at Paukkah Village in Sagaing Township of Sagaing Region, killing a civilian named Thein Oo and injuring a further seven people.
On 26 October 2022, the military troops stationed in Bhamo Township of Kachin State fired heavy weaponry indiscriminately. One of the artillery shells reportedly exploded in a farm within Man Khun Village, killing a villager named Thein Htay, who had been cutting weeds in the farm before he died.
The military forces reportedly fired an artillery shell in Pi King Kawku Village in Loikaw Township of Kayah State on 26 October 2022. This explosion killied a 5-year-old child riding a bicycle and injured another three people.
Attacking and killing people in a Village in Yinmabin Township
News reported that a military group consisting of 100 troops raided Shwe Hlan Village in Yinmabin Township of Sagaing Region during the third week of October 2022 and killed a total of 10 people in the village. The sources said that the people were killed, their bodies were thrown into a house, and then the house was burnt down. It was reported that those killed include nine resistance fighters and one civilian, and the charred remains of their dead bodies were found in the village on 21 October 2022. At least eight houses were torched in the village.
Lack of access to medical care for victims following the Military’s airstrike on A Nang Pa
News reported that the military bombed and attacked the music concert held to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Day at A Nang Pa in Hpakant Township of Kachin State on 23 October 2022, reportedly killing at least 80 people, including some artists and many civilians, and injuring over 100 people.
Myanmar Now News reported on 28 October 2022 that in the days after the military’s attack, the military forces continued to block roads connecting the targeted area to Hpakant Town, and did not allow access to medical treatment for the injured victims. It was also reported that the troops, controlling checkpoints at Kan Hsee (Ginsi) and Aung Bar Lay military outposts, two and four miles from A Nang Pa, were searching motorcyclists and did not allow car pass in or out of the area. At least 100 injured people are trapped in the area of an aerial bombing by the military.
Raiding the homes within Hpakant Township
Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported that the military forces raided the homes of officers from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and those of other people who were killed during the military’s airstrikes at A Nang Pa. Their brutal raids were carried out on 25 October 2022, the day after the airstrike.
It was reported that the relatives of the victims have fled the area, and the military threatened to arrest them if they hosted funerals for the people killed. Furthermore, it was reported that the injured people and dead bodies are not allowed to be transported from A Nang Pa, and two people from each victim’s family are allowed to go to bury the bodies at the area, yet they are not allowed to take the injured victims and dead individuals from the area.
Conducting Airstrikes in Pale Township
Myanmar Now News reported that the military forces brutally raided and committed a large-scale attack on a resistance-held village in the western part of Pale Township of Sagaing Region on 25 October 2022, and two days after their attack, they launched multiple airstrikes in the same area. It was reported that 80 troops were involved in the attack, which targeted the neighbouring village of Thae Pyin Kyel. According to the Pale Township People’s Administration Team, two resistance fighters were injured in the military’s airstrikes on 27 October, and hundreds of villagers were displaced by the attacks.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 24 October 2022, the ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) issued an announcement on the barbaric act of the military against the civilians in Kachin State. The announcement stated that the terrorist military’s four fighter jets bombed and attacked the music concert held to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Day on the 25th October, at A Nang Pa, Brigade 9 of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) around 20:30 pm on 23 October 2022, reportedly killing some artists and many civilians. The announcement underlined that following the unlawful military coup, the military has carried out almost 240 airstrikes targeting the civil population all over Myanmar, including the ethnic areas, resulting in deaths of over 200 civilians and destruction of many houses and religious buildings. The announcement said that the National Unity Government urges the international community, including the United Nations, to take effective actions urgently to stop the terrorist military from perpetrating atrocities which include deliberate airstrikes targeting civilians, mass killings, crimes against humanity and war crimes on a daily basis and urges all civil society organizations to speak up and advocate their stand against such acts using all possible means.
On 24 October 2022, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Thematic Discussion on Other Disarmament Measures and International Security at the First Committee of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. The Permanent Representative urged the international community and the tech industry to help repeal the junta’s misuse of ICTs in their cling to power. Having explained the recent heinous crimes committed by the fascist military against ethnic Kachin minorities, he stressed that as long as the military retains its access to weapons and technologies, they will continue to commit their brutal and inhumane atrocities against the people, including children. He urged those member states who are exporting deadly weapons and technologies to the military to stop it immediately.
On 25 October 2022, the Permanent Representative made an intervention under agenda item 68: Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions at the Third Committee of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. He said that there are several cases where detainees were disappeared and tortured to death in interrogation centers, civilians were burnt down alive during the raids on villages and killed during the bloody crackdown on nationwide protests over last 20 months, and the illegal military has been blatantly committing violations of all human rights, including the right to life.
On the same day, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the UNSG Special Envoy on Myanmar at the Third Committee of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. He said that the barbaric attack of the military against the ethnic Kachin minorities resulted in the death of around 100 people including artists, women and children and so many injured. As those injured are in need of emergency medical care immediately, he urged the international community to take decisive actions timely to save lives.
On 26 October 2022, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement at the Interactive Dialogue with Mr. Thomas Andrew, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the Third Committee of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. He stressed that, as the Special Rapporteur reported, the illegal military junta has been violating the fundamental human rights of the people of Myanmar in a widespread and systematic manner, which the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar mentions amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Permanent Representative underlined that within 21 months since the illegal coup, the military has committed various kinds of atrocities against the people in Myanmar. Having reiterated the recent barbaric acts of the fascist military, he said that Myanmar needs the serious attention and help of the international community to stop such military’s atrocities and to save lives.
On 27 October 2022, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement under agenda Item 70: Report of the International Court of Justice, at the Plenary Meeting of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. He said that the military continues without abatement to commit crimes against humanity and other atrocities throughout Myanmar. He explained that regarding the judgement of the ICJ on the preliminary objections in the case concerning the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar), the National Unity Government of Myanmar issued a statement expressing its appreciation. The Permanent Representative urged the ICJ and the ICC to listen to the voices of the people of Myanmar, and for the courts to bring justice to the victims.
On 28 October 2022, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement on the Introduction of draft resolution A/C.1/77/L.42 entitled “Nuclear Disarmament” at the First Committee of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He said that the resolution urges all nuclear-weapon States to take effective disarmament measures to eliminate all nuclear weapons at the earliest possible time and to take concrete, practical steps toward establishing a world free of nuclear weapons. The resolution “Nuclear Disarmament” tabled by Myanmar was approved by vote of 118 in favour to 42 against, with 20 abstentions.
On 28 October 2022, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Union of Myanmar issued a General Assembly document entitled “Memorandum on the Heart-breaking Situation in Myanmar”. It can be seen at the link: https://www.myanmarmissionnewyork.org/post/memorandum-on-the-heart-breaking-situation-in-myanmar
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On 24 October 2022, in response to the military’s airstrikes in Hpakant of Kachin State, the United Nations in Myanmar issued a statement expressing deep concern and condolences to the families and friends of all those who were killed or injured. The United Nations in Myanmar called for those injured to be availed urgent medical treatment, as needed, and said that the excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces against unarmed civilians is unacceptable and those responsible must be held to account. At the United Nations daily press briefing on the same day, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that the Secretary-General joined the statement of the UN country team in Myanmar regarding the reports of airstrikes by the military in Kachin State.
Regarding the reports of a military airstrike targeting a Kachin gathering resulting in the deaths of a large number of civilians in Myanmar, a joint statement was issued by the Ambassadors, Chargés d’Affaires, and Heads of Mission from: Australia, Canada, the Delegation of the EU and European Union Member States with presence in Myanmar: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden; as well as Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States on 24 October 2022. The joint statement underlined that the indiscriminate attacks against civilian victims continue to cause extraordinary harm and suffering across the country, and this attack underscores the military’s responsibility for crisis and instability in Myanmar and the region and its disregard for its obligation to protect civilians and respect the principles and rules of international humanitarian law.
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar remarked on 24 October 2022, “War crimes and crimes against humanity continue to escalate in Myanmar with a junta air strike killing more than 60 concertgoers in Kachin, and how many atrocities will it take for the world to cut off the junta's capacity to commit these horrific acts?”
Amnesty International also said on 24 October 2022, “The military has shown ruthless disregard for civilian lives in its escalating campaign against opponents. It is difficult to believe the military did not know of a significant civilian presence at the site of this attack.” It also added that the military must immediately grant access to medics and humanitarian assistance to those affected by these air strikes and other civilians in need.
On 25 October 2022, the Asia Director of Human Rights Watch said that the airstrike by the Myanmar Military on civilian presence in Kachin State is an apparent violation of the laws of war, which prohibit attacks causing indiscriminate or disproportionate civilian harm.
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 25 October 2022, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), it is seriously concerned over the continued deportation by Malaysia of asylum-seekers from Myanmar back to their country. He said that in the last two months alone, hundreds of Myanmar nationals are reported to have been sent back against their will by the authorities. He further mentioned that UNHCR continues to call on Malaysia to immediately stop the forced returns of Myanmar nationals seeking safety from serious harm, and it added that the principle of non-refoulement is a cornerstone of international law and binds all States.
On 25 October 2022, UNHCR said that it is seriously concerned over the continued deportation by Malaysia of asylum-seekers from Myanmar back to their country. It is said that the UNHCR has received multiple disturbing reports of these forced returns of Myanmar nationals from Malaysia, since April this year, including people seeking international protection, and in addition, in the last two months alone, hundreds of Myanmar nationals are reported to have been sent back against their will by the authorities. UNHCR continues to call on Malaysia to immediately stop the forced returns of Myanmar nationals, and appeals to the Malaysian authorities to abide by their international legal obligations and to ensure the full respect for the rights of people in need of international protection.
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 26 October 2022, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that according to the UN team in Myanmar, the increase in food prices is having serious implications on food security, forcing people to adopt negative coping mechanisms, which includes lowering food intake, selling of assets, illicit activities, dropping out of school and early marriage. He said that according to the World Food Programme (WFP), the cost of a basic food basket in Myanmar is now 64 per cent higher than at the same time last year, with rice prices rising 53 per cent. He said that nationwide poverty levels in Myanmar are estimated at about 40 per cent — reaching 75 per cent in Rakhine, and the lack of income opportunities and household savings are being depleted. He said that while food insecurity is highest in the conflict areas of the country affecting people across the country, he further mentioned that the UN team in Myanmar stresses the importance of complementing ongoing humanitarian food assistance interventions with support to strengthen community resilience, including by supporting livelihoods and enhancing productivity.
The Special ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting held on 27 October 2022 concluded and issued a statement. The meeting agreed that ASEAN should not be discouraged, but even more determined to help Myanmar to bring about a peaceful solution the soonest possible. The statement said that Foreign Ministers and Representatives also reaffirmed the importance and relevance of the Five-Point Consensus, and underscored the need to further strengthen its implementation through concrete, practical and time-bound actions. It also underlined that all concerned parties in Myanmar have a stake in ending the current political crisis that has caused the loss of many lives, severe destruction to the country, and long-lasting effects on the economy, and it is of utmost necessity and urgency that a dialogue process shall commence the soonest possible.
Date: 30 October 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York