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  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Mission To UN

Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (5 Mar 2023)

Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar


More than two years ago, on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military attempted an illegal coup, toppled the 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 03 March 2023, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 3,085 people have been ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 19,982 people have been arrested and a total of 144 individuals have been sentenced to death, of which 103 (including two children) are detained and 41 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.

Violations committed by the military

Killing civilians

On 27 February 2023, the AAPP reported that the military forces attacked civilians with a fighter jet near Nga Pauk Wa Village, Shwegu Township, Kachin State while people were panning for gold on the side of Ayeyarwady River. The attack killed two civilians.

On 28 February 2023, around 80 junta personnel reportedly raided Bo Tae Village in Wetlet Township, Sagaing Region, and set fire to two houses. The assault resulted in a 70-year-old woman being burned alive and killed, since she was not able to flee the attack.

The junta forces reportedly fired heavy weaponry at Khaung Ei Village Tract in Pekon Town, Shan State, on 28 February 2023. A monastery in the village was hit by artillery, killing two people.

The military forces and the junta’s paramilitary Pyu Saw Htee members reportedly arrested four individuals, Soe Thu Win, Phoe Aye, Maung Maung, and Khin Yu Mon, on 28 February 2023. They later shot them and left the bodies near Ywar Sone Village in Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region. According to the report, the victims were NLD supporters and also joined anti-junta movements.

On 4 March 2023, it was reported junta forces and Pyu Saw Htee members, attacked Aout Kyauk Wut Village in Launglon Township, Tanintharyi Region. They arrested six locals hiding in a monastery. They then shot them, killing five and injuring one.

Using human shields, raping and killing civilians

On 1 March 2023, according to Irrawaddy News, there was a clash between the military forces and resistance forces in Tar Taing Village in Sagaing Region. During the clash, U Kyaw Zaw, the leader of Tar Taing Village’s defence force, was arrested and later killed by soldiers. Another detained resistance fighter and a resident were murdered on the same day. The resistance groups reportedly said 70 villagers were detained. They were used as human shields when the military forces raided the village at night. The following day, 14 detained villagers, including three women, were taken and used as human shields when the military forces went to Myinmu Township. The soldiers reportedly raped the three women, aged between 30 and 40, who had been used as human shields, before killing them. Relatives of the victims reported that the women were raped before being stabbed and shot. It was the second attack on Tar Taing Village, following the raid on the village last month resulting in around a third of 80 houses in the village being burnt down.

Beheading children

On 26 February 2023, the Irrawaddy news reported that four people including two children were beheaded by the military forces during an attack in a village in Myinmu Township, Sagaing Region. It was reported that the atrocity occurred following the military forces raiding the resistance stronghold in Kan Taw. Seven civilians, including two children aged 12 and 13, from nearby Nyaung Pin Kan Village, were earlier abducted to use as human shields during the raid. When the military forces were under attack by resistance forces, they reportedly decapitated the two detained children at a pagoda near the village. Two more decapitated bodies were later found in the village. The junta forces also burned down three monasteries, a school and 10 houses in the surrounding area. It was reported that Kan Taw had already lost 450 houses during an attack last year.

Activities of the National Unity Government

The Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government released a statement dated 3 March 2023 on the terrorist junta’s brutal massacre of civilians in Tar Taing Village in Sagaing Region. The statement highlighted the violence that happened in the village in detail and stated that the Ministry of Human Rights communicated about the case with international judiciary mechanisms, since those inhumane yet intentional terrorist acts constitute international law violations such as war crimes and crimes against humanity. It also reiterated that the Ministry will further attempt to advance the case to prosecute perpetrators at all levels and to deliver justice.

The Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government submitted a report dated 28 February 2023, “Snapshot on the human rights situation in Myanmar”, to the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. The report highlighted the emblematic incidents committed by Myanmar’s armed forces on the ground, which vividly violated international human rights laws. The report recommended the Human Rights Council adopt a stronger resolution which expresses support for the National Unity Government and its ethnic partners, to call for arms import bans, to push the UNSC to keep Myanmar on its agenda, to support the IIMM’s efforts to secure prosecutions, to act on the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, and to process the request of the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN in New York and designated members to represent Myanmar at the HRC, among others.

The report also encouraged the UN member states to take individual and collective action to immediately end the direct or indirect supply of arms, munitions, military equipment and any arms-related technology to the junta; to work with the NUG, its ethnic and civil society partners, and Myanmar’s neighbouring countries and the ASEAN AHA Centre for cross-border delivery of essential needs; to recognize the NUG; to use their national courts to prosecute junta members; to support ASEAN to reframe the five-point consensus to better reflect the realities on the ground in Myanmar; and to ban all junta members and representatives from participating the UN meetings and events.

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

The UN Development Programme released the results of a survey of 3,000 people living in Yangon in February 2023. It stated that a quarter of those in the poorest eight townships of Yangon have often not earned any income in the last 12 months. More than 40 per cent have sold assets, such as vehicles, to support themselves. And a quarter of households have taken their children out of school.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia on 1 March 2023 encouraged the President of the Philippines that ASEAN should consider new approaches in resolving the drawn-out crisis in Myanmar. He said, "I would certainly suggest with this experience of wisdom to explore new areas how Myanmar junta can be persuaded to work and collaborate as a team within ASEAN, and resolve the outstanding issues which cannot be considered as purely internal because it's affecting the security and welfare of the region." He also raised his concern about the refugee crisis highlighting more than 200,000 refugees have fled Myanmar to Malaysia and urgently called for new ways to persuade Myanmar’s generals to resolve the civil conflict.

France 24 reported on 1 March 2023 that an Indian state-owned arms manufacturer has shipped artillery barrels to Myanmar. The army has used artillery barrages as well as air strikes against opposition groups as it struggles to crush resistance, according to rights organizations, sparking international calls to stop supplying weapons to the junta. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar has defended New Delhi's ties with the junta, saying India cannot avoid dealing with its neighbour because of the cross-border issues such as organized crime. The report also mentioned that Norway's sovereign wealth fund said it had divested its shares in Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronics over an "unacceptable risk" that it was selling weapons to the Myanmar junta.

Amnesty International, Global Witness and advocacy group Burma Campaign UK stated on 1 March 2023 that they had identified more companies involved in aviation fuel transactions and providing related insurance, following up on an investigation into the aviation fuel supply chain last year that found supplies for civilian aviation fuel were being diverted to the military. Companies involved in the transaction including India’s Reliance Industries, Greek’s Sea Trade Marine, Japan’s P&I Club, Thai company Bangchak Corporation and Prima Marine, Luxembourg-based Shipowners’ P&I Club provided the insurance. The rights group said none of these companies responded to Amnesty International’s five letters about the shipment, and the report also raised questions about the sale of the Myanmar assets of Swiss and Singapore-based Puma Energy.

The report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published on 3 March 2023 accused Myanmar's military of creating "a perpetual human rights crisis" in the Southeast Asian country and called for an immediate end to violence there. The report also documented alleged human rights violations between Feb. 1, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2023, in Myanmar, and assessed that violence had intensified in northwestern and southeastern Myanmar due to the military's "indiscriminate air strikes and artillery shelling, mass burnings of villages to displace civilian populations, and denial of humanitarian access." The report said the tactic used by the military was designed to cut off armed groups from access to food, finances, intelligence and recruits. The report called on authorities in Myanmar to end the violence and stop persecuting opponents and provide room for dialogue that could end this crisis.

In addition, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk said "The military, emboldened by continuous and absolute impunity, has consistently shown disregard for international obligations and principles and he called for urgent and concrete action to end the catastrophe.” Chief of the U.N. Human Rights Office's Myanmar team James Rodehaver, during a briefing in Geneva, said, “armed clashes were occurring in about 77% of the country, and there has never been a time and a situation in which a crisis in Myanmar has reached this far, this wide throughout the country".


Date: 05 March 2023

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York

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