Myanmar Mission To UN
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (7 February 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
It has been one year since 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 into turmoil, and made people suffer with inhumane and disproportionate actions.
As of 7 February 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 1,526 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 12,009 people have been arrested, 9,006 people remain in detention, and 1,974 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
The Military Torching and Destroying two Villages within Sagaing Region
According to credible reports, the military’s group of around 150 soldiers raided Mwe Tone Village in Pale Township of Sagaing Region on 31 January 2022, after the military’s two helicopters landed nearby the village on that day. It is reported that the military troops burned down the entire village and destroyed half of another village. A local resident said that when the military forces rushed into the village and opened fire, the residents of the village of roughly 250 households had to flee without food or other necessities. It is also said that the military forces went through the houses that the residents had to abandon and took all the property they could find.
It is also reported that Pan Village, about 3km from Mwe Tone Village, was later attacked by the same military group and the village was set on fire with more than 500 homes torched and destroyed. A member of a local defence force from a group named the “Black Peacock” Guerrilla Force said that the villagers were threatened by the military forces to pay 30 millions Kyat ($17,000), and then their demand increased to 50 millions Kyat ($28,000), and if the villagers could not pay that amount, the military forces said that they would burn down the houses. Having been stationed in Ta Nei Village located between Pale and Myaing within Magway Region, it is reported that the military forces threatened the villagers by saying that they would burn down the village, and throughout the area the troops have been terrorising the residents in recent weeks.
The Military again Torches Thantlang Town
Credible news reported that the clashes between the military forces and Chinland Defence Forces (CDF) began on 31 January 2022, and the military responded by firing heavy artillery. According to the CDF-Thantlang Spokesperson, the clashes on 31 January left seven soldiers dead, and the military’s attack with the use of heavy artillery failed to kill CDF fighters. The Spokesperson added that the military forces started to set fire in the village after the battle of the first day, which resulted in the death of one soldier, had ended. It is reported that in the fighting in the next day, when another soldier was killed in the clash, the military began burnings houses, destroying 76 houses in the town.
During three days of fighting earlier this week, it is reported that in the town of Thantlang within Chin State the military forces torched nearly 100 buildings, including a church. According to CDF-Thantlang, the town of Thantlang has been heavily attacked since September 2021, leading to more than 8,000 residents being forcibly displaced and 900 houses and 19 religious buildings being burned to the ground.
Military’s inhumane massacre in Myinmu Township in Sagaing Region
According to Khit Thit News, the military forces raided Badat Htei Village in Myinmu Township of Sagaing Region on 31 January 2022, by using the military’s helicopters, and the military forces committed inhumane massacre, killing the civilians and destroying the dead bodies. It is reported that the military forces burned the dead bodies and cut those bodies into pieces, in order to keep the information on the exact number of deaths. The one who witnessed the military’s massacre said that of those killed by the military, a villager named U Khin Maung Soe was shot dead, the military burned and cut other dead bodies into pieces, and about 20 villagers are still missing. It is also reported that as the military forces left the dead bodies that have been burned and destroyed, all pieces of dead bodies are scattered in the village. In addition, it is reported that the military raided the houses in the village and took much amount of money from some houses.
Military’s Atrocities in Sagaing Region
According to a local news agency, the dead bodies of two villagers were found floating in the Chindwin River in Sagaing Region during this week, which happened after the military forces have travelled by boat and detained several people in the area. It is reported that the dead bodies of the two victims from Kin Village of Kani Township of Sagaing Region, who are 51-year-old San Aung and 25-year-old Chan Thar, were found in the river on 31 January 2022, hours after eight military boats left the village. A local villager said that another person, who was found in the river, was alive and rescued, yet four other villagers are still missing.
On 1 February 2022, Myanmar Now News reported that a teacher named Yi Yi Khine, who participated in Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), was shot dead in Kalay Town in Sagaing Region when she rode her motorcycle with her child on her back. It is reported that the CDM teacher was shot in her stomach and died shortly after arriving at the nearby hospital. Her relative said that although it is unclear who shot her, there was a military base near the site of the killing.
According to Myanmar Now News, two leaders of defence force were murdered by the members of the pro-military group (Pyu Saw Htee) in Kanbalu Township of Sagaing Region on 2 February 2022. It is reported that the two victims – Myint Maw and Aung Naing Htwe, both in their 40s – were first approached by a pro-military group member, and they were persuaded to meet for a weapons’ deal. Following this, when the two victims arrived at the place where they were supposed to meet the arms dealer, they were arrested and then killed. A member of another group called the Falcon guerrilla force said that the two victims were shot dead outside of Kanbulu Township, and the bodies were discovered by local residents and later collected by a social welfare group.
According to AAPP, a 25-year-old villager from King Sanpya Village in Kani Township of Sagaing Region was killed on 1 February 2022, and an injury from a knife cut was found on his neck. It is reported that the military forces were stationed at King Sanpya Village and arrested several local villagers, including the victim who was killed.
AAPP reported that a villager from Ma Du Ya Village in Myinmu Township of Sagaing Region, and three brothers from Nyaung Pin Wunn Village in Sagaing Township of Sagaing Region were killed on 3 February 2022, after they had been tortured by the military forces. It is reported that the three brothers from Nyaung Pin Wunn Village were arrested by the military forces, and they were used as guides, while entering to the village of Ma Du Ya.
The Military detaining over 100 people for supporting Silent Strike Online
According to local news received on 3 February 2022, the military has arrested and charged more than 100 people during the recent week, as those people had posted on their social media in support of the anti-military protest movement, specifically the 2 February Silent Strike. It is reported that those detained include businessmen, shop owners, two doctors, a nurse, two former lawmakers from the National League for Democracy Party, young people and a monk. The military-controlled newspaper stated that those detained spread posts with the aim of destabilizing the country, and furthermore, the detainees are connecting with or supporting the terrorist groups, labelled by the military, including National Unity Government, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and People’s Defense Forces.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 1 February 2022, the National Unity Government of Myanmar issued Announcement (2/2022). In the announcement, the National Unity Government states that Myanmar accepts the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and withdraws all preliminary objections in the case of The Gambia v. Myanmar concerning the military operations against the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
In the United Nations daily press briefing on 31 January 2022, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said, regarding the Secretary-General’s statement on the one-year anniversary since the military coup in Myanmar, that the U.N. Secretary-General has urged Myanmar’s military to allow humanitarian aid access and address the desperate needs of the people. It is also stated that the multiple vulnerabilities of all people across the country and its regional implications require an urgent response, and the access to people in need is critically important for the UN and partners to continue to deliver on the ground. The Deputy Spokesperson added, “The Secretary-General stands in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations for an inclusive society and the protection of all communities, including the Rohingya”.
The High Representative on behalf of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint statement on the one-year anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2022. The joint statement reiterated the call for the immediate cessation of violence and for constructive dialogue among all parties to resolve the crisis peacefully. It also called on the military to allow unhindered humanitarian access, and to release all those arbitrarily detained.
One year after the Myanmar military staged a coup, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Thomas Andrews released a video, featuring the voices of some of those in Myanmar who have suffered greatly and are taking action to defend their country. The UN Special Rapporteur added, "Now is not the time for more rhetoric, it is time for meaningful action. The international community must take strong, meaningful steps to cut the junta's access to weapons, funds and legitimacy."
On 1 February 2022, Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) released a statement on one-year anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar, expressing concern on the tragic history of the military of Myanmar using violence against political opponents. In the statement, it is mentioned that the Mechanism is using all possible strategies and innovations to gather and verify evidence in order to build strong case files to be able to facilitate prosecutions in national and international courts. The Head of IIMM further stated, “The Mechanism is closely watching events and working to fulfil its mandate, and those who are considering committing crimes should be aware that serious international crimes have no statute of limitations”.
On the one-year after the military coup in Myanmar, humanitarian agencies working in Myanmar, including ActionAid, CARE International, Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Save the Children and Trócaire issued a statement on 1 February 2022, stating that the recent upsurge in military airstrikes and indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Myanmar highlight the failure of efforts to protect civilians from harm and to find a durable solution to the root cause of the conflict, as well as reiterating the calls for Myanmar's military and all parties to the conflict to protect civilians from harm.
On 2 February 2022, the United Nations Security Council issued a Press Statement on the situation in Myanmar, expressing deep concern at further violence in the country and large numbers of internally displaced persons, and at the dramatic increase in humanitarian need. In the Press Statement, the members of Security Council reiterated their calls for the release of all those arbitrarily detained, including the State Counsellor and President, and repeated their support for the democratic transition in Myanmar. The members of the Security Council also called for dialogue with all parties concerned and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people and for an immediate cessation of all forms of violence throughout the country to ensure the safety of civilians. The members of the Security Council further reiterated their full support for the role of ASEAN in facilitating a peaceful solution in the interest of the people of Myanmar and reiterated their calls for the swift and full implementation of ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus.
On 3 February 2022, ASEAN barred the top diplomat from Myanmar’s military from attending an upcoming meeting of foreign ministers. Cambodia is the current chairmanship of ASEAN, and the spokesman of Foreign Ministry of Cambodia said, “Since there has been little progress in carrying out ASEAN's Five-Point Consensus, the ASEAN member states did not reach a consensus to invite Myanmar military's foreign minister to participate in the upcoming foreign ministers' retreat. We have asked Myanmar to send a non-political representative instead”.
Date: 7 February 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York