Close the Sky

In Myanmar, the sky holds monsters that tear families apart.

Here is a video of Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein and her team to support the campaign on jet fuel, don’t hesitate to share.

Gang Rape Victim Among 179 Rakhine Civilians Killed by Myanmar Junta in Four Months: ULA      

Around 180 civilians have been killed and more than 460 wounded in arbitrary attacks by Myanmar junta troops in Rakhine State over the past four months, according to the United League of Arakan (ULA)’s Humanitarian and Development Coordination Office (HDCO).

The ethnic Arakan Army (AA), the armed wing of the ULA, launched a large-scale offensive against the junta in northern Rakhine and Paletwa Township in neighboring Chin State on Nov. 13 last year, seizing around 170 junta bases including command centers, and occupying around 10 towns.

Junta forces have responded by indiscriminately targeting civilians with deadly violence in the conflict zone.

The HDCO said in its recent humanitarian situation report that 179 civilians – 115 males and 64 females – were killed between Nov. 13 and March 24. Another 468 residents were injured in junta attacks, the report said.

Moreover, regime forces arrested 471 civilians, 424 of them men, during the same period, it added.

Clashes between regime troops and the ethnic army over the past four months also displaced another 295,868 people from their homes.

The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Rakhine and Paletwa now exceeds 358,200, according to the report.

The HDCO said that around 80 percent of the IDP population requires emergency humanitarian assistance.

Meanwhile, displaced civilians are still being targeted by junta airstrikes, drone attacks, and artillery shelling even in the stable central belt of Rakhine, the office said.

On March 18, a junta aircraft bombed the Muslim village of Thada in Minbya Township, killing 21 villagers and injuring 25 others. The village had earlier been taken by the AA.

Regime forces killed a total of 30 civilians during clashes with the AA in Minbya Township from Nov. 13 to Jan. 23, the HDCO said.

Junta troops also killed the parents of a female villager in Minbya before gang-raping and then murdering her, according to the confession of a soldier detained by the AA.

Detained regime officers have also confessed to arbitrary killings of civilian detainees and destruction of infrastructure in the state.

Irrawaddy News

Human Rights Situation weekly update (April 1 to 7, 2024)

Human Rights Violations took place in States and Regions from April 1 to 7, 2024

Military Junta Troop launched airstrikes and dropped bombs in the Sagaing Region, Kayin State, Kachin State, Chin State, Shan State, and Rakhine State from April 1st to 7th. The head of the Prison who works under the Military threatened and tortured the political prisoners in Pyapon Prison from Ayeyarwady Region, 18 political prisoners were sentenced to 6 months as additional punishment because they did not keep the “Prison discipline” according to prison authorities. 2 political prisoners from Insein Prison from Yangon Region also need medical care. Military Junta and Village administrators from the Yangon Region, Ayeyarwady Region, and Shan State, are blackmailing by using the Military Service Law.

Over 10 civilians died, and over 40 were injured by the Military’s heavy and light artillery attacks within a week. An underaged child died, and 12 were injured when the Military Junta committed abuses. A civilian also died in the land mine of Military Junta.

Progressive Voice demands action from UN Security Council on Myanmar

NGO Progressive Voice issued a statement this week urging the UN Security Council to take concrete action for justice in Myanmar, following their recent rhetoric.

In a statement issued on 5 April responding to the UN Security Council’s open briefing on Myanmar under the presidency of Malta, Khin Ohmar, Chairperson of Progressive Voice, had the following to say:

We welcome the UN Security Council (UNSC) holding an open briefing on the intensifying crisis in Myanmar, which urgently needs the world’s attention and action to protect civilians and prevent further atrocities, including against the Rohingya.

We also welcome the Assistant Secretary General’s reference to the convening of the National Unity Consultative Council’s People’s Assembly, a critical component of Myanmar’s democratic resistance movement that is building federal democracy from the ground up for a new, inclusive, and peaceful Myanmar. We further appreciate that many UNSC members reflected civil society’s concerns, particularly on transnational crime in Myanmar endangering regional peace and security, as raised to UNSC members in a civil society open letter last month.

We are, nonetheless, extremely disappointed that the open briefing did not include the Myanmar representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun. The failure to include Myanmar people’s voices, represented by their Ambassador, at the table – in a discussion that concerns them as a matter of life and death – is an abject failure of the UNSC to address the crisis in accordance with its gravity, and demonstrates the UNSC’s disrespect for the Myanmar people’s steadfast democratic resistance movement.

We are further disappointed that members of the UNSC continue to defer its responsibility to address Myanmar’s crisis to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its failed Five-Point Consensus. This is despite repeated calls from civil society that ASEAN’s efforts over the last three years have been completely ineffective at ending the military junta’s war of terror against the people, including the humanitarian and human rights crisis it has caused, with resounding impacts on regional peace and stability.

Today, the military junta is intensifying its genocide against the Rohingya, escalating its violence through deadly airstrikes across Rakhine State and forced conscription of Rohingya to be used as human shields. The international community must assume its responsibility to protect the Rohingya and end the genocide against them, as well as take the lead in stopping the junta’s countrywide terror campaign against all of Myanmar’s people. We urge the UNSC members who called for accountability during the open briefing to ensure these calls are met with action to hold the military accountable for its international crimes.

To fulfill its mandate for international peace and security, the UNSC must urgently adopt a binding resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter that imposes targeted economic sanctions and a comprehensive arms and aviation fuel embargo against the military junta. This resolution must also refer the crisis in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court or establish a criminal prosecutorial body on Myanmar.

In the face of the UNSC’s failure to adopt such a resolution, we call on UN Member States to act swiftly and decisively and table the resolution at the UN General Assembly in the interest of urgently establishing a criminal prosecutorial body on Myanmar.

At the same time, as Myanmar’s junta-caused crisis worsens, the UNSC alongside the wider international community must ensure priority lifesaving assistance reaches the most vulnerable populations by directly supporting locally-led, frontline humanitarian responders across Myanmar through cross-border channels.


Australia’s Ex-Foreign Minister Named UN Myanmar Envoy

United States – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday appointed former Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop as his new envoy for Myanmar.

The post has been vacant since the departure in June 2023 of Singaporean diplomat Noeleen Heyzer.

Bishop, the current chancellor of the Australian National University, brings extensive government experience to the role. She was also cabinet minister for education, science and training.

She was a member of parliament for 20 years.

Bishop will be asked to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and “all stakeholders to advance toward a Myanmar-led political solution to the crisis”, said Khaled Khiari, the UN’s assistant secretary general.

The UN emphasized Myanmar’s mounting hunger, mass displacement and safety concerns since the 2021 coup.

It said around 2.8 million people have been displaced in Myanmar, 90 percent of them since the junta took power in 2021 with the number rising since fighting intensified last October.

Food insecurity affects about 12.9 million people, about a quarter of Myanmar’s population, according to the UN.

Irrawaddy News