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OVER 100 PEOPLE KILLED IN SAGAING REGION IN TWO MYANMAR JUNTA AIR ATTACKS

Region of Concern: Kanbalu Township, Myanmar

Written By Beatrice Cirorne; Edited by Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor

Date: April 11, 2023

Sagaing Region, Myanmar[1]



Event: On 11 April, Myanmar’s military launched several air attacks killing over 100 people in Kanbalu Township, in Sagaing Region. A military jet dropped bombs on the crowd gathered to celebrate the opening of an office run by the opposition members. A second attack occurred a dozen minutes later when a combat helicopter fired shots at people rescuing those wounded.[2] Sagging Region has been experiencing violent clashes between pro-democracy resistance movements and Myanmar’s army. Myanmar's junta led by the Chairman of the State Administration Council Min Aung Hlaing has killed over 3000 civilians since the coup in February 2021.[3]


Significance: The event will very likely trigger a massive flow of people fleeing the country in the neighboring areas, in particular in the Indian region of Nagaland and Manipur. Myanmar's army will very likely intensify air raids in Sagging Region to target anti-government groups, hindering the delivery of relief and humanitarian assistance. The military regime will likely increase checks on people and goods crossing the Indian border due to concerns that resistance groups will receive military equipment from abroad and this is likely to complicate NGOs and the international community's intervention. The resistance groups’ reaction will likely trigger further instability and the violence and slow the delivery of medicines and basic necessities by NGOs, causing an increase in civilian deaths, malnutrition and spread of diseases. The military junta will very likely impose greater restrictions on access to the Internet and social media to limit the spread of information. The military junta will likely authorize a curfew in the country and tighten martial law by restricting freedom of movement to prevent violent protests in the country.


Recommendations: The international community should publicly denounce the military regime's repression and urge dialogue between the military regime, resistance groups, and the de jure government-in-exile to reach an immediate ceasefire. The UN Security Council should authorize economic sanctions on members of the military junta and companies close to top military leadership and an embargo on weapons, military equipment and dual-use goods. Human rights organizations should increase media coverage of the military regime's violence and push for the International Criminal Court to initiate an investigation of alleged crimes against humanity by the military junta. Humanitarian organizations in Myanmar should make nonmilitary targets such as schools and hospitals more visible with protective distinctive emblems to reduce the likelihood of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets. Humanitarian organizations, such as International Red Cross, UNICEF, and Care International, should increase the delivery of field hospitals, field tents, and blankets to shelter Myanmar refugees fleeing in India. Humanitarian organizations should initiate campaigns to collect basic necessities, such as long life food and clothes, to be delivered to areas affected by the attacks under the UN auspices.

 

[2] Airstrikes on Myanmar village feared to have killed 100, AP, April 2023, https://apnews.com/article/airstrikes-military-myanmar-village-918fd636bb81153928ab7481e06423e5

[3] How Sagaing is at Forefront of Revolution Against Myanmar’s Junta, The Irrawaddy, October 2022, https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/analysis/how-sagaing-is-at-forefront-of-revolution-against-myanmars-junta.html

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