On Tuesday, the United Nations condemned Myanmar’s military over airstrikes that killed up to 100 people, including many women and children, who were attending a celebration hosted by opponents of army rule.
The military progressively utilizes airstrikes to suppress a widespread armed battle against its rule, which began in February 2021 after it overthrew a democratically elected government. Since then, security personnel is believed to have killed over 3,000 civilians.
A source told The Associated Press that a jet-fighter dropped bombs on a crowd of people gathered outside Pazigyi village in Sagaing region’s Kanbalu township at 8 a.m. The location is approximately 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city.
A military helicopter appeared about 30 minutes later and fired on villagers, according to the witness.
The death toll was initially believed to be around 50, but later counts reported by independent media said the death count was around 100.
Because the military administration restricts reporting, it could not independently authenticate the specifics of the occurrence.
The phrase “It’s a beautiful day” refers to a person’s face being visible through a window in the middle of the day. “When the plane dropped bombs on the crowd, I hid in a nearby ditch.” When I rose and glanced around a few moments later, I saw individuals ripped to bits and lifeless in the smoke.
The office building was completely damaged by fire. Thirty persons were hurt. A chopper arrived and shot additional victims as the injured were being taken. We are presently immediately cremating the bodies.”
United Nations strongly criticized the Myanmar Military
About 150 people had assembled for the inaugural event, and women and 20-30 children were among those slain, according to the report, which also stated that those killed included leaders of locally created anti-government armed groups and other opposition organizations.
The United Nations strongly criticized the Myanmar armed forces’ attack and said those involved must be brought to account, according to U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, who also stressed that the injured must receive medical attention, which is “often a challenge in these circumstances.”
According to Dujarric, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “condemns all forms of violence and reaffirms the primacy of civilian protection, following international humanitarian law, and reiterates his call for the military to end the campaign of violence against the Myanmar population throughout the country” as called for by the Security Council in a resolution adopted last December.
The opposition National Unity Government said, “This heinous act by the terrorist military is yet another example of their indiscriminate use of extreme force against innocent civilians, constituting a war crime.” In contrast to the army, the NUG claims to be the country’s legitimate administration. This is the place to be if you’re looking for a unique way to express yourself.
The military government’s spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun acknowledged the ceremony had been attacked in a statement phoned to state broadcaster MRTV but accused anti-government militants in the vicinity of carrying out a violent terror campaign.
Blatant human rights violations
He said that the People’s Defense Forces, the armed wing of the National Unity Government, had terrorized citizens into supporting them by murdering Buddhist monks, teachers, and others while the military sought peace and stability. He claimed there was proof that the attack had triggered secondary explosions of explosives hidden around the site by the People’s Defense Forces.
In response to allegations of human rights violations, the military government frequently accuses pro-democracy forces of terrorism. However, experts for the U.N. and non-governmental organizations have amassed substantial evidence of large-scale human rights violations by the army, including the burning of entire villages and the displacement of over a million people, resulting in a humanitarian crisis.
If confirmed, the death toll from Tuesday’s air raid could be the greatest in more than two years of civil war, which began when the army seized control in 2021. Last October, another government air raid in northern Myanmar killed up to 80 people during an anniversary celebration of the Kachin ethnic minority’s major political organization, which is also fighting the military government.
Myanmar has been in disarray since the army took charge, which sparked significant civilian dissent. After nonviolent protests were met with brutal force, many opponents of the military rule took up arms, and large parts of the country are now at odds.
The army has launched large offensives in the countryside, encountering some of the most tenacious resistance in Sagaing, Myanmar’s traditional heartland. The resistance forces have no means of defending themselves against air attacks.
Serious action against people who resist army rule
Survivors and onlookers stumble through the area of the bombing amid clouds of dense smoke in videos obtained by A.P., with only the skeleton frame of one structure standing in the distance. The videos could not be authenticated immediately but matched other scene descriptions.
Some motorcycles were left untouched, while others were crushed to their frames or buried beneath tree branches. Two victims lay nearby in one place, one of whom had just one arm attached. Another person was found face down in a little wood along the road. A little torso lacking at least one limb could be spotted a few meters (yards) away.
In January, Myanmar’s top leader urged the military to take serious action against people who resist army rule. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said at a military parade on Armed Forces Day that those who denounced his government were oblivious to the brutality perpetrated by its opponents.
Resistance forces have been able to keep the military from seizing firm control of broad regions of the country, although they are at a significant disadvantage in armaments, notably in resisting air raids.
Critics of the military administration advise prohibiting or limiting the export of aviation fuel to Myanmar to weaken the military’s air force advantage. Many Western countries have imposed arms embargoes on the military administration, and the United States and the United Kingdom have recently implemented fresh sanctions targeting individuals, and organizations engaged in the supply of jet fuel to Myanmar.
This is the place to be if you’re looking for a unique gift. Amnesty International urges all governments and businesses to halt supplies that could land in the hands of the Myanmar Air Force.”
It also encouraged the United Nations Security Council to “push through effective measures to hold the Myanmar military accountable, including by referring the country’s situation to the International Criminal Court.”