Children in Armed Conflict – Issue 25 (October 2021) ENG

Children in Armed Conflict – Issue 25 (October 2021) ENG

“More battles have erupted after the declaration of ceasefire. I don’t thoroughhly understand what it means. In my view, a five-month ceasefire and three-month ceasefire are just on paper”, said a local woman from Pang Hseng who compared the military council’s declaration of five-month ceasefire with the situation on the ground.

She is neither a military expert nor a political expert. She is just an ordinary woman from Mongkoe region in the northern Shan State where the military council’s troops are carrying out offensive operations. This week, Myanmar Peace Monitor’s weekly review mainly focuses on the incidents about the military council’s on-paper ceasefire declaration for eternal peace.

Facts and Incidents

A nine-year-old child got severe wounds to his head, ear, body and leg in Mannkhar village in Puwan village-tract in Mongkoe sub – township as the military council’s troops based in Laukkai of the northern Shan State fired heavy weapons at around 10 pm on September 27th. The child died at 4.30 pm on September 28th as he could not be sent to the hospital.

On September 27th, the military council declared the extension of unilateral ceasefire for an additional five months for eternal peace. A nine-year-old child got severe wounds to his head, ear, body and leg in Mannkhar village in Puwan village-tract in Mongkoe sub-township as the military council’s troops based in Laukkai of the northern Shan State fired heavy weapons at around 10 pm on September 27th. The child died at 4.30 pm on September 28th as he could not be sent to the hospital. The victim’s mother also got a wound to her leg. Only on September 28th, shrapnel could be removed from her leg.

According to the news from the Kachin News Group (KNG), the military council’s troops went to Pang Hseng-Finekaung in Mongkoe where the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) (Kokang) is active, at around 3 pm on September 26th, since before the declaration of unilateral ceasefire. The military has deployed the troops in Nawgu village in Mongkoe Township and fired shots. The troops were stationed in the churches, according to locals.

On the afternoon of September 29th, there was intense fighting between the military council’s troops and the MNDAA (Kokang) between Kaungdut and Kaunglone villages in Mongkoe Sub-Township in Muse District, for nearly four hours. Since around 11 am on September 30th, fighting resumed there. Due to fighting, more than 700 locals from around seven villages near the battle area, are taking shelter in downtown Mongkoe.

This is the 20th declaration of unilateral cease. Similarly, there was intense fighting between the military council’s troops marching to Tanai of Kachin State and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), between Khwansaiyan and Dwanban villages on Ledo Road, at around 8 am on September 26th. More than 150 villagers fled to Lawah village as more than 100 soldiers of the military council were stationed in and outside Khwansaiyan village since the evening of September 25th, according to the KNG.

Around 11 am on September 29th, fighting took place between the military council’s troops and the KIA between Teinkauk and Kaungyar villages on Ledo Road. The military council’s troops have tightened security along Ledo Road to transport rations and deployed more than 200 soldiers from Mayankahtaung village to Dwanban village near Namati Township, according to locals. At around 10 am on September 30th, the KIA’s Brigade-3 attacked more than 100 soldiers from Moemauk-based Light Infantry Battalion-437 which deployed troops to Kyauksakhan village in Lonejar village-tract in Moemauk Township.

According to the statement by the Karen National Union (KNU) which has signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), on October 4th, there were 265 encounters between the military council’s troops and the KNU in the KNU-controlled areas in September alone.

Trend of the ceasefire declaration

The word “The Tatmadaw will suspend its military operations except the attacks which can undermine the State’s defence and administrative matters and the government’s security and administrative mechanism,” is included in the 1st declaration of unilateral ceasefire released on December 21st, 2018, it is difficult for an ordinary woman from Pang Hseng and even observers to understand this word.

Whether the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) sign the NCA or not is not important any longer. We can know the military council’s extension of troops in the EAOs-controlled areas citing various reasons, by looking at the MPM’s monthly peace and conflict reports ( https://bit.ly/3mwH8sP ) . In its declaration, the military council has described the fact that the trend of the ethnic armed organizations which are making revolution to build up a federal democratic union with the hope of ensuring self-determination, autonomy and equality, is different from that of the People’s Defence Forces (PDF) who are revolutionizing the military council across the country after the military coup.

Leaders of the EAOs and political observers viewed that the military council’s five-month ceasefire declaration is unbelievable and unacceptable. They also reviewed that it is just the military council’s preparations to oppress and crush the NUG’s declaration of a nationwide revolt

Leaders of the EAOs and political observers viewed that the military council’s five-month ceasefire declaration is unbelievable and unacceptable. They also reviewed that it is just the military council’s preparations to oppress and crush the NUG’s declaration of a nationwide revolt.

They pointed out intense offensive operations against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the MNDAA (Kokang) during two years and nine months since the military council’s ceasefire declaration on December 21st, 2018 and in northern Shan State and Arakan State where the AA which has made ceasefire is active after the coup. They said this is just the military council’s preparations to avoid the battles across the country.

The daily news describes the public’s nationwide resistance war due to the military council’s inhumane acts such as brutal crackdown, arrests, killings and massacres of civilians and arson attacks on villages since the coup on February 1st.

On September 27th, there were resistances such as mine attacks on the military convoys in KhinU Township and Yinmarbin Township in Sagaing Region, fighting with the CDF in Htantalan Township in Chin State, fighting with the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) in Phalkhone Township in Shan State and fighting with the KNU in Mone region in Kyaukgyi Township in Bago Region. In addition, anti-coup protests took place in townships and villages of Shan, Kachin, Mandalay and Sagaing.

On September 28th, fighting erupted between local PDFs and the military council’s troops in Homalin, Pinlebu, Depayin, Butalin and ChaungU Townships in Sagaing Region. Local PDFs also carried out mine attacks on the military convoys. Two soldiers were killed in an attack on a military vehicle in Pakokku of Magway Region. On that day, there were encounters with the KIA in Moemauk Township, the MNDAA (Kokang), the KNDF in Phalkhone Township and the KNU in Hpapun Township. The military council’s troops have to carry out offensive operations on all fronts.

Observers viewed that the military council’s declaration of five-month ceasefire till February, 2022 has not got recognition from any country yet. It is just a dishonest declaration for the international arena and aims to create disunity between the PDFs and the EAOs. A civilian woman from Pang Hseng in Kokang said: “This declaration is not useful for war-hit areas.”

Review

Looking at the facts, incidents and trends of the ceasefire declaration, we can draw a conclusion that the military council’s ceasefire declaration brings no hope for the reverse of the coup, rooting out the military dictatorship, building up a federal democratic union and bringing about local peace.

Looking at the facts, incidents and trends of the ceasefire declaration, we can draw a conclusion that the military council’s ceasefire declaration brings no hope for the reverse of the coup, rooting out the military dictatorship, building up a federal democratic union and bringing about local peace.

With the aim of becoming the head of the State, Military Chief Min Aung Hlaing arrested the elected government leaders, staged a coup and formed the military council. As Military Chief Min Aung Hlaing and his followers have got no recognition from the international community and the entire people, it is still difficult to understand the word in the ceasefire declaration “The Tatmadaw will suspend its military operations except the attacks which can undermine the State’s defence and administrative matters and the government’s security and administrative mechanism.”

Although the coup leader and his followers have forcibly taken over the country’s power with the use of arms citing vote frauds, they are facing the Civil Disobedience Movements (CDM) from civil servants including the health, education, police and soldiers, peaceful protests and the Spring Revolution which resists the brutal arrests and killings by the military council’s troops every day.

The people have experienced the military council’s attitude towards the public for the existence of power and inhumane brutality and atrocity such as oppression, killings and arrests regardless of regions and races.

A civilian woman from Pang Hseng said: “The child was hit by a weapon after the declaration of five-month ceasefire. The artillery shell hit the child’s entire face as they did indiscriminate shooting”

Here the term “They” means the military council’s soldiers. The term “Child” means a nine-year-old child named “Marbone” who died after being hit by an artillery shell fired by the military council’s troops.

Part-II

What happened in the week ?

Chin State

At the end of September, the military council took the soldiers from the frontline camp near Wanthu village in Htantalan Township in Chin State by helicopter. On October 3rd, a combined force of CDF-Zophei and the Chin National Army (CNA) torched and destroyed that military camp. Two soldiers and eight police members under the terrorist military council joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and defected to the Chin National Defence Force (CNDF) in late September. The CNDF gave cash prizes and transported them to the secure place, according to the CNDF. On October 4th, five soldiers of the Battalion-222 defected to the CDF with full equipment, according to the statement by the CDF. The police arrested 50 local youths in Hakha within three days accusing them of being CDF members. Then, the police released them by asking for Ks-0.7 million to Ks-1.2 million per head, according to local media. The building of the Bonetalar hydropower plant being mainly used by Light Infantry Battalion-140 near Matupi was blown up on October 3rd.

Arakan State

With the aim of promoting the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the peace processes in Arakan State, the civil peace committee was formed in Sittwe on October 2nd, according to the Development Media Group (DMG). The formation of this committee aims to ensure the smooth operations of civil societies working for peace as the Arakan Army (AA) has not signed the peace agreement with the Myanmar military, said an in-charge of the information of the committee. U Khaing Thu Kha, information officer of the AA told the DMG on October 4th, that the act that the commander of the Light Infantry Division-535 summoned and threatened three village in-charges from Buthidaung Township, would undermine trust building. The military should not do it.

Shan State

On October 3rd, fighting took place between the Ta’ ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and police members under the military council, in Kyinsankywat in Muse District on China-Myanmar Border in the northern Shan State, leaving one police member dead, according to the Shan Herald News Agency.

On October 4th, fighting took place between two Shan armed organizations in Pankaytu village-tract in Mongkai Township in southern Shan State. Four family members were injured by artillery shells and admitted to Mongkai People’s Hospital. One person died from wounds. On October 5th, two bombs exploded in the football ground in Wanhaung village in Nankham Township, killing one civilian.

An elderly who was searching for medical leaves got leg wounds as he stepped on a landmine in Mongkoe Sub-Township. On October 5th, two civilians were severely injured in Mongkai Township in southern Shan State after stepping on a landmine. On October 2nd, a combined force of the TNLA and the Shan State Progressive Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) abducted six locals who performed duties in the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), in Panlin village-tract in Kyaukme Township, according to the Shan Herald News Agency. The military council’s troops arrested the former TV reporter of Shwe Phee Myay News Agency based in Lashio, from her home, at the end of September. On October 1st, the RCSS issued a statement, saying that the SSPP attacked the RCSS in cooperation with the northern alliance group including the TNLA. The military council’s troops allowed them to use the roads. Being unable to solve the problem between two Shan groups is surprising as the SSPP is using military means rather than talks. On October 3rd, the SSPP also issued a statement, calling for cooperation in the areas where both sides reach the common goal as a first step to stop ongoing fighting and continuing to discuss disagreements.

Karenni (Kayah) State

Two soldiers of the military council were killed in a fighting between the military council’s troops and a combined force of the Karenni armed groups including the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), in Demawsoe Township in Karenni State on October 2nd, according to the statement by the KNDF. The military council’s troops arrested around 30 volunteers who helped the IDPs and more than 200 people in Karenni State, the Karenni Human Rights Group told the Kantaryawaddy Times.

Chair of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) Abel Tweed said the PDF youths who were fighting against the terrorist military council’s troops were to risk their lives, blood and sweat as efforts for peace and development of Karenni State was not an easy task. They must keep in their mind that they were to fight against the military council as this revolution is the historic duty. They should not be like short-lived enthusiasm.

Kachin State

Battalion-14 of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked the troops which provided security to the military convoy on Tanai-Ledo Road in two places on October 4th. As the KIA ambushed a military convoy of 15 vehicles heading from Bhamo in Kachin State on October 5th, the military council’s troops fired heavy weapons, according to the Kachin News Group. The PDF carried out attacks on the inspection gate at the entrance of Putao on October 3rd as they got the news that coup leader Min Aung Hlaing would visit Putao.

South-East (Mon, Kayin and Tanintaryi)

A youth with mental illness was shot dead by the military council’s troops, at the gate on Yay-Chaungtaung Bridge in Yay Township in Mon State, at the end of September, according to the victim’s family members. On October 1st, Mon State Prisons Department released 195 inmates who were facing court trials in Mon State. Most of the cases are murder, corruption and thefts, according to the Than Lwin Times.

Fighting took place between the military council’s troops and the DKBA splinter group in the east of Hpa-An-Myawaddy Asia Road in Karen State on October 1st. On October 3rd, a time bomb exploded in front of 22-Battalion in Hap-An Township. On October 4th, two BGF members were killed in the shooting while the BGF members and the military council’s troops stationed near Kyaikdone in Kyarinseikgyi Township were buying goods in a village. Shooting took place as they entered the KNLA-controlled area, according to locals. In the KNU’s statement issued on October 4th, to mark the 6th anniversary of the NCA signing which will fall on October 15th, Padoh Saw Shwe Maung, Chair of the KNU’s Dupalayar District said the NCA was not void yet. Any organization has not abolished the NCA yet.

On the morning of October 3rd, fighting took place between the military council’s troops and Daungmin operation group, in Kywelchan village. The military council’s troops arrested five locals including two underage children after the fighting. At least five soldiers of the military council were killed and five injured in the fighting while two PDF members were injured, according to the Than Lwin Times.

Upper Myanmar (Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing)

Some military informants were shot dead in the villages of NyaungU Township in Mandalay Region on October 1st, a teacher couple in Nganzun Township, a railway officer who was notorious for working as a military informant in Myitnge Township and the military-appointed 100-household head in Kantharyar ward in Chanmyathazi Township.

On October 5th, the military-appointed village administrator announced that the houses owned by five NLD members in Lalthit village in Myingyan Township were confiscated under the Counter-Terrorism Law.

The military council have carried out information blackouts by cutting off internet access in Chin State, Sagaing Region and Magway Region. The military council has reinforced troops and weapons to carry out offensive operations against the PDFs in those areas.

On October 5th, the terrorist military torched and destroyed five houses in Gangaw Township in Magway Region in cooperation with the military-backed PyuSawHtee. On October 5th, Yaw PDF carried out mine attacks on a military convoy of more than 50 vehicles heading to Gangaw in Magway Region. Due to the ambush, the military council’s troops suffered heavy casualties.

On October 1st, a major from the military council and a civilian died in a bomb blast at a tea shop in the assembly office in Kyunhla Township in Sagaing Region. Villagers fled to safer places as the military council’s troops raided and torched a village in the west of KhinU Township. On October 3rd, three locals were shot dead by the soldiers of the military council in KhinU Township, according to locals.

Two police members were killed in a bomb blast at an inspection camp in Monywa on October 1st. King Cobra-KhinU killed three military-backed PyuSawHtee members in KhinU Township on October 2nd and the son of the former military-appointed administrator with a knife on October 4th. On October 4th, 12 village-tract administrators appointed by the terrorist military council submitted their resignation letters in Katha Township syanmutenioly. Local PDFs carried out mine attacks on a military convoy in Pale, Kalay and Kanbalu Townships on October 4th. The military council suffered heavy casualties. On October 6th, two soldiers of the military council were killed and three severely injured in the mine attacks by local PDFs in Depayin Township.

Lower Myanmar (Yangon, Bago and Ayeyawady)

The Burma Final Revolution Armed Forces (BFRAF) announced that it carried out a huge bomb attack in Thaketa Township on October 3rd. On October 3rd, Myanmar Defense Force (MDF-Yangon) and the Civil Guerrilla Force (CGF-HTY) jointly carried out mine attacks on terrorist military council’s troops between the Police Headquarters-9 and highway bus terminal on Yangon-Pathein Road. On October 4th, four bombs exploded in front of the Office of the General Administration Department in Hinthada Township. The 100-household head was injured as two bombs exploded in front of a ward administrator office in South Dagon Township, according to locals.

The military council’s troops arrested more than 30 locals after a bomb blast in Dedaye Township in Ayeyawady Region on October 3rd. The military council’s troops arrested 14 locals in Maubin Township on October 4th, accusing them of having a contact with the PDF. On October 5th, the military council’s troops abducted a nun in Kyonepyaw Township as she was a staff from the Development Affairs Department, joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and took a nunhood after the coup.

On September 30th, the military council’s troops arrested a regional MP of the NLD in Thayawady Township in the west of Bago Region. Officials of the Southern Command said that it would speed up revolution as the PDFs had been formed in 28 townships of Bago Region. Bago Region PDF was systematically formed in July in accord with the directives of the Ministry of Defence. The issuance of this statement is aimed for the public’s knowledge, the statement says.

National Unity Government Vs the Military Council

National Unity Government

  • 62 out of 75 persons who won the Aung Lan Lwint Chi Spring Lottery donated their prizes to the NUG.
  • Myanmar’s Civilian Finance Minister Calls on Public to Voluntarily Pay Tax
  • Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun at the UN meeting called on the UN to take action against the crimes against women committed by the military council’s troops.
  • The NUG dismissed ten officials from the military-backed Ministry of Health.
  • Myanmar UN envoy to appeal for intl. support

Military Council

  • Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution cannot be abolished, can only be amended: Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
  • Myanmar Junta rebuffs ASEAN request to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
  • The news emerged that the Commander of the North-West Command died in the interrogation camp.
  • Russian-backed Pinpet Steel Mill project to be resumed: SAC Chairman
  • Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution cannot be abolished, can only be amended: Senior General Min Aung Hlaing

International

A UN high ranking officer warned that the situation may be getting worse if it was too late to solve the current crisis in Myanmar. UN Humanitarian Coordinator Andrew Kirkwood called on all groups not to put politics in the forefront when millions of people were in need of humanitarian assistance. On October 4th, the ASEAN Special Envoy for Myanmar Erywan Yusof said up until today there had been no progress on the implementation of the five-point consensus. All Asean members were disappointed as Myanmar military did not make constructive response to the Asean special envoy’s efforts. Malaysia said it was ready to hold talks with the NUG if the junta continued to fail to cooperate with the ASEAN special envoy on the five-point consensus. 

Source: https://www.mmpeacemonitor.org/308575/

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