Myanmar Situation Update (16-22 August 2021)

Myanmar's parallel National Unity Government (NUG) Vice President Duwa Lashi La said the date for the start of fighting (“D Day”) has been decided and they are preparing to fight for the protection of the lives and property of citizens. The date will be submitted to the NUG cabinet for a decision. The NUG also reported last month’s massacres of civilians by junta forces in Sagaing Region to a meeting of the UN Security Council, saying the report provided clear evidence that the junta is committing war crimes. In addition, the NUG lodged a declaration with the registrar of the International Criminal Court, accepting the Court’s jurisdiction with respect to international crimes committed in Myanmar territory since 1st July 2002, which is the earliest date permitted by the Statute of International Criminal Court (Rome Statute).

Myanmar’s junta is continuously targeting members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including its leaders and dozens of lawmakers. The former Mayor and Chairman of the Nay Pyi Taw Development Committee Dr. Myo Aung, former Vice-Mayor U Ye Min Oo, former members of the committee U Min Thu and Daw Sabei Htwe were charged under anti-corruption law. Since July, more than 100 prominent figures in Myanmar including prominent politicians, artists, technocrats, journalists, architects and physicians have died from COVID-19 and from the wider collapse of the public health system following the February coup.

Around 1,500 soldiers have now defected from the Myanmar military to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the junta, a former military captain who is helping fellow deserters said. During this week, around 80 junta’s troops defected from the military with their weapons after the People's Defense Force called them to collaborate with citizens and committed to protect their safety. Junta has denied the news and told the people not to trust these news outlets, which were often misrepresented.

The 42nd session of the ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) allowed its approval of military junta personnel to be an observer and excluded the parliamentary delegation from the NUG of Myanmar. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) of Myanmar’s ousted government released a statement condemning the action of AIPA.

Two more journalists were detained, bringing the number of Myanmar journalists/media staff arrested since the coup to 95. Freelance journalist and outspoken regime critic U Sithu Aung Myint and a reporter from BBC Media Action, the corporation’s international development charity, Ma Htet Htet Khine were arrested on August 15 from a hideout in Yangon. 

The junta cut off all mobile data and wifi in Hpa-Kant township of Kachin State to shut down the information after the killing of a policeman in Lone Khin Zay Gone village of Hpa-Kant township. As of Sunday, the connection was still down and only phone calls were available.

Around 30 IDPs from Mindat township in Chin state died within the last 3 months. The number of IDPs is still rising due to the recurrence of intense fighting in Mindat and they are in shortage of medical supplies, said an activist who helped IDPs. IDP camps in Kachin, Rakhine, Shan, Karen and Kayah states have also reported food and medical supply shortages. 

Protests continue in different parts of Myanmar despite the crackdown by the junta. The clashes between the junta forces and the civil resistance fighters or Ethnic Armed Organizations also emerged across Myanmar particularly in Shan, Kayin, Kachin, Chin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine States and Sagaing, Mandalay, Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway Regions.

According to the information compiled by ANFREL, at least 32 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week. It was reported that at least 9 people were injured and 5 people died.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported that, as of 21 August, 1,009 people have been killed by the junta. 5,787 people are currently under detention and 255 are sentenced. 65 have been sentenced to death and 1,984 are evading arrest warrants.


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