Myanmar Situation Update (4-10 October 2021)

Ousted leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi described as “all absurd” the testimony by the detained Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein against her. She has applied for hearings to take place every two weeks instead of weekly as her health has suffered from her frequent appearances at court. The defense team said that they will not summon any witnesses in her incitement case, as anyone who takes the stand to defend the detained leader will face trouble from the junta.

According to a National Unity Government (NUG) announcement, the junta’s army has suffered its heaviest losses in attacks by ethnic armed groups and civilian resistance fighters between 7 September and 6 October with 1,562 soldiers killed and 552 wounded, more than double August’s death toll.

The junta’s army made reinforcements of around 3,000 soldiers to the country’s most restive regions, Sagaing and Magway Regions and Chin State, to conduct clearance operations against civilian resistance forces. The former commander of North West Command, Brigadier General Phyo Thant, was reportedly detained earlier this week, after his plan to defect and take refuge in an area controlled by an ethnic armed group was exposed and rumors were circulating that the Brig-Gen was tortured to death during his interrogation.

The junta-controlled Myanma Alinn newspaper accused the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the parallel National Unity Government (NUG) and People’s Defense Forces (PDF) of being terrorists responsible for the assassination of 406 people accused of being informants, as well as the wounding of another 285 between 1 February and 27 September. It also said that 2,460 bomb attacks were reported in 372 townships [note: Myanmar only has 330 townships so it’s unclear what this figure means], while 340 firefights occurred in 134 townships. Another 349 attacks targeted houses.

According to the UNHCR, around 206,000 people have been displaced by violence since the military coup in Myanmar. A large proportion of them (76,000) are children who have been forced to flee their homes, and are likely to succumb to disease and malnutrition as they were sheltering in forests during torrential rain under tarpaulins without enough food. It also has voiced alarm at the junta’s army deploying heavy weapons and troops to particular townships in Myanmar, worrying escalation of violence in Myanmar. India’s Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana said that 12,121 people from Myanmar have crossed over to Mizoram and they are taking shelter in various parts of the state, according to the latest report.

The “Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability Act of 2021” was submitted to the US House of Representatives to take action against the junta army. The French Senate passed a resolution asking for the recognition of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) without any objection. The European Parliament  threw its support to officially endorse the NUG behind the fight against the junta.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has warned that the Myanmar junta could be excluded from a regional summit scheduled for later this month over the junta’s failure to cooperate with the regional bloc’s efforts to resolve the country’s crisis. He also said that it is ready to connect with the Myanmar parallel National Unity Government, if the junta continues to fail to cooperate with the five-point consensus. 

Danny Fenster, an American journalist at Frontier Myanmar, has been charged with a second criminal offence under the Unlawful Associations Act. Ma Htet Htet and Ko Wai Lin, an editor and a reporter from “Thingangyun Post”, were arrested by junta’s troops. In addition, an unnamed Myanmar photographer has been honored with the prestigious Bayeux War Correspondents' Awards.

Protests continued in different parts of Myanmar despite the crackdown by the junta over the week. The clashes between the junta forces and the civil resistance fighters or Ethnic Armed Organizations also emerged in all states and regions except Tanintharyi and Rakhine Regions. 

According to the information compiled by ANFREL, at least 87 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week. It was reported that at least 19 people were injured and 6 died. 11 Mytel telecom masts were destroyed across the country. 

As of 9 October, AAPP sources said 1,161 people have been killed by the junta. 7,164 people are currently under detention and 348 are sentenced. 65 have been sentenced to death and 1,989 are evading arrest warrants.


Read the full document: Myanmar Situation Update (4-10 October 2021)


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