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More than 600 military personnel surrender in Karen State; UN calls for ban on arms and jet fuel to military

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

More than 600 military personnel surrender in Karen State

The Karen National Union (KNU) stated that more than 600 military personnel, including 140 family members, surrendered after forces led by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) seized control of a strategic military outpost under the Eastern Command Headquarters in Thingannyinaung, Myawaddy Township on Friday. 

The military hit back with retaliatory airstrikes and artillery fire. Five KNLA and 50 military troops were killed and another 40 were injured. “There were three rounds of airstrikes on that day. Their jet fighter also dropped two 500 pound bombs,” said Saw Neh Da Htoo, the KNU tactical commander of Brigade 6. 

The KNU added that many weapons and ammunition were seized from the military outpost. Telecommunications in Myawaddy Township went down on Saturday. Fighting continues in Kawkareik Township, 19 miles (30 kms) from Thingannyinaung, as the KNLA attempts to seize it from the military. 

UN calls for ban on arms and jet fuel to military

The U.N. Human Rights Council backed a consensus on Thursday calling for the international community to ban the sale of jet fuel to Burma if they believe it will be used by the military to commit human rights abuses. It also called for an arms embargo to be imposed on Naypyidaw. 

“This resolution is a step in the right direction to combat the deadly supply chain that enables the Myanmar military to continue its barrage of air strikes in which schools, clinics, religious buildings and other civilian infrastructure have all been targeted,” said Montse Ferrer, the deputy regional director for research at Amnesty International. 

Human rights activists have been calling for countries to prevent jet fuel from reaching the military, believing it will be used for fighter jets that have targeted civilians. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) documented that 588 airstrikes were carried out nationwide from November 2023 to March 8. 

Julie Bishop, former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, in Canberra in 2018. (Credit: Reuters)

Julie Bishop appointed new UN Special Envoy

Australia’s Julie Bishop, the Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU) and a former Foreign Minister, was named by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the Special Envoy for Burma. The U.N. stated that Bishop brings “extensive political, legal management and senior leadership experience to the role.”

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations on Myanmar to help deliver on the mandate of the General Assembly and the Security Council Resolution of December 2022,” said Bishop. Read more here.

News by Region

KACHIN—The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said 11 Burma Army personnel, including a tactical commander, were arrested after it seized the Sinlum strategic outpost on Friday. Some of the soldiers guarding the outpost were killed by the KIA. 

“Our source from the frontline said about 30 soldiers were killed,” stated an official from the KIA. The Sinlum strategic outpost is located in Lwegel, Momauk Township, on the China-Burma border. The KIA took control of it on April 1. 

MANDALAY—Two civilians were killed and seven others were injured in an explosion inside an immigration office in Pyigyitagon Township on Friday. “Two people in their twenties, who were there to apply for a national registration card, were killed. Some of the office staff were injured and are receiving medical treatment at a military hospital,” said a Pyigyitagon resident. 

MON—Regime officials, including its Minister for Transport and Communications Mya Tun Oo, were attacked with a drone in Kawparan village of Mudon Township on Friday. An official from Karen National Defence Organization (KNDO) claimed that its allied forces carried out a drone strike on officials visiting the construction site of a new airport. 

“We had been told about the regime officials’ visit, including the chief of the Southeast Command HQ. This is our response to the destruction in Dhammasa village,” stated the KNDO. The regime began building an international airport and port terminal in Kawparan village in 2022.

YANGON—The 7th Thailand Education Fair was held on Sunday at the Sedona Hotel on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road in Yankin Township. More than 30 leading Thai universities and institutes participated, according to the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA). 

The Thai embassy in Yangon said more than 3,600 students attended the event, which was over five times the amount of last year’s attendees. Since the 2021 military coup, the number of families seeking to send their children to study at Thai universities has risen. 

Watch our latest: UN Security Council voices concern over Myanmar. DVB English News is on X, FB, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow us on Spotify.

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