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NUG claims 104 health workers killed since 2021 coup; Calls for UN to step in to protect Rohingya in Arakan State

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

NUG claims 104 health workers killed since 2021 coup

The National Unity Government (NUG) stated that 104 health care workers have been killed and 308 hospitals and clinics have been destroyed by the military since the 2021 coup. Health care workers and medical centers have been attacked more than 1,200 times, added the NUG. 

“It has been found that the military council have been conducting terrorist attacks repeatedly and brutally, deliberately targeting the health sector and innocent civilians,” said an NUG statement. 

Hospitals in Minbya and Ramree townships of Arakan State were destroyed by military airstrikes in February, according to the Arakan Army (AA). The NUG accused the military of violating international law, including the Geneva Convention, for targeting hospitals. 

Calls for UN to step in to protect Rohingya in Arakan State

Twenty-eight civil society groups issued a joint statement on Wednesday calling on the U.N. Security Council to take action to prevent continued human rights abuses committed by the military against the 600,000 Rohingya in Arakan State. 

“Despite the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice, the military junta continues to shell Rohingya villages, resulting in deaths, injuries, and the destruction of property,” said Nay San Lwin, the co-founder of Free Rohingya Coalition and a signatory to the statement.

Unconfirmed reports have stated that Rohingya are being forcefully recruited by the military in Arakan State. The statement accused the regime of doing this to reignite ethnic tension with the Rakhine. They called on the U.K. government to convene a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss how to protect the Rohingya community inside Burma.

Burma nationals third highest spenders on properties in Thailand

Data from Thailand’s Government Housing Bank’s Real Estate Information Centre (REIC) states that Burma nationals spent 2.25 billion Thai baht ($62.47 million USD) on properties in Thailand. Only Russian and Chinese nationals spent more on real estate in Thailand. 

“It’s notable that properties bought by Myanmar nationals have an average price of 6.5 million baht [$180,480 USD], higher than those of Chinese or Russian buyers,” said Karlo Pobre, the deputy managing director of REIC, to The Nation.

Wealthy Burmese mainly purchased luxury properties in Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. The Thai embassy in Yangon states that more than 7,000 Burma nationals have applied for visas to Thailand following the Feb. 10 announcement of the military conscription law. 

News by Region

Students learn on computers at a makeshift school in Karenni State. (Credit: CJ)

KARENNI—The Karenni Army (KA) and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) said that it will welcome people from across Burma who want to avoid military conscription. 

“We understand that many young people are opposed to the military. If they come to our area, we welcome them. They can play a part in this revolution,” said Phone Naing, the leader of the Karenni Army. 

“There are opportunities for employment, such as running a shop, or contributing to the health and education sectors,” said Tint Zaw Hein, the spokesperson for an aid group assisting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).  

KAREN—The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People’s Defense Force (PDF) claimed that nine of its members have been killed during fighting in Kawkareik since Dec. 1. It added that 30 Burma Army troops were killed and 14 surrendered. 

The KNLA and PDF stated that it controls over 60 percent of Kawkareik. Most civilian homes in the town have been destroyed. Many weapons have been reportedly seized from the Burma Army.

BAGO—The families of political prisoners said that at least 30 have been killed during interrogation in Bago Region’s prisons since 2021. At least 19 of the political prisoners are from Paungde, six from Shwedaung, five from Nattalin, and one from Okpho townships.

The majority of the deaths occurred at the end of 2023 and the beginning of this year. Family members have been hesitant to speak out in fear of arrest. Prison authorities have recently informed relatives of the political prisoners’ deaths and have yet to return the bodies. 

SAGAING—The Burma Army accused the PDF of abducting 285 students and education workers during fighting at Kalay University on Monday, regime media reported. The NUG claimed that the PDF rescued 140 of them. 

“The military used the teachers and students as cover during the fighting, so our PDF saved them. They are now in safe places,” said Maung Maung Swe, the deputy secretary at the NUG Ministry of Defense. Fighting between the Burma Army and the PDF in Kalay Township started in February. 

YANGON—Over 100 youths on buses traveling to Arakan State were detained by the Burma Army at a checkpoint in Shwepyitha Township on Feb. 20. Some were released after being interrogated for one week, but they were prohibited from continuing the journey to Arakan.

“They are barred from going back to their villages, leaving the rest of their families anxious about their well-being,” a mother, whose daughter was among those recently released from detention, told DVB. Most of those released from detention were women. The location and number of those still being detained remains unknown.

Free Burma Rangers Director David Eubank speaks to DVB in Karenni State. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow our Podcast.

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