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Over 140 civilians killed in Shan and Arakan since October; Regime calls ethnic armed groups ‘foolish’

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Over 140 civilians killed in Shan and Arakan states since October

More than 140 civilians were killed and 216 were injured in northern Shan and Arakan states in one month of fighting against the military from Oct. 27 to Nov. 30, stated the Brotherhood Alliance. The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Arakan Army (AA), claimed that the casualties were mostly caused by airstrikes and artillery. 

“There is a very big difference between the resistance side, whether it’s the National Unity Government, People’s Defense Forces, or the Ethnic Armed Organizations around the country who do a lot more to actually assist civilians and facilitate humanitarian assistance, as opposed to the military, [which] actually creates a lot of the misery and interdicts humanitarian assistance, attacks civil society and aid workers,” said David Matthieson, independent analyst on Burma, in an interview with DVB. 

MNDAA spokesperson Li Kyar Win blamed civilian deaths on the military. He added that over 50 were killed in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, while 60 others were killed in the TNLA areas of northern Shan State. Thirty civilians were killed and over 100 were injured in Arakan State. 

Regime calls ethnic armed groups ‘foolish’

Min Aung Hlaing said that ethnic armed groups should solve their problems politically during a meeting in Naypyidaw on Dec. 4, regime media reported. He warned that the country could disintegrate if armed groups continued to act “foolish” by making residents suffer “bad impacts” in conflict-affected areas. 

The regime leader accused the AA, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) of committing “terrorism.” DVB data states that resistance forces have captured 200 military outposts and 18 towns nationwide since the start of Operation 1027 in northern Shan State on Oct. 27.

Mizoram to continue supporting refugees

The incoming Chief Minister of India’s Mizoram State, Lalduhoma, vowed to continue to provide support for refugees after his party was declared the winner of state elections on Dec. 4, The Scroll reported

“The issue is humanitarian,” said Lalduhoma, the leader of the Zoram People’s Movement. He won 27 out of the 40 seats in Mizoram’s Legislative Assembly. The elections were held Nov. 7. 

An estimated 40,000 people from Burma have sought refuge in Mizoram State since the 2021 military coup. Zoramthanga, the outgoing Chief Minister, provided critical assistance to refugees. Mizoram shares close ethnic and cultural ties with Burma’s Chin State. 

News by Region

A Burma Army soldier surrenders to resistance forces in Mone of Bago Region on Dec. 4. (Credit: NUG Ministry of Defense)

BAGO—The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People’s Defense Force (PDF) seized control of Mone in Kyaukkyi Township on Dec. 4. The KNLA and PDF attacked the town on Dec. 2. All military outposts in the town were seized. A battalion commander and an unknown number of soldiers surrendered. 

KNLA and PDF fighters are currently clearing out the town. The Karen National Union (KNU) claimed that artillery shells fired by the military damaged civilian homes in the area, but the exact number of casualties in Mone has yet to be determined. 

ARAKAN—At least 146 homes were torched by the military in Yeyopyin and Khamaung Taw villages of Ponnagyun Township on Dec. 3. “There were no clashes here and they did it on purpose. We returned to our village but now we have no home,” said a Khamaung Taw resident. 

More than 15,000 residents from the two villages have been displaced and are in need of food and shelter. The military has cut off all transportation routes to Arakan State since fighting resumed between the AA and military on Nov. 13. 

KAREN—A rescue worker told DVB that there have been 4-5 civilian casualties per day since fighting broke out in Kawkareik between the military and the KNLA on Dec. 1. Airstrikes have been carried out on the town. Civilians are trapped and in need of assistance. 

“We can’t go to the gate as there are injured people. We heard shooting and cannot leave our house,” said a Kawkareik resident. The rescue worker added that rescue teams from Myawaddy, Hpa-An and Kyondoe are waiting to enter the town to provide medical assistance. 

SAGAING—The National Unity Government (NUG) stated that nearly 100 civil servants not affiliated with the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) defected to its Kawlin Township People’s Administration. 

The NUG issued an order Nov. 16 stating that it would prosecute civil servants refusing to stop working for the military regime. NUG Prime Minister Mahn Win Khaing Than announced the formation of an interim administration for Kawlin on Nov. 8. The town was seized on Nov. 6. 

YANGON—The PDF claimed that a police officer was injured after it detonated a bomb at a security gate of Thuwanna police station in Thingangyun Township on Dec. 5. “I saw ambulances going inside the station. Burma Army vehicles are conducting patrols after the explosions,” said a Thuwanna resident. 

Vote for your favorite film in the DVB Short Docs 2023 competition from Dec. 6-19. Scan the QR code and vote! There are 10 films to choose from.

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