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Resistance commander forms new army; UN states war crimes increasing in Burma

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Resistance commander forms new army

Commander Bo Nagar announced he had reformed and renamed his resistance group as the Burma National Revolutionary Army (BNRA) on Sept. 9. The BNRA – formerly the Myanmar Royal Dragon Army – is composed of resistance groups from Sagaing, Magway and Mandalay regions. It is not under the National Unity Government (NUG) chain of command. “It was not founded for our own profit. We’ve already met and discussed this with the NUG,” said Bo Nagar. 

On Sept. 12, the NUG Acting President Duwa Lashi La announced that he and Minister of Defense Yee Mon held an online meeting with Commander Bo Nagar in May. They requested he help coordinate the local administrations, defense groups, and in the eventual reformation of the military. 

More join hunger strike at Monywa Prison

Fifty prisoners reportedly joined a hunger strike at Monywa Prison started by 14 political prisoners on Sept. 8 following a search operation conducted by the regime. All personal belongings were confiscated. 

Thike Tun Oo, the spokesperson for the All Myanmar Political Prisoners Network, told DVB that political prisoners are being denied access to medical care and demand the return of confiscated belongings. Read more here.

Regime buying Russian oil with Chinese currency

The military regime is using Chinese RMB to purchase Russian oil, regime media reported. Russia and Naypyidaw are negotiating to conduct the transactions with Burmese kyat and the Russian ruble. The agreement is being negotiated at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia Sept. 10-13. 

“We are using yuan and not rubles at this moment. But we are trying to make a kyat-ruble agreement,” the regime’s Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Kan Zaw told Russian state media outlet Sputnik. 

UN states war crimes increasing in Burma 

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the regime continues to commit crimes. “The frequency and intensity of war crimes and crimes against humanity has only increased in recent months,” said Nicholas Koumjian, the head of the IIMM investigation team. 

Naypyidaw continues to deny IIMM access to the country. The IIMM is collecting evidence of arson attacks, sexual assault, and killings of civilians committed by the Burma Army against the Rohingya in Rakhine State in 2017.

News by Region

Khin-U Township residents wade through flood waters (Credit: Khin-U Public Administration)

SAGAING—Flooding has affected 1,500 residents in Khin-U Township since Aug. 29, states a spokesperson from the Public Administration. It has distributed meals to those affected. Rain has damaged around 1,000 acres of farmland in at least 12 villages along with bridges and roads in the area. 

ARAKAN—The Sittwe Township Court sentenced two civilians to two years in prison on Sept. 11 for having alleged ties to the Arakan Army (AA). “There was no evidence of them contacting the AA,” said a relative of one of the jailed men. 

The two were convicted of incitement. Locals state that since the AA arrested a Burma Navy officer and a soldier in June 2022, the military has responded with the arrest of 21 civilians in Sittwe.

KACHIN—At least ten civilians were arrested by the Burma Army following clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Hpakant Township on Sept. 11. “There was fighting with the KIA and the People’s Defense Forces. The condition of the military was bad. They retreated and arrested the civilians on their way,” said a Hpakant resident. 

KAREN—The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) has replaced the  tactical commanders of its Brigade 4, 6 and 7.  “Some of our commanders were replaced because they exceeded the age range, but some of the former commanders will be appointed to other positions,” said Padoh Saw Kler Say, the Karen National Union (KNU) spokesperson. 

SHAN—Locals state that regime civil servants are working with brokers to sell tokens for Temporary Border Passes (TBP) at inflated prices ranging from K50,000-100,000 ($23.84-47.67 USD). The Burma-China border gates in Muse and Namkham Townships reopened Sept. 4. The gates allowed for the issuance of TBPs, permitting six-night and seven-day visits to China. 

Regime media reported that the TBPs are meant for all Burmese citizens and cost K1,000 ($0.48 USD). Immigration officials told DVB that they were unaware of the tokens being sold at inflated prices. “How could this be possible without their involvement?” asked a resident. 

Vox Pop episode 21 just dropped. Hear the conversation only on DVB English News, available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple & Google Podcasts.

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