CHRO Calls for Immediate Ceasefire Between Tatmadaw and Arakan Army (AA) as a Sharp Increase in Civilian Death and Casualties Mount in Paletwa Township, Chin State

(Yangon/Hakha – 16th March 2020):

The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) expresses its deep concern at the recent escalation of civilian death and casualty as a result of indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling of civilian populations and infrastructure in Paletwa Township, Chin State. The CHRO calls on both parties to the conflict to begin immediate ceasefire negotiations and unhindered access to conflict-affected communities.

On 14th and 15th, March 21 civilians were killed by Tatmadaw airstrikes in Meik Sa Wa. This followed the deaths of 3 civilians from Puivung (Pwee Wone) on 3rd and 9th of March as Tatmadaw fighter jets bombed civilian residences. The latest escalations have left a further 37 injured and a further 2000 internally displaced. According to data gathered by CHRO, the amount of IDPs in Paletwa Township now stands at approximately 6000. These IDPs remain without basic provisions and require unhindered humanitarian support. It is also reported that as of 16th March Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) phone communications have now been cut in Paletwa Township:

“The increasing use of civilian populated areas for military attacks and counter-attacks, including airborne raids in the ongoing fighting is alarming. Both the Tatmadaw and AA must avoid further putting civilian lives in unnecessary danger and urgently provide safe humanitarian passage,” says Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of CHRO.

CHRO reiterates the urgent need for both parties to the conflict to adhere to International Humanitarian Law by ceasing indiscriminate shelling and indiscriminate airstrikes on civilian populations and civilian infrastructure, allowing unhindered humanitarian access, immediate re-instalment of telecommunications in Paletwa Township and urgently begin ceasefire negotiations.

For media inquiries please contact:
Salai Terah, 09255934177 (Burmese)
Salai Lian, 09450687296 (English/Burmese)

Original press release.

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