Press release on the Burmese military dictatorship’s airstrikes on villages in the Salween Peace Park on 27th–28th, March 2021
March 29th, 2021
On March 27th, 2021, the Burmese military carried out airstrikes in Day Bu Noh, Mutraw District, in the Salween Peace Park to demonstrate their military strength. This followed helicopter surveillance which occurred at around 3.30pm.
Two Burmese military fighter jets dropped 9 bombs and fired automatic guns from the aircraft from 7:30 pm until midnight. 3 villagers were killed in the airstrikes, 7 were badly wounded, and many buildings have been damaged.
The following morning, on March 28th at around 10am, the Burmese military carried out another airstrike in Ta Kaw Toh Baw Village, which is 12 miles north-west of Day Bu Noh Village. On the same day at around 3pm, four fighter jets flew over Day Bu Noh Village and then headed to the Salween River which runs along the Thai-Burma border. These fighter jets attacked some villages in the Salween River Basin: Mae Nu Hta and Thee Kaw Hta.
As a result of these attacks, civilians have fled into the jungle to hide. People from villages along the Salween River, including Mae Nu Hta Village, U Weh Klo Village, and Ei Tu Hta IDP Camp, have been crossing the river to seek refuge in Thailand.
Because of the breakdown of communications after the airstrikes, it is difficult to confirm the exact number of casualties and IDPs/refugees. Local news and community organizations have reported an estimated 2,500-3,000 people are seeking refuge in Thailand. Prior to the airstrikes, the military had been shelling in Karen villages for several months, causing thousands to flee. In light of the ongoing offensives and recent airstrikes, the situation is expected to worsen with more casualties and displacement.
The Burmese military, which forcibly seized power through a coup, has occupied our Indigenous territories, oppressed us, and committed numerous human violations against us for generations. We, the Indigenous people of the Salween River basin, make the following demands to the Burmese military, and to all relevant national and international groups:
- The Burmese military dictators must immediately cease airstrikes and attacks in our ancestral lands. They must immediately stop human rights violations and must remove their military camps from our ancestral lands.
- Humanitarian aid and support must be immediately provided to the displaced villagers.
- The Burmese military dictators must return the control of the country to the people, who will then work towards a federal democratic governance system that ensures equality and full self-determination rights for all ethnic peoples.
- We urgently call for international action to prevent further mass atrocities. We call for a UN Security Council resolution to refer the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court, immediately dispatch a monitoring body to Burma, and impose a global arms embargo on Burma.
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