On December 24, 2021, Light Infantry Battalion 108 under the command of Light Infantry Division 66 of the terrorist military junta which is trying to seize power illegally, launched an offensive clearance operation near Moso Village in the western part of Hpruso Township in Karenni State, and arrested approximately 40 innocent villagers including women and children. They then put them in vehicles while they were handcuffed behind their backs and burned them alive, intentionally committing a massacre. Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) has released an emergency statement on these atrocity crimes.
Since May 20, 2021, nearly half of the Karenni population of 150,000 people have been displaced and became internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to brutal human rights violations, including artillery shelling, burning, violent crackdowns, torture, arbitrary arrests and killings by the military junta’s troops in Karenni State. More than 652 houses and buildings have been destroyed, and hundreds of innocent people have been killed.
We, the civil society organizations, strongly condemn the actions that amount to international crimes perpetrated by the military junta in Karenni State and we will stand with Karenni People to get justice. A similar massacre took place at Dontaw Village in Salingyi Township in Sagaing Region on December 7 where 11 innocent civilians were burned to death. Before this, the terrorist military junta has been the perpetrator on three occasions where at least 40 people were massacred in three different inhumane incidents in Kani Township, Saging Region in July. We are worried that these kinds of inhumane actions will continue to happen.
While the atrocities were being committed in Karenni State, since December 15 the terrorist military junta started to shell using heavy weaponry at Lay Kay Kaw and surrounding areas in Karen State and later with the use of airstrikes, as jets bombed the area indiscriminately. This has displaced more than 10,000 innocent civilians, half of whom fled to Thailand to take refuge. Some Thai villagers also had to relocate for security reasons as some houses on the Thai side of the border were destroyed by artillery shells fired by the terrorist military junta.
The terrorist military junta continues to perpetrate such inhumane criminal acts against people across the country including those in Karenni and Karen States, as they were not held to account for the international atrocity crimes they committed for decades and justice has not been brought. These acts of the terrorist military junta cause extremely high levels of human insecurity and suffering for the people.
Therefore, we urge the United Nations Security Council, Secretary General and international community to immediately respond and take action as follows so that the terrorist regime led by Min Aung Hlaing is effectively punished.
To impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar so that the weapons and technology does not reach the terrorist junta;
To refer the situation of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC); and
Impose targeted sanctions on the terrorist military junta as well as their businesses and their cronies’ businesses to cut the flow of money to the terrorist junta.
Progressive Voice is a participatory rights-based policy research and advocacy organization rooted in civil society, that maintains strong networks and relationships with grassroots organizations and community-based organizations throughout Myanmar. It acts as a bridge to the international community and international policymakers by amplifying voices from the ground, and advocating for a rights-based policy narrative.