London, UK – The 23 October air bombing of a concert in Hpakant, Kachin State, that killed 60 people demands an immediate and harsh response from the international community. The concert was part of a celebration of the anniversary of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Large parts of the crowd and those killed were civilians. Many more were injured.
“The Burmese military knows exactly what they are doing, and we have no doubt this bombing was widespread and systematic attack on civilians, which is clearly a crime against humanity. The junta’s goal remains to terrorize the people and demoralize support for any resistance to their illegitimate rule. This horrifying act is one of the most brazen since the coup, and the international community can no longer sit on their hands while these atrocities occur. The response must be immediate and devastating to the criminal regime,” said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
The attack comes just days before a meeting is scheduled in Indonesia where ASEAN ministers are to discuss a five-point plan which the junta agreed to last year to resolve the conflict in Burma. The Tatmadaw has recently increased its attacks on civilians and should be denied any legitimacy by ASEAN or any other international body. This attack is clearly defying the five-points plan and disregard the efforts of ASEAN leaders.
The junta maintains its power through the flow of cash and weapons in the country. The international community must cut their access to these two assets as much as possible. Military interests must be severely sanctioned, and the international community must take greater action to pressure countries to stop providing weapons to the Burmese military. The international community must also consider how to better support the people of Burma in their struggle against the military. No moral nation can remain neutral in a fight between a genocidal military dictatorship and a civilian population. International accountability mechanism cannot protect civilians from airstrike. This is the duty of international community to step in to protect the civilians from being butchered by the junta.
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
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