With 2022 coming to an end, Burma’s human rights landscape remains fractured due to the Burma Army’s constant attacks. The targeting of the civilian population has been deliberate. Patterns of their systematic and widespread atrocities are evident through airstrikes and ground attacks intentionally deployed in areas without active conflict. Their acts are part of a broader strategy by the junta to replace the support of the opposition movement with fear.
However, even nearly two years after the attempted coup, the power of the people remains unstoppable. Protests are ongoing and calls for the immediate dismantling and delegitimizing of the junta have not slowed. The bravery of human rights defenders persists even amidst moments of great uncertainty. Decades of military rule and economic turmoil have left Burma in shambles as a new generation refuses to allow a new generation to inherit the junta’s devastating policies and failure to adhere to basic human rights norms and principles.
Throughout November, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) observed an increase in the number of homes the Burma Army deliberately destroyed. Extortion of local possessions and houses is being done systematically across the country. Junta forces threatened to burn villagers’ homes and launch airstrikes following any attack that injured or killed their soldiers. The junta routinely attacks villages near mix-controlled areas in Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State. These villages are controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) and the junta.
Villagers told HURFOM that the military junta randomly shoots at nearby villages with small artillery shells daily: “We are living in between not two fires, but various fires.” The junta army repeatedly threatened to launch artillery attacks and burn down the houses and villages of local people. Now, villagers dig holes and bunkers to hide from air assaults and heavy weapons attacks. Wherever the People’s Defense Forces attack the junta troops, the junta soldiers usually arrest innocent villagers from nearby villages and extort money for their release. As a result, many villagers from Wel Kha Mi village track have had to flee their homes.
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