January 2024: Violence Against Civilians Sees No Signs of Abating as Homes are Destroyed and Indiscriminate Attacks Target Local Populations in Southeastern Burma
The human rights situation in Southeastern Burma has continued to deteriorate as civilians are routinely forced to flee. Their villages have turned into battlegrounds, and where generations of homes once settled into a safe community have now led to separated families and widespread uncertainty. In addition, unmet needs on the ground are growing daily. In target areas of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), including Mon State, Karen State and the Tanintharyi region, our documentation indicates that while the junta is losing significant battles and bases, they are retaliating by increasing their attacks against an unarmed, innocent population.
As the third anniversary of the failed coup nears, HURFOM is all the more concerned about the lack of accountability that the Burma Army has faced. For decades, the regime has acted under orders to kill, torture and detain people in pursuit of power and fear. While the conditions are becoming more challenging, the people of Burma have resisted with immense courage and conviction. Civil society leaders and organizations have not slowed their activities, even in the wake of war zones. They are risking bullets with their bravery to ensure women, children, the elderly, and families receive medical care, food and nutritional items, as well as hygiene kits. Many of these efforts are led by predominantly women and locally led and trusted organizations with decades of experience working on the ground.
Among the most worrying observations across January 2024 was the ongoing intensification of violence in Mon State. HURFOM had previously released a statement of concern which noted the steady increase in attacks by the Burma Army in December. Since 1 February 2021, we have reported that at least 67 people have been killed, 160 injured, and more than 90,000 have been forcibly displaced. The lack of action and response by the international community prompted HURFOM Program Director Nai Aue Mon to call for urgent and immediate humanitarian assistance, adding: “For too long, the military junta has evaded accountability for the widespread crimes against humanity. Justice is long overdue.”