End Myanmar Junta’s Airstrikes

March 29th, 2024  •  Author:   Progressive Voice  •  7 minute read
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“It is a misconception that aviation fuel is used to transport humanitarian aid including children’s vaccines in Myanmar. In reality, it only fuels more airstrikes.”

Khin Ohmar, Chairperson of Progressive Voice

Unabated in its war of terror, the Myanmar military junta has increased its deadly, devastating airstrikes, made possible by the ongoing international supply of aviation fuel. In response, Myanmar’s people are urging the international community, particularly the UN Security Council (UNSC) and ASEAN, to put a complete end to the junta’s access to aviation fuel. If the world truly wants to see peace and stability in Myanmar, the UNSC and ASEAN—along with the wider international community—must fulfill their responsibility to protect civilians in Myanmar and coordinate to impose and enforce a comprehensive embargo on aviation fuel imported into Myanmar.

Without a doubt, the military junta’s deadly airstrikes are enabled by the global supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar, to which the junta has great access and which it eagerly diverts to bomb civilians. Between February 2021 and December 2023, the junta conducted at least 1,652 airstrikes—killing 936 civilians and injuring 878—with attacks increasing exponentially at the end of 2023.

Today, the military junta continues its deadly airstrikes against civilians across the country unabated. In January and February 2024, the junta conducted 293 aerial attacks on southern Shan State, with no signs of stopping. On 22 March, the junta bombed a hospital in Bi Kin Lar Ei Village, Pekhon Township, southern Shan State, killing two people. The same day, junta airstrikes destroyed five houses and a clinic in Nang Tok Village, Pinlaung Township, also in southern Shan State. In Rakhine State, during the first three weeks of March alone, the junta killed more than 70 civilians and injured more than 100 through aerial and artillery attacks across seven townships, with some communities suffering daily airstrikes.

Furthermore, in recent weeks, at least 38 Rohingya civilians have been killed by junta airstrikes in Rakhine State. On 18 March, junta airstrikes on Thar Dar Village, Minbya Township, killed 22 Rohingya civilians, and injured at least 30 others. On 9 February, junta forces bombed Ambari Village, Kyauktaw Township, killing four Rohingya civilians and injuring 25. Two days later, junta airstrikes on Paik Thei Village, Kyauktaw Township, killed 12 Rohingya civilians and injured 16. These attacks clearly fit the military’s decades-long pattern of targeting the Rohingya and continue its campaign of genocide against them. In response to the junta’s ongoing atrocity crimes, Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, stated, “We urgently need coordinated international action to effectively sanction the sale of aviation fuel to the military and stop these airstrikes on civilians.”

It’s clear that the few uncoordinated sanctions imposed on aviation fuel suppliers—in 2023 by the by Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and in 2024 by Australia—have ultimately failed to stop the military junta, with 2023 marking a new high for its airstrikes. Amnesty International’s research shows that to evade existing sanctions, the military junta appears to be using new tactics to facilitate aviation fuel imports, such as purchasing and reselling the same fuel multiple times and obfuscating the fuel’s origin by relying on storage units.

To push for effective action against the junta’s airstrikes, Blood Money Campaign (BMC), a Myanmar campaign group, launched its Global Campaign with people across the country and the world urging the international community—particularly the UK , the US, and the European Union—to ban aviation fuel imports into Myanmar, including the entire supply chain. During the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Khin Ohmar, Chairperson of Progressive Voice, on behalf of FORUM-ASIA, made clear that there is no excuse not to heed the people’s calls: “It is a misconception that aviation fuel is used to transport humanitarian aid including children’s vaccines in Myanmar. In reality, it only fuels more airstrikes.”

Rather than make excuses, the international community must stop enabling the military junta’s killing of civilians, including countless children, and immediately take concerted, coordinated action to halt all sales, transfers, and diversions of aviation fuel to Myanmar. These actions must involve a comprehensive embargo on aviation fuel directed to Myanmar, including coordinated and targeted sanctions against all nodes of the fuel supply chain enabling the junta’s war crimes. Well-coordinated enforcement of already-imposed sanctions on aviation fuel is also urgently needed to ensure that it is kept out of the junta’s hands.

At the same time, concrete steps must be taken to end the military junta’s blanket impunity and its ongoing countrywide terror campaign against the people. In this vein, the International Criminal Court should urgently accept the National Unity Government’s July 2021 declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction to begin the process of investigating international crimes committed in Myanmar since the Rome Statute entered into force in July 2002.

The grim reality is that military junta’s airstrikes against civilians will continue unless and until the world finally assumes its responsibility to ban aviation fuel imports into Myanmar. Likewise, the junta’s terror campaign against the people will end only when the military is held accountable under international law. In the words of BMC to the international community, “Listen to us, the people of Myanmar!! We are calling for banning jet fuel exports to Myanmar military… Supplies of aviation fuel reaching the military enable these war crimes. [International governments] must stop it now.”


[1] One year following the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, the former military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar overnight. Progressive Voice uses the term ‘Myanmar’ in acknowledgement that most people of the country use this term. However, the deception of inclusiveness and the historical process of coercion by the former State Peace and Development Council military regime into usage of ‘Myanmar’ rather than ‘Burma’ without the consent of the people is recognized and not forgotten. Thus, under certain circumstances, ‘Burma’ is used.

Resources from the past week


Statements and Press Releases

ASEAN’s Continued Engagement With Myanmar Junta Risks Legitimizing Illegal Regime, Southeast Asian MPs Say

By ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights

BROUK Condemns Junta’s Airstrikes Targeting Vulnerable Rohingya Civilians in Burma’s Rakhine State, Calls for Urgent UN Security Council Meeting

By Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar: Oral statement delivered by Khin Ohmar on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)


KnHRG Condemns the Attack on La-ei Hospital in Pekhon Township, Southern Shan State

By Karenni Human Rights Group

The Human Rights Foundation of Monland Releases a New Report: “Voice Up” A Gendered Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Southeastern Burma

By Human Rights Foundation of Monland

MERHROM Appeal to the United Nations to Send A UN Peacekeeping Force to Troubled Areas to Ensure the Safety of the Population In Myanmar

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization in Malaysia

Two Years Since U.S. Genocide Determination, Rohingya Still in Danger

By Refugees International

UN Human Rights Council 55: UK Statement on Myanmar

By United Kingdom (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)

USCIRF Urges for a Path Forward for Victims of Rohingya Genocide

By U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom



Voice-Up: A Gendered Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Southeastern Burma

By Human Rights Foundation of Monland

Progressive Voice is a participatory, rights-based policy research and advocacy organization that was born out of Burma Partnership. Burma Partnership officially ended its work on October 10, 2016 transitioning to a rights-based policy research and advocacy organization called Progressive Voice. For further information, please see our press release “Burma Partnership Celebrates Continuing Regional Solidarity for Burma and Embraces the Work Ahead for Progressive Voice.”