Another Wave of Atrocity Crimes in Chin State: UN Security Council Must Act Now

November 5, 2021

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We, the undersigned 521 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations, call on the UN Security Council to urgently convene a meeting on the escalating attacks in Chin State, and address the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian, human rights and political crisis in Myanmar. We call for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to consolidate international action to stop the military’s violent assault against the people of Myanmar. The UN Security Council must also impose a global arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons and dual-use goods to the Myanmar military junta.

It has been nine months since the attempted coup by the brutal Myanmar military. 1,236 people have been killed and 9,667 arbitrarily detained as of 3 November, 2021. The junta has continued its violent assault throughout Myanmar, recently deployed troops and increased its attacks against civilians in Chin State, Sagaing and Magwe Regions in north-western Myanmar, while continuing its attacks in Karenni, Karen and Shan States.

On Friday 29 October, the Myanmar military began shelling the town of Thantlang in Western Chin State, setting as many as 200 houses and at least two churches on fire. Soldiers also deliberately torched houses at random.

Save the Children – whose office in Thantlang was set on fire alongside local civil society organizations including Chin Human Rights Organization – strongly condemned the recent attacks stating “the incident is further evidence of a deepening crisis in Myanmar” as the violence continues to affect large numbers of children across the country. Such indiscriminate attacks against civilians and humanitarian organizations are violations of international law and constitute war crimes.

Following the 1 February attempted coup, Chin State has been at the forefront of some of the strongest resistance to the Myanmar military junta. This has been met with fierce attacks by the military, including use of fighter jets and heavy artillery used against civilians while hundreds have been arbitrarily detained, and dozens killed. Prior to this most recent attack, approximately 10,000 residents had already fled Thantlang as the military junta indiscriminately shot into homes and set off fires by shelling in September. At the time, a Christian pastor who was attempting to put out the fires was shot dead, and his ring finger cruelly cut off and removed, along with his wedding ring. Those displaced have taken shelter in nearby villages and others have sought refuge in India. Many of those who have been displaced have been unable to access humanitarian aid as the junta weaponizes aid for their own political benefit, often blocking access or destroying it in an effort to weaken the resistance.

In early October, amid increasing deployment of heavy weapons and troops by the military junta, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged “the international community to speak with one voice, to prevent the commission of further serious human rights violations against the people of Myanmar.” The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights also warned of greater human rights catastrophe and further mass atrocity crimes amid the deployment of tens of thousands of troops stating, “These tactics are ominously reminiscent of those employed by the military before its genocidal attacks against the Rohingya in Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017.” Echoing these concerns, 29 Rohingya organizations have urged the Council not to repeat the mistakes it made in 2017 by failing to act on warnings of an impending military offensive against the Rohingya.

Since the start of the attempted coup nine months ago, hundreds of Myanmar and international society organizations have repeatedly and vehemently called for the UN Security Council to act. This includes a statement from 92 Chin civil society organizations and Burma Campaign UK, who have called on the UK as the “penholder” of Myanmar at the UN Security Council to urgently act. The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar have also called for the UN Security Council to “issue a resolution to consolidate international action towards resolving the crisis.”

Yet, the Security Council has failed to take any effective actions beyond statements. As the offensives escalate in Chin State, the UN Security Council must act before it is too late. It must convene an urgent meeting on the escalating attacks in Chin State and the overall deepening political, human rights and humanitarian crisis as a result of the Myanmar military leaders search for power and greed that has caused immense suffering. The human security risk not only threatens the people of Myanmar but also regional and thus global security and peace. The Council must immediately build on previous statements with concrete action by adopting a resolution that consolidates international action to resolve the deepening crisis, a global arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons, including dual-use goods, and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. The Council must demonstrate that it will take concrete actions to stop the junta from committing further atrocity crimes and posing further risk to human security of the people of Myanmar.

The UN must not continue to fail the people of Myanmar.

For more information, please contact:

Khin Ohmar, Progressive Voice, info@progressive-voice.org
Salai Za Uk, Chin Human Rights Organization, info@chinhumanrights.org
Tun Khin, Burmese Rohingya Organization UK, tunkhin80@gmail.com

Signed by 521 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations* including:

8888 Generation (New Zealand)
Action Committee for Democracy Development
African Great Lakes Action Network
All Burma Democratic Face in New Zealand
All Burma IT Student Union
Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
ALTSEAN-Burma
America Rohingya Justice Network
American Baptist Churches USA
American Rohingya Advocacy
Ananda Data
Anti-Dictatorship in Burma – DC Metropolitan Area
Arakan CSO Network
Arakan Institute for Peace and Development
Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia
Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
Arakan Rohingya Union
Arizona Kachin Community
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)
Asho University Students Association (AUSA)
Asho Youth Organization
Asian Dignity Initiative
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Asian Resource Foundation
Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
Association of Women for Awareness & Motivation (AWAM)
Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
Auckland Kachin Community Inc.
Auckland Zomi Community
Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation
Backpack Health Workers Team
Balaod Mindanaw
Bangkok Chin University Student Fellowship
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
Baptist World Alliance
Blood Money Campaign
British Rohingya Community in UK
Buddhist Solidarity for Reform
Burma Action Ireland
Burma Campaign UK
Burma Human Rights Network
Burma Medical Association
Burma Task Force
Burmese American Millennials
Burmese Community Support Group (Australia)
Burmese Democratic Forces
Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia (BRAQA)
Burmese Rohingya Association Japan (BRAJ)
Burmese Rohingya Association of North America
Burmese Rohingya Community Australia (BRCA)
Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark
Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand
Burmese Student Association at UCSB
Burmese Women’s Union
California Kachin Community
Calvary Burmese Church
Campaign for a New Myanmar
Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organisation
Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative
Cantors’ Assembly
CAU Buddhist
CDM Supporter Team (Hakha)
Central Chin Youth Organization (CCYO)
Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia
Cherry Foundation (Yangon), Burma/Myanmar
Chin Baptist Association, North America
Chin Baptist Churches USA
Chin Civil Society Network (CCSN)
Chin Community of Auckland
Chin Community of USA-DC Area
Chin Education Initiative (CEI)
Chin Human Rights Organization
Chin Humanitarian Assistance Team Rakhine State (CHAT)
Chin Leaders of Tomorrow (CLT)
Chin Literature and Culture Committee (Universities of Yangon)
Chin Student Union – Kalay
Chin Student Union – Pakokku
Chin Student Union – Sittwe
Chin Student Union of Myanmar
Chin University Student Fellowship – Paletwa
Chin University Students in Rakhine State (CUSRS)
Chin Women Organization (CWO)
Chin Women’s Development Organization (CWDO)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Coalition for Democracy
Community Resource Centre (CRC)
Dallas Kachin Community
Darfur and Beyond, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
DEEKU-Karenni Community of Amarillo, TX
Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
Democracy for Myanmar – Working Group (NZ)
Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization – DPW
Equality Myanmar
European Rohingya Council (ERC)
Falam Phunsang Tlawngta Pawlkom
Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
Fidi Foundation (Hakha)
Florida Kachin Community
Free Burma Action Bay/USA/Global
Free Myanmar Campaign USA/BACI
Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC)
Freedom for Burma
Freedom, Justice, Equality for Myanmar
Future Light Center
Future Thanlwin
Gender and Development Institute – Myanmar
Gender Equality Myanmar
Generation Wave
Georgia Kachin Community
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Global Justice Center
Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy
Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
Global Witness
Globe International Center
Grassroots Movement for Burma
Green Party Korea International Committee
Hakha Campaign for Justice
Hakha University Student Organization (HUSO)
Houston Kachin Community
Human Rights Alert
Human Rights Development for Myanmar
Human Rights Foundation of Monland
Human Rights Watch
Imparsial
Incorporated Organization Shilcheon Bulgyo
Infinite Burma
Initiatives for International Dialogue
Institute for Asian Democracy
Inter Pares
International Campaign for the Rohingya
International Karen Organisation
Iowa Kachin Community
Ipas
Jewish World Watch
Jogye Order Chapter of Korea Democracy Union
Justice For Myanmar
Kachin Alliance
Kachin American Community (Portland – Vancouver)
Kachin Community of Indiana
Kachin Community of USA
Kachin National Organization USA
Kachin Peace Network (KPN)
Kachin State Women Network
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
Kanpetlet University Student Organization
Kansas Karenni Community, KS
Karen American Association of Milwaukee, WI
Karen Association of Huron, SD
Karen Community of Akron, OH
Karen Community of Iowa, IA
Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO
Karen Community of Minnesota, MN
Karen Community of North Carolina, NC
Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
Karen Human Rights Group
Karen Organization of America
Karen Organization of Illinois, IL
Karen Organization of San Diego
Karen Peace Support Network
Karen Rivers Watch
Karen Women’s Organization
Karen Youth Education Pathways
Karenni Civil Society Network
Karenni Community of Arizona, AZ
Karenni Community of Arkensas, AK
Karenni Community of Austin, TX
Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY
Karenni Community of Buffalo, NY
Karenni Community of Chicago, IL
Karenni Community of Colorado, CO
Karenni Community of Dallas, TX
Karenni Community of Des Moines, IA
Karenni Community of Florida, FL
Karenni Community of Fort Worth, TX
Karenni Community of Georgia, GA
Karenni Community of Houston, TX
Karenni Community of Idaho, ID
Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN
Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA
Karenni Community of Michigan, MI
Karenni Community of Minnesota, MN
Karenni Community of Missouri, MO
Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC
Karenni Community of Portland, OR
Karenni Community of Rockford, IL
Karenni Community of San Antonio, TX
Karenni Community of Sioux Falls, SD
Karenni Community of Utah, UT
Karenni Community of Utica, NY
Karenni Community of Washington, WA
Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI
Karenni Human Rights Group
Karenni National Women’s Organization
Karenni Society New Zealand
Karenni Society of Omaha, NE
Karenni-American Association
Kaung Rwai Social Action Network
Keng Tung Youth
Kentucky Kachin Community
Korean Ashram
L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty
Los Angeles Rohingya Association
Louisiana Kachin Community
Manyou Power People
Maryland Kachin Community
Matupi University Student Fellowship
Metta Campaign Mandalay
Metta-Vipassana Center
Michigan Kachin Community
MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
Mindat University Student Union
Minnesota Kachin Community
Mizo Student Fellowship
Myanmar Advocacy Coalition
Myanmar Cultural Research Society (MCRS)
Myanmar Engineers – New Zealand
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation in Malaysia
Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
Myanmar Peace Bikers
Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
Nationalities Alliance of Burma USA
NeT Organization
Network for Human Rights Documentation (ND-Burma)
Never Again Coalition
New Bodhisattva Network
New York Kachin Community
New Zealand Doctors for NUG
New Zealand Karen Association
New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
Ninu (Women in Action Group)
No Business With Genocide
North Carolina Kachin Community
Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
Olive Organization
Omaha Kachin Community
Overseas Mon Association. New Zealand
Pa-O Women’s Union
Pa-O Youth Organization
Pennsylvania Kachin Community
People’s Initiative for Development Alternatives
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
Progressive Voice
Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)
Rohingya Action Ireland
Rohingya American Society
Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee
Rohingya Community in Netherlands
Rohingya Community in Norway
Rohingya Culture Centre Chicago
Rohingya Human Rights Initiative
Rohingya Human Rights Network (Canada)
Rohingya Organisation Norway
Rohingya Refugee Network
Rohingya Society Malaysia
Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN)
Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF)
Rvwang Community Association New Zealand
Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
Save Myanmar Fundraising Group (New Zealand)
Save the Salween Network
SEA Junction
SEGRI
Shan Community (New Zealand)
Shan MATA
Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
Solidarity for Another World
South Carolina Kachin Community
Spring Revolution Interfaith Network
Stepping Stone for Peace
Students for Free Burma
Support the Democracy Movement in Burma
Swedish Burma Committee
Swedish Rohingya Association
Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
Ta’ang Women’s Organization
Tedim Youth Association (TYA)
Tennessee Kachin Community
Thantlang Revolutionary Campaigner
Thantlang University Student Organization (TUSO)
Thantlang Youth Association (TYA)
The Center for Freedom of Information
The Pastors Fellowship
The Sound of Hope
The Spring University Myanmar (SUM)
Thint Myat Lo Thu Myar
S. Campaign for Burma
UION
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
Union of Karenni State Youth
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
Virginia Kachin Community
Washington Kachin Community
West Virginia Kachin Community
Women Peace Network
Women’s Advocacy Coalition – Myanmar
Women’s League of Burma
WOREC Nepal
Yeollin Seonwon
Zomi Federal Union (ZFU)
Zomi Siamsim Kipawlna – Myanmar
Zotung Student Society (ZSS – Myanmar)

*Note: 213 organizations’ names are not disclosed at their request due to security concerns.