4 February 2023 /

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The Kani Massacre

Coup Leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said: ‘There is nothing he won’t dare to do.’ The military council’s troops have shown their abhorrent acts by committing the mass killings of 40 locals in Kani Township in Sagaing Region. This massacre is neither the first nor the last for the coup leader who has not won any respect from the public yet since the coup.

The Myanmar Peace Monitor’s weekly review mainly focused on the Kani massacre committed by the coup leader and his cohorts.

Kani township Overview

Kani Township is located in Myanmar, Sagaing Region, it is a township in Yinmarpin District. It is 50 miles wide from east to west and 41 miles from south to north. Kany is divided into three wards; It consists of 45 village tracts and 188 villages.

To the north by Minkin and Yay Oo townships; To the west by Minkin and Gangaw townships; It borders Pearl and Yinmarpin townships to the south and Butalin and Depayin townships to the east. Related cities were prominent in the revolt against the military council. The Chindwin River flows through Kani Township from north to south.

The western part of the Chindwin River is rugged with mountains and hills, and the eastern part is a plain with many rivers. Mahu Mountain Range, Pong Taung ၊ Letpadaung located in Kany Township and connected from south to north, according to the 2019 General Administration Department. Near these mountains, refugees and still occur battles. It also became the township site of several tragic massacres during the Myanmar Spring Revolution.

Why did the Kani massacre occur?

After the brutal crackdown, arrests and killings of the people who defy the military coup and the military dictatorship, the people across the country formed the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) for their self-defense. The PDFs are resisting the terrorist military council’s troops.

Among them, local PDFs in wards and townships in Sagaing Region are prominent. Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) in Karenni State, the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) and the township People’s Defense Forces in Kachin State are prominently revolutionizing the terrorist military council’s troops, during the Spring Revolution. Similarly, the townships in PDFs in Sagaing Region could prominently carry out resistances and ambush attacks.

According to the list collected by the Myanmar Peace Monitor, fighting between the terrorist military council’s troops and the township PDFs took place for 46 days, in 15 townships of Sagaing Region from May 7th to August 9th. Kani Township saw the second most encounter after Kalay Township which shares a border with Chin State.

Like Kani Township, Minkin and Pale Townships are the second most resistance against the terrorist military council troops. Airstrikes on the PDFs in Mindat Township of Chin State bear witness to coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s terrorist troops’ brutal crackdowns on the areas which saw the strong resistance.

The Kani massacre

Fighting between the military council’s troops and local PDFs took place in Kani Township on July 7th, 9th, 15th, 23rd and 26th as the military council’s troops carried out area clearance operations since July 8th. As the terrorist military council’s troops entered the villages and indiscriminately arrested the civilians by accusing them of being PDF members, villagers had to flee to safer places. But all villagers did not escape from the hands of the terrorist military council’s troops. On July 11st and 12nd, the bodies of 16 civilians were found in the forest about one mile from Yin village in Kani Township. Local witnesses said the victims are the villagers from Yin, Konetha and Htaukkyantgone villages in Kani Township and Paluzawa village in YayU Township.

On July 28th, the corpses of seven civilians were found in the forest to the west of Zeepindwin village in Kani Township. Locals who cremated the victims said the victims were two people aged over 60, a person with disability and four people aged between 18 and 30. On July 29th, the corpses of five unidentified civilians were found in the forest to the west of Zeepindwin village.

On July 30rd, the corpses of 12 civilians were found in the forest near Taungpauk (east) village in Kani Township. The witnesses told the media that the victims were two from Khotwin village, seven including a 14-year-old child from Thayattaw village and three from downtown Kani Township. In the Kani mass massacre, up to the corpses of 40 civilians were found.

According to local eye witnesses, it is difficult to excavate the buried bodies as the terrorist military council’s troops planted the mines. The victims are not the PDF members. They are just locals who flee the brutal killings of the military council.

Give protection to the unarmed people

The NUG’s Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN U Kyaw Moe Tun sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antoni Guterres about the mass killings of civilians in Kani Township. He also sent notification letters to the President of the UN General Assembly and permanent representatives.

U Kyaw Moe Tun said efforts were being made to take action against coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and his cohorts about the massacre through international courts as the country faces the military coup and the coup-wrecked judicial system. Brutal crackdowns carried out by the terrorist military council’s troops led by Military Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, are also found in Karenni State.

According to the Kantarawaddy Times based in Karenni State, the corpses of four civilians were found on Sanpya-6th Mile village in Demawso Township where the terrorist troops were stationed on July 11st. On June 15th, Kinma village where more than 200 houses in Pauk Township in Magway Region was set on fire. Around two-thirds of the village was burnt down.

Some elder people died in the arson. During the military coup, more than 965 people were killed and more than 7,000 detained by the terrorist military council’s troops. A total of 32 people died during the interrogation, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). According to the RFA’s news coverage, there were reports of at least 30 cases in which the security forces informed the families of detainees to bring the corpses back one day after the arrest.

Like the Kani massacre, military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s terrorist military council troops committed the killing of 11 civilians in Indin village in Maungdaw Township in Arakan State during the tenure of the NLD-led government in 2017. The military first denied the Indin (Enden) massacre.

Later, it had to confess to the massacre. Currently, the military is facing a trial with Gambia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague in the Netherlands. In addition, the military killed 18 villagers in Tinma village in Kyauktaw Township during the fight with the Arakan Army (AA) and set Tinma village on fire. It can be said that the terrorist military council’s troops killed many civilians under the heading of area clearance operation.

The similar events committed in ethnic areas like Shan, Kachin and Karen State since many decades, have gone unreported. The army’s brutal crackdowns, arrests and killings and massacres become more evident during the Spring Revolution. Regarding the military council troops’ arrests, interrogation, tortures and killings of civilians, Major Hein Thaw Oo who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) said: “The army will not hesitate to commit such cases. They are doing it more evidently.”

U Aung Myo Min, the NUG’s Union Minister for Human Rights said: “We are working to take legal actions against those who committed the offenses, to vindicate the fact that we could do it in the history and to prevent and avoid the similar cases.”

Review

It is found that Military Chief Min Aung Hlaing and its cohorts have not released any information about the mass killings in the villages of Kani Township in Sagaing Region yet. The terrorist military council alone knows whether it is trying to hide the massacres by spreading erroneous news like in the Kinam arson in Magway Region or to make accusations against the PDF members like the killing of civilians in Chanmyathazi Township in Mandalay Region.

Military Chief Min Aung Hlaing and its cohorts issued fabricated news, saying that they had nothing to do with the youths who showed the fact that jumping from a building is better than being captured and tortured by junta forces on 44th Street in Botahtaung Township in Yangon on August 10th.

To sum up, it will be fair for those who lost their lives during the Spring Revolution only when the terrorist military council troops are held accountable and responsible for all offenses committed against the public.

It is found that some people are allegedly plotting to assassinate U Kyaw Moe Tun living in the US, who sent a letter to the UN about the Kani massacre. We need to keep a watchful eye on Coup Leader Min Aung Hlaing’s words ‘There is nothing he won’t dare to do’. It is reviewed that no one can guarantee that the army will not commit cases like the Kani massacre. So, the international community like the UN should impose arms embargo on the terrorist military council led by Military Chief Min Aung Hlaing and urgently mediate the Myanmar crisis.

PART II

What Happening in this Week?

Chin State

An old woman died and two others, including a pregnant woman, were injured, due to the terrorist military council troops’ indiscriminate firing of small and heavy weapons into the villages in Hpalan Township on August 9th and 10th. And some villages were detained, according to a statement by the Chin National Defense Force (CNDF). Mindat-CDF announced that it would offer a Ks-five million reward each to the police and soldiers who cooperate with it and help them move to other countries. Around 1,000 people were displaced by the fighting between CDF-Mindat and Kanpetlet and the military council’s troops in Kanpetlet Township in the southern Chin State in July. The IDPs camps are in need of rations due to the transportation difficulty.

Arakan State

According to the statement by the Burma Campaign UK, up to 300 Arakan Army soldiers began the occupation in Letma (Muslim village) in Minbya Township on 24th July. The Arakan Army had ordered villagers to pay extortion money. The family and relatives of 12 villagers who refused were illegally detained and kept imprisoned in a Mosque without food. A month-old baby died. According to the statements by the MrukU Township Islamic Religious Affairs Council and Minbya Township Islamic Religious Affairs Council, at the invitation of village elders, the AA entered Letma village to detain those who steal cows and buffaloes in the villages in Minbya and MraukU Townships. The AA troops did not tortured Muslims.

Six Chin CSOs in Arakan State issued a statement that they protested against the appointment of Chin ethnic U Tin Hla as the Arakan State Ethnic Affairs Minister by the terrorist military council’s caretaker government. U Tin Hla does not represent Chin people as he is not elected by Chin people in Arakan State. The IDP camp opened in the compound of the Buddawmaw monastery where 275 people are taking shelter, are in need of assistance as it has been three months the IDPs do not receive rations provided by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. The IDPs want to go home. They do not dare to go home due to the danger of mines and the presence of troops near the village.

Karenni State

GZ-21-PDF based in Karenni State made an ally with the Taunggyi PDF, and it would revolutionize the terrorist military council under the guidance of the CRPH and the NUG, according to an announcement on August 10th. Fighting took place between a combined force of the KNPP/KA and the KNDF and the military council troops in Loikaw and Bawlakhe Townships in July. In August, there were frequent fighting in Bawlakhe, Phruso and Phalkhone Townships. On August 9th, fighting continued there, and resulted in the deaths and injuries of soldiers, according to the KNDF’s statement. The number of those who tested positive for COVID-19 at Loikaw IDP camp has reached 22. The IDP camp has no oxygen for emergency patients. Local medical officers and nurses have to provide care to them, said an official of the Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC).

Kachin State

Four locals including two children were injured in Mohnyin Township due to the indiscriminate shooting by the terrorist military council’s troops. Two villagers who were abducted by the terrorist military council’s troops as human shields from Lawah village in Hpakant Township were released. The terrorist military council’s troops arrested six staff from Bugar electricity office in Waingmaw Township, for no apparent reason. A young man died in Mitone village in Mansi Township of Bhamo District after stepping on a mine planted by the terrorist military council’s troops.

The people at the IDP camps in Kachin State have caught COVID-19 virus. So far, the total number of people who died of COVID-19 at the IDP camps has reached five. In his message sent to the Kachin Martyr Day which falls on August 10st, the KIO Chair said it had decided to uproot the military dictatorship and was carrying out systematic attacks in cooperation with the allies, Bamar people and organization in terms of politics and military.

SHAN STATE

Fighting took place between the terrorist military council troops and the Kokang (MNDAA) in Pang Hseng of the northern Shan State, killing five soldiers of the military council including the second in command. Due to the fighting, around 500 locals fled to safer places. A local was injured in a fighting between the military council’s troops and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Namkham Township. A bomb blast occurred near the office of Military Security Affairs in Namkham Township on August 9th. Some villagers were injured in the fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and a combined force of the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)-TNLA took place in northern Shan State.

Both the RCSS/SSA and the SSPP/SSA are carrying out the recruitment of new soldiers in northern Shan State. Light Infantry Battalion-41 demolished ten houses and took materials on the Lashio-Tantyan road. Around 700 people at the IDP camps in Hsipaw Township are in need of rations and medicines. The Shan Students’ Union announced that it would temporarily stop work helping the IDPs in northern Shan State due to the life-threatening warning by an unidentified armed organization. Fighting continued between the terrorist military council troops and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) in Phalkhone Township in the southern Shan State.

South Eastern Myanmar (Mon, Karen and Tanintharyi)

A bomb exploded near the fire brigade camp in Taungbone village in Yay Township of Mon State. Fighting is taking place between the military-based Border Guard Force (BGF) and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in the KNU-Brigade-5. The terrorist military council’s troops and the BGF members are active, using local women as protection, the KNU said. On the morning of August 8th, a 50-year-old man was found dead with gunshot injury to his head, in Innzauk village in Launglon Township in Taninthayi Region.

Upper Myanmar (Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing)

Fighting took place between the terrorist military council troops and the Shan-ni Nationalities Army (SNA) in Homalin Township of Sagaing Region. On August 8th, the SNA ambushed a military convoy in Helphet village. Fighting is taking place between the Pale PDF near Kantdaunt village in Pale Township. Local PDF carried out mine attack on a military convoy of the terrorist military council troops near Saipyin and Kyi villages in Depayin Township. Two military vehicles were damaged and at least 30 members of the military council, injured in the ambush attack. The military council’s troops shot nearby villages and set some villages on fire. Due to the army’s shooting, more than 6,000 villagers have fled to safer places. One police member and one soldier were killed in a bomb attack at the inspection gate at the entrance to Kawlin Township.

There were bomb explosions near the Budalin Township General Administration Department and the police station at the same time. The terrorist military council’s troops abducted five family members including a pregnant woman in Tone village in Minkin Township, for no apparent reason. The formation of the Yaw PDF representing the entire Yaw territory was announced. On August 4th, Naga Region People Liberation Group was secretly formed in Naga region.

On the morning of August 8th, two bombs exploded near Magway Military Airbase on Magway-Kanpyar Road. On August 9th, two soldiers deserted from the terrorist military council troops stationed in Kyaukhtoo village in Gangaw Township. The military council’s troops tried to arrest a protest leader in Pikethin village in Myaing Township by car. But he could run away. But a villager was shot dead.

The inmates staged a protest inside the Obo prison in Mandalay. Mandalay University Students Union issued a statement, expressing their concerns for political prisoners who staged a protest. As a parcel bomb exploded in Mogok prison on the evening of August 7th, the authorities tightened security and inspected all parcels and letters. The terrorist military council’s troops arrested five local youths from Toegyigone and Letpangone villages in Pyin-Oo-Lwin Township, accusing them of being the PDF members.

Lower Myanmar (Yangon, Bago and Ayeyawady)

Two bombs exploded near the Kyimyindaing Township General Administration Department in Yangon, injuring some members of the terrorist military council troops. An unidentified person shot at No.53 ward administrator office in South Dagon Township. A bomb explosion occurred while they were removing the vinyl reading the Fascist Military, on a motorbike. One soldier was killed and one injured in the bomb explosion.

Five young people who jumped from an apartment building on 44th Street in Batahtaung Township died as they tried to escape the brutal junta forces.

Around 20 wards and village administrators under the terrorist military council in Htantabin Township in Bago Region, resigned from their posts. Htantabin Township PDF welcomed their resignation and warned the rest to resign.

On the evening of August 8th, the secretary of Zeegone Township NLD and his friend were arrested in Pyay. Family members of the detainees have not got any contact with them. It is still unknown where they are being detained.

National Unity Government

  • NUG send welcomed letter for ASEAN special envoy appointment
  • We need to create a chain of command and unify under one flag: NUG defence minister
  • NUG release a statement that there were over 350 clashes and conflict in JULY
  • NUG Minester to UN Envoy Threatened in New York
  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s case rescheduled again by court

The Military Council

  • Military Leader order to produce Covid -19 vaccines in country
  • Military calls up retired minister
  • Junta seeks militia help in fight against PDFs in Shan State
  • The military council says the plot to assassinate Kyaw Moe Tun was an internal US affair
  • Military council removes Aung San Suu Kyi’s belongings from government house

International Arena

In the second week of August, there emerged the news about an alleged plot to assassinate Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the UN U Kyaw Moe Tun. The US government detained two Myanmar citizens for their involvement in the alleged plot to assassinate him and has launched an investigation into it. The US ambassador to the UN denounced the possible assassination against Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun. At the same time, the UN said it welcomed the US government’s investigation into it.

Thai government said it was ready to cooperate with the US government after the news emerged of the involvement of an arms dealer in Thailand in the assassination attempt. The U.S. State Department announced it was providing more than US$ 50 million in humanitarian aid to more than 700,00 Myanmar citizens. China said it would transfer US$ 6 million to the military council to fund 21 development projects.

The Japanese government has called for the release of all detainees being arrested arbitrarily in Myanmar and provide full support to the newly-appointed Asean special envoy. Local and foreign analysts and the world superpowers said the Asean Special Envoy should meet all important persons including the State Counsellor, the President and the National Unity Government (NUG) in addition to the military council.