HURFOM Weekly Update: Targeting of Civilians by the Junta Increases in Tanintharyi Region

May 20, 2024

HURFOM, Third Week of May 2024

The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) is deeply concerned over the escalation of attacks by the Burma Army against civilians in the Tanintharyi region. In the last week alone, aerial and ground attacks increased in Yebyu and Tha Yat Chaung, which forced more than 100 people to flee, including pregnant women and children.  
In areas like Kanet Thiri, Gone Nyin Sate, Thae Lan, Chaung Wa Pyin, Sone Sin, and Se Taw, where revolutionary forces are fighting to take control, the junta has launched marine and air strikes, forcing thousands of residents to flee.

Intense fighting has been ongoing in Pae Duk and Kyauk Sal between junta troops and revolutionary forces, compounded by airstrikes from the junta. War relief organizations have received and assisted over 500 people, with a total of more than a thousand people fleeing to nearby villages and towns.
In Tha Yat Chaung Township, the situation is worsened by military unrest, rain, strong winds, and intense heat, all of which are negatively impacting the health of the refugees. Among the more than 500 people who fled the war, a woman and an 80-year-old man were injured during a junta attack on their home.
Since May 7th, there have been a series of guerrilla attacks in Ka Laing Aung, Yebyu Township. On the 10th, a battle broke out between the junta and revolutionary forces outside Zinba village. Due to artillery fire and air raids by the junta, innocent civilians continue to leave their homes to seek refuge. Supplies for newborn babies, rice, and food products are urgently needed for those displaced from Zinba village.
On 16 May, HURFOM condemned these attacks and demanded attention and accountability for the forgotten crises unfolding in the Tanintharyi region. Local organizations, including ethnic human rights and humanitarian aid groups and emergency health responders who have gained the trust of local civilians, must be supported with funding and resources to ensure that material and monetary assistance reaches those most in need. Contributions of food and medical relief would ease the stress of communities struggling to survive.
In addition, junta forces in Mon State have increased their surveillance operations in most conflict areas, mainly targeting townships with active resistance forces. Villagers reported that helicopters from the Southeastern Command in the capital, Mawlamyine, conduct nightly fly-overs.
Planes hover over several townships, including Thaton, Bilin, Mudon, Thanbyuzayat, and Ye. These operations usually occur late at night, between 11:00 PM and midnight, with helicopters flying low enough to be heard but not seen in the dark. These recurring flyovers have contributed to widespread anxiety and fear of local people.

The launching of attacks by the junta has killed and injured innocent civilians. A 55-year-old farmer, U San Tun, from Mokanin village, Mon State, was severely wounded by indiscriminate artillery shelling from the junta’s 317th Artillery Battalion. On the evening of May 11, U San Tun was returning from his rubber farm when he was struck by shrapnel.
He sustained serious injuries to his shoulders, back, and hands. U San Tun was initially taken to Lamaing Hospital and transferred to Mawlamyine Hospital for surgery on May 12th.  The community remains on high alert due to ongoing military attacks.


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