Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 25 Scenes
MoeMaKa, April 26 2023
KNU’s conference held later than the regular period; A healthcare center in Pekon Township was attacked by air
Today, the news reported that the conference of the Karen National Union (KNU) has started on April 24. Due to the impact of the outbreak of Covid-19 and the military coup, KNU’s conference was also held 3 years later than it would normally be.
KNU is an ethnic armed group that has supported the NUG government, CRPH, and PDF activities in its base areas, providing combat training and assistance. On the other hand, there are still some KNU leaders who want to recognize the NCA signed by KNU in October 2015.
There are also signs of disagreement within the KNU organization on how to respond after the military coup. There is also the possibility that there will be a change in leadership at the KNU conference or that a political leadership that will completely abandon the NCA and carry out more armed attacks will emerge.
After the military coup, General Nerdah Mya formed a parallel armed force, the Kawthoolei Army (KTLA), and led the PDFs to attack the military council troops in Karen State soon after being dismissed from his position as commander-in-chief of KNDO for the incident of killing over 20 people, including women, after arresting 40–50 bridge construction workers with the accusation of being military spies.
If you look at what is being said in the media, you can find out that there are differences in opinions and responses depending on the political and military strategy within the KNU organization after the military coup. The KNU is an ethnic armed group that has built its bases in the regions bordering Thailand and southern Myanmar, and it is a region for shelter in case of emergency for those who conduct underground activities in the country.
Looking at these facts, we can conclude that the re-election of the leaders of KNU is an important event that may have an impact on the anti-dictatorship movement. The change in leadership at KNU can certainly have an impact on the anti-dictatorship movement.
Another piece of news for today is the news that the military council conducted an air strike on the Saung Phwe Healthcare Center, which was providing healthcare assistance to war refugees in Pekon Township. Recently, the military council also conducted an air strike on the Magyikan Station Hospital in Myaing Township, and now the military council attacked the healthcare center in Saung Phwe Village in Pekon Township from the air on April 25. There were casualties due to the air strike, and 3 civilians were reportedly injured.
The military council has designated hospitals and schools as places associated with the armed forces, and has continued to carry out airstrikes.
An airstrike conducted on a place where civilians are congregated, like a clinic or hospital, is definitely committing a war crime. As there are increasing attacks by the military council on targets where civilians, such as war refugees, gather, it is urgently needed for armed organizations or local administrations to take preventive measures to avoid harming civilians.