According to the report of the United Nations, schools and hospitals are under attack in Myanmar; NUG warns some industries under military council

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – June 27 Scenes

MoeMaKa, June 28, 2023

According to the report of the United Nations, schools and hospitals are under attack in Myanmar; NUG warns some industries under military council


In the annual report of the United Nations Secretary General, the number of attacks on schools and hospitals in conflict-affected countries around the world has increased compared to previous years, and Myanmar is included in the list of some of the countries where these attacks are taking place. Among the countries mentioned in the report are Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso and Mali, along with Myanmar.


According to the UN report, government armed groups and non-government armed groups committed half the number of attacks each. It is said that government armed organizations have prohibited travel access, denied access to humanitarian assistance, and have also participated in killings.


In many of the armed conflicts going on in Myanmar, schools and hospitals have been targeted and destroyed. Primarily, the attacks could include multiple airstrikes by the military council and, conversely, attacks by PDF forces against military council troops stationed at schools and hospitals. We have heard of similar incidents happening in Myanmar, such as attacks by armed groups against military council troops stationed at schools. Last year, during the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, the international human rights organization, Amnesty International, wrote about the deployment of troops in schools and hospitals and said that not only Russian troops but also Ukrainian troops should not station in places such as schools and hospitals. There was an incident where the person in charge on behalf of Ukraine resigned from the AI Ukraine branch.


In the background situation in Myanmar, armed forces occupy schools and hospitals, temporarily use them as camps, gather and hold meetings, etc., and the opposing groups often attack those places without giving them an exception.


As an example, if you look at the incidents at Letyetkone Village in Tabayin Township, Magyikan Village Hospital in Myaing Township, Saung Phwe self-help clinic in Pekhon Township, etc., you will see that there are many incidents in Myanmar where schools and hospitals are under attack.


About 11 children lost their lives in an incident in Letyetkone Village in Tabayin Township due to an airstrike by the military council, and in an incident in Myaing Township’s Magyikan Village Hospital, about 20 civilians from the village were arrested. Although the number is not large, there have been incidents of PDFs warning educational staff who continue to work in schools and bombing schools in order to show rejection of the teaching by the military council after the 2021 military coup. These facts can also be referred to in the report of the United Nations.


According to international rules and agreements, armed groups are not allowed to enter, occupy, use as a defensive base, or attack the premises of schools and hospitals. In Myanmar, it will be seen that most of the armed groups do not follow this point. In villages and cities, the armed forces set up camps in schools when they are closed due to regional instability, or while the schools are opened, the military council forces take security measures in the schools to prevent them from being attacked and blown up. Vice versa, defense forces and urban guerilla forces often attack and detonate schools where military council forces are taking security.


Another topic for today is the news that the NUG government has warned factory owners who are violating labor rights in cooperation with the military council and will take effective action if they do not stop.


In recent days, the military council has arrested some of the labor leaders of the Ho Sheng Garment Factory, which is operating in Yangon’s industrial zone, and no details have been released about what action will be taken or whether they will be brought to court and punished. Based on this incident, the European Union has issued a statement requesting the arresting regime to release them immediately.


A few days after this incident occurred, NUG issued a warning to entrepreneurs. Here, it is not clear how the NUG will take legal action against the factory owners, and it is assumed that they can only urge the factory owners to comply with labor rights.


On the other hand, the accusation of collaborating with the military council is not clear. The arrest of the labor leaders means that the military council is repressing the labor rights movement by linking it with the political movement, and it will be necessary to explain in detail how much the factory owners participated in the arrest.


If this is not the case, effective action against entrepreneurs could mean shooting, bombing, and assassinations, so as a government that values the law, NUG should issue a clear warning rather than a vague warning.