Myanmar Spring Chronicle: Education Staff Detained; Deadly Shelling Rocks Sittwe Market

Myanmar Spring Chronicle: Education Staff Detained; Deadly Shelling Rocks Sittwe Market

Published by MoeMaKa on February 29, 2024

In a concerning development, dozens of education staff were reportedly detained following an attack on Kalay University, mirroring a similar incident that occurred at Loikaw University last year. The joint forces of the Chin National Front (CNF), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and People’s Defense Forces (PDF) launched an assault on military council troops stationed at Kalay University, resulting in the evacuation of over 130 students and teachers from the conflict zone. This echoes the previous incident in Loikaw, where hundreds of university staff were detained and subsequently released after several days of investigation by the Karenni State Interim Executive Council.

Criticism has arisen over the arrest of non-Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) university employees and students, with some viewing it as a violation of international standards. Meanwhile, in another incident, the vice-rector and two professors of Dawei University of Technology were arrested by the Ba Htoo Army (BHA) in Dawei, Tanintharyi Region, drawing condemnation from various quarters, including the Democracy Movement Strike Committee (DDMSC). Calls for the immediate release of these detainees underscore growing concerns over the treatment of civil servants by revolutionary armed groups.

In a separate tragic development, at least 10 people were killed and 20 others injured when heavy artillery shelling, believed to have been fired by the military council’s navy, struck a market in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State. The attack, which occurred amidst escalating violence in the region, has raised alarm over civilian casualties and the indiscriminate targeting of non-combatants.

The incident has sparked speculation that the shelling may be retaliatory in nature, aimed at civilians suspected of supporting the Arakan Army (AA) during clashes with the military council in Rakhine State. The deliberate targeting of residents underscores the broader pattern of violence and intimidation employed by the military council to quell dissent and maintain control in conflict-affected areas.

As clashes continue to escalate across Myanmar since the onset of Operation 1027 last October, concerns mount over the rising toll on civilian lives and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the protracted crisis. Amidst growing humanitarian challenges and human rights abuses, calls for international intervention and diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of the conflict resonate ever louder, underscoring the imperative for sustained action to uphold peace, justice, and stability in Myanmar.

 

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