Kathar, February (16)

The military council accused the National Unity Government (NUG) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)/ Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), as well as their allies, the PDFs, of destroying education sector and violating international law.

From February 1, 2021 to the end of January 2023, the People’s Defense Forces (PDF), under the command of the NUG, carried out 528 bomb attacks, 123 arson attacks, and 115 threats to close schools, universities, and colleges across the country, according to the military council.

In addition, 66 people were killed and 25 were injured in an attack on teachers and education staff who were teaching in schools without joining the Civil Disobedient Movement (CDM).

UN Security Council Resolution 2427 states that armed attackers must refrain from actions that interfere with children’s access to education and health services.

U Nay Phone Latt, the spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office of National Unity Government (NUG), noted that the military council’s statement is an attempt to portray themselves as good men while accusing the rest of them of being terrorists.

The military council reported on February 14, along with a photo, that KIA and PDFs built bunkers with sandbags like a military camp inside a high school in Motalay village, in Sagaing Region’s Katha Township,on January 30, to attack the soldiers.

Col. Norbu, a KIO/KIA communication official, told Than Lwin Times that staying in schools and building bunkers are not permitted according to the principles of the KIO Central Committee.

The Kachin Liberation Organization (KIO) is a powerful ethnic armed resistance force fighting with the junta army in some areas of Kachin State and Sagaing Region together with the People’s Defense Forces (PDF).

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), a group of United Nations organizations, states that the use of educational sites for military purposes is not permitted in the Guidelines for the Prevention of Military Use of Schools and Universities in Armed Conflict.

On September 16 last year, when there was no fighting, an airstrike by the military council killed 13 people, including six children, at a school in Latyetkone village, Debaying Township, Sagaing Region.

According to BNI: Myanmar Peace Monitor data, on January 31, the military council was carrying out attacks and bombing mostly on civilian communities, schools, and camps.

The military council bombed civilian villages, PDF strongholds, and ERO-controlled territories for 258 days starting on February 1, 2021, the day the coup took place, until January 25, this year, reported BNI-Myanmar Peace Monitor.

News-Than Lwin Times

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