At least 64 Chins killed by airstrikes conducted by Myanmar junta since coup クーデター後、ミャンマー国軍の空爆により少なくとも64人のチン族が死亡

Since the military coup, fighting between the military and civilian resistance forces has continued throughout Myanmar. In Chin State, where Heartship Myanmar Japan is conducting school reopenings and mobile clinics.
Here is an article summarizing information on airstrikes and casualties so far.

Introduction はじめに

Over a period of just over two years, the Myanmar junta declared martial law in areas with strong resistance and conducted targeted offensives. The fighting intensified in Kayah State, Southern Shan State, Karen State, Chin State, and Sagaing Region. To launch these offensive attacks, the junta heavily relied on air reinforcements due to the deterioration of its armed forces and the strengthening of the people’s resistance groups.


SAC junta’s air attacks since seizing power クーデター後の空爆

Since February 2021 until April 30, 2023, the SAC junta carried out at least 77 airstrikes in areas inhabited by the Chins (Chin State and Kalay District in Myanmar). These attacks resulted in the loss of at least 64 Chins and caused damage to 147 homes and religious buildings. Approximately 71.42 percent of these airstrikes occurred within the first four months of 2023 (January to April), while only 20.77 percent took place in 2022. Only 7.79 percent of airstrikes were reported in Chin State and Kalay District in 2021.


Note – Only military airplanes or helicopters that carried out attacks were included in the count. Instances where military aircraft flew without deploying bombs or firing any weapons were not included.


Airstrikes in 2021 2021年の空爆まとめ

During May 14-15, 2021, the SAC troops used fighter jets and scout planes to attack Mindat town in southern Chin State. On September 10, 2021, during the battle at Lungler village in Thantlang Township, SAC troops conducted air raids using fighter planes, damaging 34 houses and Church buildings.


Airstrikes in 2022   2022の空爆まとめ

In 2022, the Myanmar military conducted 16 airstrikes in areas where most of the Chins reside. In those 14 instances, the SAC military used helicopters and jet fighters to drop at least 25 bombs. As a result of these bombings, 5 Chin civilians were killed and one was injured, 8 residential houses, one Christian church building and a school were destroyed.


Airstrikes in 2023 2023年の空爆まとめ

In 2023, the Myanmar military intensified its airstrikes against the Chin people. Within just four months, from January 2023 to April 30, they conducted no fewer than 55 airstrikes.


Mindat Township was targeted 13 times, resulting in the dropping of 38 bombs. This led to the deaths of six innocent civilians, injuries to seven others, and the destruction of one school building, one Christian church building, and at least ten residential houses.


The SAC junta carried out three airstrikes in Matupi Township, dropping six bombs and destroying one school building.

Matupi では3回の空爆を行い、6発の爆弾を投下し、1つの校舎を破壊した。

Hakha Township experienced six air attacks with 29 bombs, resulting in the destruction of at least 17 residential houses and one Christian church building.


Thantlang township was attacked 16 times air and 27 bombs were dropped, leading to the deaths of at least 19 people, injuries to at least 21 individuals, and the destruction of 46 homes and at least three Christian church buildings.


Falam Township witnessed five air raids with 20 bombs dropped. These attacks caused the deaths of 12 civilians and one resistance member, injured seven others, and destroyed at least 10 residential houses.


Tedim Township was targeted twice, with three bombs dropped by airstrikes, resulting in the deaths of two Chin resistance members.


Furthermore, in the city of Kalay town and nearby villages where the Chins reside, the military conducted 10 airstrikes, dropped 21 bombs, and utilized machine guns from helicopters. These attacks caused the deaths of at least five innocent civilians, injuries to 3 others and the destruction of at least 17 residential houses and two church buildings.


Deaths due to air strikes  空爆による死亡者まとめ

Since the Myanmar Military staged the coup d’état (from February 2021 to April 30, 2023), at least 440 Chins have been killed, with at least 64 people losing their lives due to airstrikes which also caused injuries to at least 41 people. Additionally, these airstrikes destroyed at least 147 houses and religious buildings.


People of Webula town burying victims of airstrikes on April 10, 2023 (Photo: Citizen journalist)

People of Webula town burying victims of airstrikes on April 10, 2023 (Photo: Citizen journalist)

Offensive Attacks by the SAC junta against the Chin people 


Out of the nearly 700 battles that occurred between the Myanmar military and the Chin resistance groups, the SAC military deployed air reinforcements in at least 77 instances. Chin State experienced the third highest number of clashes in Myanmar, as numerous battles took place between the Myanmar military and various people’s resistance groups throughout the country.


Violations of International Customary Humanitarian Laws


Civilian protection is of utmost importance during conflicts. This principle is commonly expressed in both customary international humanitarian law and treaties. The continuous differentiation between combatants (SAC junta troops and resistance groups) and civilians, the proportionate use of force, humanitarian considerations (unintended side effects and deaths), protection of civil and religious structures, are typically outlined in humanitarian laws pertaining to warfare.


The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signed between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar military includes provisions such as the prohibition of landmines, the safeguarding of children, prevention of sexual violence, and promotion of gender equality.


The SAC military conducted 77 airstrikes against the Chins, resulting in at least 64 casualties, with only 10 (15%) being members of the Chin resistance groups. The remaining 85 percent (54 persons) were innocent civilians. 


This clearly indicates that the SAC military was engaging in indiscriminate attacks, failing to differentiate between civilians and combatants or between civilian structures and military targets. Such actions are in violation of Customary International Humanitarian Law.


Furthermore, by carrying out these attacks, the SAC military was also breaching the rules pertaining to civilians among the 161 rules of Customary International Humanitarian Law. These rules encompass the distinction between civilians and combatants, the differentiation between civilian structures and military objectives, non-discriminatory targeting, proportionality in attacks, precautions in attacks, prevention of harm resulting from attacks, protection of specially designated persons and objects (such as medical and religious personnel and facilities), general regulations on weapon usage, incendiary weapons, displacement, and the protection of displaced persons.


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