Thantlang Town Burns – Rohingya Alliance Warns UN – Don’t Repeat Failure of 2017

Recent warnings, the Burma Army was building a large strike force in the country’s west - Chin State, Magway and the Sagaing regions - became a brutal reality for citizens of Thantlang Town when the army fired rockets destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of civilians.

Salai Za Uk Ling, a spokesperson with the Chin Human Rights Organization said in a statement.

“The destruction of civilian property, carried out wantonly and justified by any military necessity represents war crimes and grave breaches of international humanitarian law.”

The CHRO said clear non-military targets were destroyed by the Burma Army – churches, orphanages, schools, homes and surrounding villages by incendiary rockets.

The CHRO named Lt Col. Thaung Hlaing, the Chief Military Commander, responsible for ordering the “wanton destruction of the town.”

The Chin Human Rights Organization urges in its statement for “urgent action by the U.N. Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to address the situation in Chin State.”

A statement released on 1st November by an alliance of 29 Rohingya community organizations “joined forces in calling on members of the United Nations Security Council not to repeat the mistakes it made in failing to act on warnings of an impending military offensive against the Rohingya in 2017.”

The Rohingya Alliance statement said the Burma Army operation in Chin State was a grim reminder of the 2016 attacks on Rohingya villagers and the glaring failure of the UN to prevent the carnage.

“After the military offensive against Rohingya civilians in 2016, it was clear that further attacks were likely only a matter of time, but despite warnings of genocide and calls for UN Security Council action as soldiers massed ready for attack, no action was taken. The Security Council failed us.”

The Rohingya Alliance pointed out the current build-up of troops, munitions and supplies mirrored what “happened in Rakhine State against Rohingya in 2017.”

Rohingya Alliance warned the international community “the Chin people are at extreme risk of a large scale military offensive and would face similar human rights violations as we faced, including, rape, torture and killings, and the burning and looting of homes, businesses and religious buildings.”

The Karen National Union released a statement offering its support and sympathy to the Chin people following the Burma Army burning of Thantlang Town and attacks on its civilians. The KNU explained the the Burma Army destruction and attacks on civilians was a reminder of the ‘four-cuts operation’ used to burn down 3,000 villages, including churches and schools and forced out over one hundred thousand Karen from their homes.”

The KNU said the Burma Army has continued to attack civilians and destroy property across the country. The KNU said it stood with the Chin people and it condemned the “Burma Army’s extreme brutality against unarmed civilians and stood together with our brothers and sisters from Chin State to uproot military dictatorship and authoritarianism.”

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