KNU Urges the World to Intensify Sanctions Against The Junta for Targeting Schools

The Karen National Union (KNU) has called on the international community to escalate sanctions against the Military Council, due to its ongoing airstrikes in the Mutraw (Hpapun) District, where the KNU's 5th Brigade is based, resulting in the destruction of schools and residential homes.

On September 7th, the Military Council conducted air raids in Luthaw and Dweiloe subtownships within Mutraw District, where schools and religious buildings were deliberately targeted, leading to the tragic loss of a teacher and four students, KNU stated.

Padoh Saw Kale Say, spokesperson for KNU declared, “The destruction of schools within the 5th Brigade’s territory via airstrikes suggests a primary goal of undermining our young generation’s right to education, in order to disrupt the efforts of our Karen Education and Culture Department (KEDC).

The Junta’s deliberate targeting of civilians and conducting airstrikes constitutes flagrant war crimes, prompting the KNU to call upon the United Nations, the international community, the international justice system, regional organizations like ASEAN, and international human rights organizations to implement more robust and stringent measures against the coup Regime.

Following these airstrikes, residents from approximately six villages have been forced to flee and seek safety.”
The locations struck by the airstrikes were Theythukhi village in Khaypu village tract within Luthar, Kawrawbawhta village in Lemupalaw village tract, and Htikawhtar village in Narkokhi village tract in Dweiloe. Tragically these airstrikes have left a female teacher, five students, and one villager injured, according to KNU.

During the Military Council’s airstrikes on September 7th, several structures were destroyed, including a school building, a student dormitory, a church, a place of worship, and at least ten residential houses.

Saw Nanda Hsue, the spokesperson for the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG), an organization dedicated to monitoring and documenting human rights abuses in the southeastern regions of Myanmar, emphasized that,” the regime’s deliberate targeting of schools as a military tactic, represents a grave violation of human rights. There is an urgent for strong measures and sanctions to be directed at the regime.

He continued, “Attacking schools, students, and educators is a direct assault on the fundamental right to education and constitutes a violation of children’s rights. Targeting schools, residences, healthcare facilities, and places of worship meets the criteria of war crimes, and is a blatant defiance of universally accepted humanitarian laws. Those responsible for such actions must face accountability and appropriate consequences”, he told KIC.

Since orchestrating the coup in early 2021, the Military Council has carried out violent assaults on 24 schools in southeastern Myanmar, with records indicating the complete destruction of 37 educational structures as a result of these attacks.

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