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Human Rights Group Urges International Accountability for Junta’s Bombing Schools in Karenni State

The Karenni Human Rights Group (KnHRG) strongly condemned the Junta’s deliberate airstrikes and shelling of schools in Karenni (Kayah) State as a war crime, and urged international action to hold the coup regime responsible.

On the morning of February 5th, Junta forces launched attacks on two schools in Daw Si Ei and Loi Nan Pa villages in Demoso (Deemaw Soe) Township, employing airstrikes and shelling, killing 5 individuals, among them 4 children, and leaving over 20 others wounded, including a preschool-aged child and 2 teachers.

“When faced with setbacks, the military regime often resorts to destroying the efforts of other groups when its own systems fail. In Karenni State, with none of its functioning mechanisms left, the Junta has begun attacking schools—a deeply inhumane and unacceptable act. These actions flagrantly violate international law and constitute war crimes. We stand firm in condemning the Junta’s blatant disregard for human rights”, Banyar Khun Aung, director of KnHRG said.

During the press conference following the United Nations Security Council’s closed-door discussion on Myanmar crisis on January 5th, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations, U Kyaw Moe Tun, stated that the international community must effectively prohibit the importation of plane fuel to the Junta if they wish to prevent similar incidents of attacks on schools in Karenni State.

Locals reported that the two schools deliberately targeted by the Military Council were not constructed by the resistance forces in the aftermath of the coup. Instead, they were longstanding village schools established prior to the coup.

The Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC) accused the Military Council of perpetrating these unethical attacks under the illusion, that escalating the damage inflicted on civilians, would deter the resistance forces.

The IEC also highlighted the Junta’s disregard for numerous objections raised by various organizations and its ongoing violations of international human rights and children’s rights.

Daw Zue Padonmar, No. 1 Secretary of IEC, affirmed that despite the threats posed to students’ right to education by the Military Council’s attacks on schools in Karenni State, IEC remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the ongoing flourishing of educational opportunities.

“In the aftermath of the coup, despite near-daily clashes in Karenni State, IEC endeavored to organize independently to safeguard children’s right to education. However, with the recent attacks on two schools, sending children to school has become a daunting challenge for parents, as the safety of their children is now compromised. Nevertheless we refuse to succumb to their brutal tactics and we are determined to uphold and foster educational opportunities in Karenni State”, she told KIC.

The Military Council has denied carrying out airstrikes on schools in Karenni State, accusing both local and foreign media of intentionally spreading false information only to harm the country.

IEC, KnHRG, and Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) have vehemently condemned the Military Council’s airstrikes and shelling, urging the international community to take decisive actions against these egregious acts constituting war crimes.

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