The Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) issued a strong condemnation of the Burma Army’s recent air strikes on villages in Paletwa Township, Chin State, leading to mass displacement and more than 20 deaths.
In a statement released on March 15, the second day of the attacks by fighter jets and helicopters, the CNLD said that there have been no movement of Arakan Army (AA) troops—the organization with which the Burma Army has been engaging in intensifying clashes in the region—around the villages that were targeted in the air strikes.
Pu Noe Thang Kap, chairperson of the CNLD, said that Burma Army has a responsibility to protect the people of the country but is instead attacking them, a pattern that he finds unacceptable.
“These villages are civilian villages. Even if rebels or insurgents or revolutionary men were hiding in the villages, they should not attack the villages,” Pu No Than Kap told Khonumthung News. “The government’s army must protect the people. They must avoid doing things that can cause suffering for the people. If the AA’s soldiers were hiding in those villages, the Burma Army could take an alternative approach. But they directly went to drop bombs into villages. We cannot accept it.”
He added that the use of fighter jets and combat helicopters in the civil war was “excessive.”
In their statement, the CNLD demanded that the army investigate the air attacks, pay compensation for all property that was lost and damaged, and issue and official apology to the families of the victims.
The Burma Army launched an air strike on the villages of Meik Sawa 2 and Meik Sawa 3, located between the towns of Paletwa and Samee, on March 14. In these attacks, at least 12 villagers were killed and 15 more wounded.
The attacks continued on March 15 on the villages of Wetma and Pyine Tain, also in Paletwa Township. At least 8 villagers were killed and 12 injured in Wetma, and one more killed and one more injured in Pyine Tain, according to a Paletwa Township parliamentarian.