By Kantarawaddy Times
Thursday, February 8, 2024
A prominent Karenni human rights group has vowed to seek justice for the five victims killed during regime airstrikes in western Demoso Township on February 5.
“This is one of the most serious human rights abuses committed by the military council. We will never forget or forgive them for this incident and we will find the perpetrators and hold them accountable,” U Banyar, the founder of Karenni Human Rights Group (KnHRG), told Kantarawaddy Times.
Three jet fighters attacked a middle school in Daw See Ei six times, dropping 500-lb bombs and firing machine gun fire at the school. Among the victims were 4 students between 12 and 14. The attack left at least 15 civilians with injuries, including a kindergarten student. Some of them are in critical condition.
On the same day, a jet fighter also attacked a high school in Loi Nanpha, killing a civilian and injuring 5 people who were displaced by previous fighting, and two teachers. Another school and a clinic was attacked by other planes that dropped 500 lb bombs the same day.
Banyar said the military junta intentionally bombed civilian targets to terrorize the children.
A statement by the Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC), in which Banyar serves as the second secretary, condemned the brutal attack on the school, calling it a serious human rights abuse that violated international humanitarian law. According to the Rome Statute, it’s a war crime, the statement said. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) states that “every child has the inherent right to life”.
According to the IEC, this latest attack on children demonstrates that SAC doesn’t respect international laws and intentionally violated the Geneva Convention. It urged the National Unity Government and the UN, as well as the international community, not to ignore this travesty and to take action against SAC immediately.
KnHRG has reported that the airstrikes destroyed a church, 6 school buildings, 5 civilian homes, and a vehicle.
“Jet fighters attack schools while students are attending class. This is the first such incident in Karenni State after the military coup: the first time that so many students are killed and many students injured in the same place,” Banyar said.
KnHRG wants international governments to implement an arms embargo against selling fuel to the military council.