Ko Zaw Free, 27, arrested, tortured, and killed by LIB 377 in Mark U on April 29. 

Sittway. April 30, 2020.
Myanmar soldier based in Mark U-Light Infantry Battalion 377 arrested 27 years old Ko Zaw Gree at Ngwe Taung Buck check point, an entrance of town,  at 4 PM yesterday. 

He was immediately taken to the military base and then tortured and killed. Local charity organization took his body from the military base and transported to Mrauk U hospital for autopsy exam this morning at 11 AM.

“He was very bad shape. His face was swollen and his body had many marks of wounded, beaten, and stabbed. The body was wrapped up with blanket,” said U Kyaw Kyaw, head of Mrauk U Charity Organization.

The charity worker went to the military base 377 assisted by the police to take the body back the hospital today at 11 AM. 

Ko Zaw Gree lived in Lake Sin Pyin village, Mrauk U township, and ran a motorbike repair shop at home.  

He went to the town to buy fork crowns yesterday evening and got arrested. Then the family cut off the phone connection after he was taken to the military base. 

His father in law U San Tun Pru told our news agency, “He is an ordinary man and earns from motorbike repairing for living. He has a 3 years old daughter.” 

The LIB 377 is very notorious for arresting, torturing, and killing civilians while in custody. They have arrested and killed half dozen villagers at their base.

Outgoing UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Yanghee Lee called for fresh investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity into Tatatmadaw for possibly committing numerous crimes in Rakhine and Chin states.  
myanmar-win-myint-union-day-feb12-2019.jpg (622×350)
President U Win Myaint, file photo from Google search 
Sittway. April 30, 2020.
President U Win Myint issued a statement on April 28 and said an investigation committee was formed and authorized to investigate the shooting of WHO vehicle and the death of its employee and injury of health worker in Rakhine State. 

President picked up a NLD parliamentary member as head of the committee, a former UN employee, director of health and sport ministry, and a military colonel.

The committee mandate is to investigate the incident and report back to the president.

Arakan Army rejects the investigation committee and its statement says the body is partial, and lack of creditable experts and broader participation. AA points out the committee is only to cover up the incident and true facts, destroying evidences, buying times, and scapegoating other organization for the crime. 

Indeed, the presidential investigation committee is formed internally after UN, US, INGOs, and international community called for an independent investigation on the killing of Paye Sone Win Maung and injury of Aung Myo Oo on April 20. 

Analysists and commentators have already reacted the news of formation of the investigation body and criticized the credibility of the commission and say it is  a white wash. They compare this committee as the same as many enquiry commissions the government formed. And they go on and say this commission is no doubt they will report AA was shooting the vehicle because the government and Tatmadaw have already announced and issued statements and wrote news on the state’s press and broadcasted on their TVs .  

As outgoing UN’s human rights Special Rapporteur Miss Yanghee Lee highlighted on her statement on April 29 and said ‘accountability was critical to ending the conflict’. Finding the truth is the key for this case. It can bring accountable perpetrators to justice. 

In order to find the truth, impartial and credible thirty party investigation is essential needed. 

The previous records of government show obvious doubt. First, the government ordered Tatmadaw to crash AA. Second, it allowed to use jet fighters and helicopters. Third, government arrested and prosecuted relatives of AA leaders. Forth, it classified the rebel force unlawful and terrorist organization. Fifth, government leader phrased the soldiers fighting in Rakhine and Chin as brave and good men. Lastly, it accused AA shooting the WHO vehicle. 

“It is more like a fox is given a top job to guard the chicken,” said an Arakanese politician who remains in anonymous. He mumbles, “In this committee, there is none of the Rakhine lawmakers appointed from the constituent where the shooting took place. They (government) can do whatever they wish because they have power.” 

As AA statement pointed out the credibility of the committee members, Col. Htin Lin, former minister of borer and security ministry and served in Rakhine State for 8 years, is questionable. Local people believed he was involved in certain extent of shooting and killing the peaceful protesters in Mrauk U in 2018. He is also very infamous among the local residents he might be linked with the killing and driving out the Rohingya in 2017. 

The Colonel is recently appointed as advisor to President Win Myint without proper background check.

For delivering justice to late Pyae Sone Win Maung, AA offers to cooperate with an independent and credible investigation body if there is one, aside from the presidential enquiry committee. 

Unless the truth comes, people are asking question where is the truth? Why the state is sponsoring state terrorism and protecting the murders? Is justice for only the people in military uniforms? There are no ending questions for seeking for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 
A child injured by shell sharpener in Rakhine State in 2020
Sittway: April 29, 2020.
On pitch of heavy civilian casualties and children killed, and villagers disappeared in Rakhine and Chin states under the ongoing heavy military operations, and amid UN, US, and European nations’ continuance calls for ceasefire, UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee is calling for an immediate investigation into Tatmadaw in possibly war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She said, “The Tatmadaw is systematically violating the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and human rights. Its conduct against the civilian population of Rakhine and Chin States may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” 

To do the investigation job, Independent Investigation Mechanism for Myanmar known as IIMM is responsible and has full jurisdiction of investigation and prosecution of accused, especially for officials and rebels who commit crimes after 2011 in Rakhine, Chin, and other parts of Myanmar. 

IIMM is authorized by UN Human Rights Council and formed on August 30, 2019. It can prosecute head of the state, senior generals as well as soldiers and police on the grounds for violating international laws. 

The body is headed by Nicholas Koumjian and appointed by UN Secretary General. He has good reputation of long experience as prosecutor in Bosnia, Herzegovinia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Darfur, East Timor, and co-prosecutor in Cambodia. Now, he comes to Myanmar. His experience and responsibility will play major roles of prosecuting the security forces and the government officials for committing crimes in Myanmar. 

IIMM previously said it has collected many evidences and continuing more collecttons. The body also requests everyone in Myanmar to send evidences directly to it at iimm@un.org. The report does not have to be In English. Myanmar language is perfectly fine. The evidences the body collecting are photos, written documents, voice files, videos, and other materials such as bullets and shells and etc. But the evidences must not be a copy of Facebook as secondary source but directly from the persons who do the record at the sense as original source. 

There are many evidences local human rights organizations, lawyers, lawmakers, political parties have been collecting in Rakhine and Paletwa since 2018. 

One of the local right monitoring institute, Arakan Information Center, has registered 377 civilians killed and injured including women, children, and elderlies by the government security forces since January 2020.

It seems Myanmar government does not care much about the UN calls for war crime investigation as it has already had in 2017 after a half million Rohingya were forcefully drove out of the country.

As Myanmar proverb says a blind man does not afraid the ghost,  the leaders don’t care war crimes investigation that much. They don’t even give attention on ongoing trail of ICJ for genocide and the court order of prevention measurements to protect Rohingya who remain in the country. They believe they can get away from it because State Counsellor is defending. It is in fact totally wrong. 

And, after they carefully calculated their supporters such as China and Russia, the military believes these countries can protect them at the UN Security Council. But the mounting evidences of horrible crimes cannot help the big powers to defend the crimes. 

On the side of oppressed, the news of war crime investigation, many ethnic people, largely Rakhine, swiftly react with encouragement. They feel it is impressive because at least someone is closely watching how terrible the army lawlessly killing, forced evections, and burning villages, and how immensely they are suffering. 

At one point, a young activist asks what the statement says. A Buddhist monk questions who is going to investigate the Tatmadaw. A girl working in Thailand disappointed she cannot read it in English but wants to know all about it after she reads some texts written on Facebook like war crime and crime against humanity that the Tatmadaw might be investigated.

Aside from the Special Rapporteur hankering of the war crimes, Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Myanmar, remains grossly silence. Some activists ask why she is so quiet at this critical moment of on slaughtering civilians and coronavirus attack. They believe she should speak up. 

Indeed, the calls of UN to investigate war crimes in Rakhine and Chin states gives a flicker of hope for those who are in dinger-zones and living with daily deathly bombardments and constant gunfire. 
Shell Goes through the roof and the restaurant in Mrauk U and injured two employees on April 27 
Sittway. April 28, 2020.
An artillery shell flew through the restaurant’s roof and exploded on the floor and injured two employees in Mrauk U at 4 PM yesterday.

The town residents tell our news agency the shell was fired from the military convey trucks on the highway and from the mountains near Mrauk U. 

The residents heard both artillery and gunfire near the town for 15 minutes yesterday evening. 

“It is true the shell is landed and exploded at the restaurant in Mrauk U this evening and wounded two persons,” said a local charity volunteer who wants to remain anonymous for his personal safety.

Mr. Aung Lin, a chef at the restaurant, and a female waitress (name is still in searching) were injured and taken to the hospital in Mrauk U.  

He said, “There were a number of military convey trucks heading to Minbya military based Light Infantry Battalion 540 yesterday, where Arakan Army and Myanmar army have been intensifying fighting for two weeks. When the truck passed a little bit over Mrauk U I was told they were attacked by remote landmines. That might be the cause of army firing shells and guns into the town.”

He said the soldiers and police patrolled and searched houses and travelers in the town. They also stopped cars and motorbikes on the roads yesterday. He said the military is increasing patrols in the town areas that were not seen much last year. 

According to him more refugees have been moving to the IDP camps in Mrauk U township in this summer. They are not only from the native township but they are also from Kyauktaw and Ponnaygun townships, where the military operations are increasing and coordinated with daily aerial bombing and shelling into the populated villages. 

He highlights the needs of the refugee assistances in which the most difficult for the IDPs in Mrauk U township is drinking water, foods, and medicine. ICRC and WFP provide foods to the IDPs, but the army restrictions hinder delivering enough foods to the IDP camps. 

When our news agency asked him the COVID-19 prevention measurements in the IDP camps and infected patients, he said there is no infected patient report yet. Maybe there is no lab nor machine to test and tackle the suspects, but many workers come back from China, Malaysia, Thailand and Yangon, and there must be some infected people he guesses. 

He said COVID-19 preventive measurements in the camps is almost zero. He said it may be poor management of the government or leave Rakhine IDPs behind. 

He said, “A nurse has to taking care of five villages without equipment and test kits. What we are doing now is we explain the IDPs how danger of the virus and how to wash hands. But we don’t even enough soaks and masks.”

UN, US, and international community have been calling on Myanmar government to halt hostility in Rakhine and join hands with the international community to combat the global pandemic. But it seems music to buffalo but killing more civilians as daily business of the army.
Mother of missing detainees including Daw Ni Ni Aye, son of Nyi Nyi Aung in, in Kyauk Seik and showing the IDs of their sons. 

Sittway. April 27, 2020.
Myanmar soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 550 pull out already filed police case of five detainees from the police station in Ponnaygun at 8 o'clock this morning.

The missing detainees are Nyi Nyi Aung, 24, Maung Chay, 32, Myo Min Oo, 23, Kyaw Win Than, 23 (Sittway), and Myo Min Aung, 37 (Ponnaygun). 

The army arrested 39 villagers in Kyauk Seik village on April 19. Then they were taken to the military base and interrogated and tortured for several days. All the arrested men were released a couple days later except these five villagers. 

They have been detained and badly torture in the base for one week in the military base. But the soldiers handed over the arrested to the police on April 25, two days ago.  

Their family had a chance to meet their sons and found severely tortured and compounded fracture marked on their faces, bodies and legs. 

Arakan News interviews Daw Ni Ni Aye, mother of Nyi Nyi Aung, who is among the five missing from the police station today.

Extracts

My son and his friends are covered their faces with black cloths and taken to unknown location by the soldiers from Ponnaygun military base at 8 o’clock this morning. They are forced to sit in the military truck and drove to the navy docking near the Guma Pogoda and in the Kalandan River, (two miles away from the town). Since then, they all are disappeared. 

I don’t know where my son is taken to. I worry he may be killed and dumbed into the water. 

I had a chance to meet him at the police station on April 26. His face was very wounded and his left ear was almost gone by cutting with the knife. He told me he was severely tortured and forced him to confess he is member of AA (Arakan Army). He refused to sign the paper he is AA. 

His back on the body had many stabbed holes and wounds of cutting, beating, and kicking. His right leg is almost broken and cannot walk properly. 

His eyes are very red and swollen. He cannot see clearly.

He was not given water and foods for two days. 

Police officer told us we had to hire a lawyer and they would be brought to the court on May 8. 

The soldiers forced him to tell he is from AA and participating in the landmine explosion near the Guwa pagoda on April 15. The soldiers told him he ran away by motorbike after the explosion.

My son does not know how to drive motorbike. He and my husband (Maung Shwe Nu) are working at Aye Mitta Rice Mill in Ponnaygun. They take motorbike taxi every day when they go to work. It costs 1,000 Kyat for round trip. You can ask it to the owner of the rice mill. 

He is just ordinary and hardworking son and helping us for surviving. We are very poor village people.

I want to urge government and military leaders, please do not persecute any civilian including my son. If you want to get AA, just go and get AA, but not my son nor the ordinary people.

I want to request UN and international community to help my son freedom. I want you to stop persecuting civilians. We are so much of suffering.

Summery arrests and executions over the civilians are common in Rakhine State conducted by the government security forces since the military operation has been launching, but no one has accountable for the horrific crimes. 
Our Arakan News's  chief editor fully apologizes to all readers we previously posted the news herein school teacher and villages girls were rapped and killed  in The Yet Oak, Kyauktaw, on March 31, reported by reliable source.

After we verify and get confirmation from the villager from Yet Oak we are told there were no such rapped and killed case in the village on March 31. When the soldiers searched the village, they arrested three men.

However, he said the soldiers grabbed the girls and insult with dirty words.

We also verify with the villager in Ram-Mhree island and said the photos was taken for Thangyin. We deeply sorry for those whose pictures were appeared on our news for unrelated and false.

We deeply  sorry for those whose photos were falsely published on our blog news. We apologize you  for the false news.

We will be very careful any news posted in the future and factual.

Thank you and wish you all heathy.

Chief Editor
Arakan News
Rakhine villager slept at Buddhist temple after the soldiers forced them out of the village in March 2020

Sittway. April 26, 2020.
Government soldiers storm Yae Hpyu Kan village, Ponnaygun township, at 4 AM this morning and interrogate every villager. 

This is the second time 50 soldiers from Ponnaygun based Light Infantry Battalion 550 search the village.  

They had previously seared the village on April 22 but did not make any arrest.

Charity volunteer in Ponnaygun reports the soldiers force the village chairman to call everyone in the village to gather at his house with the family registration card, a document issued by immigration as birth certificate to every household and named as family try. Then the soldiers interrogate individually.

“Yae Hpyu Kan is hosting 700 newly arriving Internally Displaced Person in the camp. They have been taking shelter since April 16 after the army launched heavy military operations in the entire parts of northern Ponnaygun and affected 10 villages,” said the volunteer who does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

The refugees come from 10 villages: Doe Tan, Nat Taung, Let Wea Sar Taik, Thae Hpyu Chaung, Hpet Kya, Kyar Nyo Kan, Thar Zay, Alay Gyun, Aung Hpyu Kan, and Kyauk Seik.

These villages are empty now and farmer cannot do farming this raining season. 

The volunteer said, “The military operation and the government security force interrupt very normal structure of civil life, food productions, and trading that have been functioning for centuries as rural and poor villagers who live with hand-to-mouth and inherent and basic survival circulation. Now, these ten villages were intentionally destroyed by the army they might have in mind that these villages were a pool for the Arakan Army to swim. It is wrong and it is war crime.” 

The same battalion that killed 8 villagers and arrested 39 villagers in Kyauk Seik searched Nat Seik two days ago. The villagers reported they destroyed grocery shops and stolen goods. 
New comer child IDP in Minbya in April 2020
Sittway. April 25, 2020.
Three brotherhood alliance issued statement yesterday and accused Myanmar army is committed war crime and conducting ethnic cleansing campaign against Rakhine people. 

The brotherhood alliance is comprised with Arakan Army, T’aung National Libration Army, and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. 

It said ‘the Myanmar armed force have continued their offensive assaults in Arakan and Chin states to have brazenly committed war crime such as waging a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.’

The alliance said it has extended a 30 days ceasefire in April to support COVID-19 preventive measurement and infection protection work in the war zones in Rakhine and in the northeast of Shan State.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba welcomed ethnic armed organizations initiation of unilateral ceasefire in mist Covid-19 threat and reiterated UN General Secretary calls for global ceasefire.  

She said, “I welcome the ceasefire already announced by several armed group in the country and call for their effective implementation.”

The Special Representative is very concerned increasing child casualties in the conflict zones. Her statement compared and said ‘the number of child killed and maimed in the first three months of 2020 already amounts to more than half of the total of killing and maiming in 2019.’ 

She also condemned the attack of WHO’s employee and health worker in Rakhine state while delivering Covid-19 suspected sample to the ministry of health in Yangon. 

 “The rate of child killed and maimed in Rakhine State has increased double in the first quarter of 2020 than the entire child causality in 2019,” Sue Aye said.

Miss Sue Aye is data analysist of Arakan Information Center (AiC) that monitors civilian casualty in Rakhine State.

She said, “Our center has registered 113 children killed and maimed in 2020, age ranging from months old to 16 years as 11 in January, 45 in February, 35 in March, and 22 in April.”

“We roughly registered 63 child causalities in 2019,” Sue said.  

With deep concern of US, UN, and European nations over the raising of violence and civilian causalities and high risk of vulnerable IDPs amid COVID-19 virus threat in Rakhine State, they called on Myanmar government for a ceasefire.

But both the government and Tatmadaw made blanket rejection and ignored the international calls for peaceful solution. 

AiC predicts more child casualties will be increased ahead of coming months unless international community steps up to halt the hostility and farce military operations.  
Kyaw Myat Tun, 31, shot and killed in Minbya, April 22
Sittway. April 23, 2020.
Government soldiers gunned down and killed two town residents in Minbya, Rakhine State, at 8.10 PM last night.

A column of soldiers about 166 yards distance from the police station and 200 yards from the town administration office and close to the city electric generator station and municipal office encountered the motorbike riding two men from opposite direction to the south while the soldiers heading to the north on the road. Then the soldiers opened fire guns to the motorbike and hit the residents. They immediately fell down on the road.

Kyaw Myant Tun, 31, married man and father of 8 years old boy, and his friend Than Tun, 31, a newlywed and local auto shop mechanic, were killed last night. 

His father U Thein Maung said, “My son got several shots on both legs and wounded badly. Both legs were crashed and all bones were broken and loosely. The wounded holes on the legs were wide and bleeding.” 

“My son did not die on the spot. The soldiers beat him constantly with the refile-buds and then stabbed by bayonets like cutting meat pieces until he died. On his body and head there were full of black-marks wound and inflammations,” he said. 

“I am very sad. This is inhumanly killing and barbaric. My son is no longer with us; he is gone for nothing. I want the truth; I want justice; I want to see the murders bringing to justice. But we are voiceless. We cannot say nothing. Where I should go to complaint this lawless killing of my son. Who will take responsibility for it,” The father said. 

 Than Tun was shot and stabbed and killed along with his friend in the town last night. His brother, Thein Tun Oo, explains how his brother was killed and what he feels about it. 

“It was over 8 PM. My brother and his friend went back to his wife residence.  He was newlywed. On the way to home, the soldiers shot them in the south side ward in town and near the electric generator compound. When we took him and his friend to the hospital, they already died.  it was about 9 o’clock," Thein Sun Oo said. 

The brother explained, “His throat was completely cut-off. His legs got very wide wounds; all bones were broken and the legs were very loosely. His face was seen very inflammatory.”  

“I am very angry. I am not satisfied for this senseless killing. I want the truth and justice. I want the leaders and the world to stop this kind of inhuman killing. It will never end; entire people will be killed like my brother if higher authorities do not stop the government security forces lawless killing. We are poor and uneducated people. We live hand-to-mouth. We need your helps,” He said.

Villagers from Naram in Minbya township reported U San Kyaw, 61, was also shot and killed in Raram village by the government security personals yesterday.

The local human rights organization reported 15 years old Rohingya boy was killed and wounded three more villagers in Sambaly Muslim village in Minbya township yesaterday.

Ezu Ali, 15, was killed and Mermud Chaphy, 14, Nihatone, 25, and Mermud Raphy were injured by gunshots of Myanmar soldiers. 

US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on his statement the US condemns WHO’s employee died by the gunshot and reiterates for ceasefire in Rakhine State. 
Red mark area is Paletwa in Chin State where 2 children and bank employee killed

Sittway: April 22, 2020
Shells fired from Paletwa based Light Infantry Battalion 289 kills three years old girl, nine years old boy, and the bank employee at 4.10 PM today.

The residents in Paletwa township heard artilleries and guns firing from the military base around 2 PM. 

Rakhine Ethnic Congress, Sitwtay based refugee documentation organization, reports the shells are landed in the backyard of Myanmar Economic Bank while they are collecting mango fruits. 

Myanmar Economic Bank is a state owned back and only has one branch in Paletwa. 

Elizabeth Moe Moe Aung, 4 years and an orphan girl, is killed on the spot. The bank security guard U Thein Soe Naing’ and and the bank employee Daw Myat Lay Nywe’s son Maung Aung Naing Win,9,  is also killed by the shell.

The shell explosion in the bank compound strikes the government bank employee Ma Ei Thandar, 25, as well. 

Nyi Nyi, a resident of Kyauktaw and friend of the bank employees, confirmed the deaths in Paletwa. 

“It is murdering the innocent children and the girl is orphan. She is gone for nonsense. Stop it. Stop killing the civilians,” He said. 

The senseless killing of children and woman in Chin State is constructed after State Counsellor Daw Aung San San Suu Kyi issued a statement and honored the military officers and soldiers for their bravery fighting against Arakan Army and defending the people and properties in Rakhine and Chin states.

Similarly, Presdient U Win Myaint said the foods were delivered to Paletwa and government was working for stability of the region and delivering effective services for the people.  

United Nations, US embassy, and sixteen INGO based in Myanmar issued separate statements and called on Myanmar government to restraint violence. 

UN and US embassy called to investigate and bring perpetrators to justice who involved in WHO’s employee dead and injury of government heath worker in Rakhine State two days ago.

Myanmar army also shot and killed a Rohungya man in Minbya township today afternoon when he was working in the farm. 
U Kyaw Khin, 71, was shot on his stomach on April 21
Sittway. April 22, 2020.
Village resident reported Myanmar army that surrounding May Lun village in Minbya township shot the guns into the village and killed a young man and wounded the elderly on April 21.

Kyaw Win Chay, 29, was killed on the spot by gunshot. Seventy one years old U Kyaw Khine was shot into his stomach.

The wounded elderly was taken to Minbya hospital for further treatment.

The dead body of Kyaw Win Chay was immediately buried in the village after the soldiers refused to transport it to the hospital in Minbya for post mortuary exam. 

Myanmar army and Arakan Army have been fighting in those areas for two weeks. Score of  civilians are killed and wounded.

The WHO vehicle was shot and killed the driver and injured the health worker two days ago near Ra-Maung Bridge in Minbya. 

Another vehicle of antiseptic solution supply was shot and killed the diver and wounded the codriver yesterday near the bridge. in Minbya.
Facebook photo of CPS vehicle attacked in Minbya on April 21
Sittway. April 22, 2020.
A vehicle carrying antiseptic solutions was shot and its driver killed and wounded the codriver yesterday afternoon on the same parameter where WHO’s staff shot and killed and wounded the government health worker on April 20.

The vehicle owned by CPS pest service company was heading to Sittway from Yangon yesterday. The car was shot near the Ra-Maung Bridage in Mibya township, Rakhine State. 

This is second time COVID-19 related vehicle was shot in Myanmar. The driver U Yin Yin Maung was killed on the sport and wounded codriver Maung Hin Htet. 

The codriver was taken to Minbya hospital for medical treatment.

The head of local human rights organization that monitors COVID 19 outbreak in Rakhine Said, “I assume Myanmar army is intentionally attacking the COVID 19 related vehicles and health workers because the army wants our people die by the coronavirus infection whereas they believe massive Rakhine population are infected and then killed will make the army to win the war against AA as Aung San Suu Kyi has ordered the army to crash it.”

He continues, “When they are losing the war in Rakhine, they target all kinds of civilians for revenge including the WHO staffs and now again over attack on Antiseptic Solution supply vehicle.” He does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

None of the organizations has yet claimed responsibility of yesterday deathly shooting. 

United Nations Secretary General condemned the WHO’s staff violent death and urged to bring the perpetrator to justice. 

US embassy in Yangon issued a statement and called all parties to halt hostility and enter for meaningful dialogue.

Arakan Army and Myanmar army has been fighting near Ra-Maung bridge and Pha Pho village in Minbya township since last week. Score of civilians are killed in those territory. 

Note Passing: Arakan News copies this statement from Aarakan Army Net and posts it on our Arakan News blog to inform the world for more facts and details. For more information, you are advised to contact to ULA/AA at arakanarmy@protonmail.com 

ULA/AA
April 22, 2020

Two staffs of the WHO shot by the Checkpoint of the Myanmar Army at the front of Ra-Maung bridge in Minbya township and among those two staffs the UN-WHO driver killed. 

Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity, Myanmar Army has been intensifying their offensive assaults to blatantly commit war crimes such as killing civilians, shelling villages, arresting innocent villagers and torching villages amid the whole world grapples with the spread of COVID-19.
Although the UN Secretary General called for a global ceasefire in all corners of the world so that global coordinate response can be taken to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the call was rejected by the Myanmar Army and their full-fledged operation in the use of excessive military force is continued to attack the Arakan Army.
The Arakan Army has extended another thirty-days-long ceasefire from April 1, 2020 till April 30, 2020, with the aim to facilitate the prevention and combating of COVID-19.

The continued intense battle occurred for the whole day that the Myanmar Army had launched their offensive attack with 280 troops towards our stronghold in 1 km far away from the South of Hpa Pyo village in Minbya township at 8:52 am on 20 April 2020. It is learnt that the female troops had also engaged in combats due to the shortage of the male fighting forces in the Myanmar Army. The Myanmar Army suffered some losses during their offensive assaults. There was only sporadic fighting after 16:00 pm.

At 17:40 pm, among the many passenger cars the WHO car with two staffs requested the military checkpoint for a Ra-Maung bridge pass. Those WHO staffs were travelling on duty by carrying Swab sample from Coronavirus suspected patients to Yangon.

When the WHO staffs crossed the bridge after having received permits from the Myanmar soldiers at the Checkpoint, the Myanmar soldiers who gave the permit opened gunfire behind the car and other Burmese troops from left and right side of the road also shot the car. As a result, those two staffs were critically injured. In addition, their car engine stopped by the roadside. It has been for a long time that the Burmese troops have stationed in the factory by the roadside. This incident happened in the area of the Myanmar Military base.
The Arakan Army saw a well-marked United Nations vehicle by the roadside soon after this incident happened and rescued those two WHO staffs pulling out of the car. After that, the Arakan Army provided and treated them with First Aid and we transferred them to Minbya Hospital with help of local residents there.

By shelling of the Myanmar Army troops from a mountain hill near Hpa Pyo village, Kyein Range and the front of Ra-Maung bridge, artillery shells were exploded in Min village at 11:45 am, in Htaung-Shey village at 13:15 pm and in Myeik-Nar village at 13:30 pm. As a result, one innocent villager was killed and other five villagers were injured. The Myanmar Army fired artillery into the villages for the whole day on 20 April 2020.

According to follow-up news, it is learnt that among two WHO staffs the WHO-car driver U Pyae Sone Win Maung passed away of gunshot wounds at midnight at the Minbya hospital and the other staff U Aung Myo Oo who is being treated at that hospital got moderate injury. The bullet shot by the Myanmar Army hit the body of U Pyae Sone Win Maung.

If the staff with gunshot wounds and the places on the car hit by the bullets are checked, it can be clearly seen that the injuries and damages were caused by the bullets of the Myanmar Army. At the time we rescued U Pyae Sone Win Maung, he got shocked by over bleeding.

The causes of the death of the WHO-car driver and the injured of other one are only related to indiscriminate shootings from the Ra-Maung bridge Myanmar Military Checkpoint, other Myanmar troops from left and right side of the road and the Myanmar Military stronghold stationed in the factory by the roadside in Minbya township and the incident is totally unrelated to our organization. This is a deliberate and heinous act of the Myanmar Army.

Along with family members, the United League of Arakan/ Arakan Army is deeply saddened for the loss of U Pyae Sone Win Maung, WHO staff, 29-year-old, son of U Win Maung Oo.

Concerning those two WHO staffs, our info desk of the Arakan Army published news at 23:05 pm on 20 April 2020. ( Please see the link: An hour later after we published this news, the state-own MRTV broadcasted it with misinformation and full of lies. Similarly, two hours later after we published that news MOI Webportal Myanmar posted it in a rush with false accusations against us. We strongly condemn the heinous act of state-owned information agency for launching a misinformation and smear campaign to accuse, blame and shift the Myanmar Army’s war crimes on the ULA/AA.
Such smear campaign by state-owned information agency is not only trying to cover up war crimes committed by the Myanmar Army but also working in tandem with the Myanmar Army’s propaganda machine to impose the blames of the Myanmar Army on our organization.

Info-Desk
Arakan Army




Mr Paye Sone Win Maung body taken to Sittway hospital to exam on April 21
Sittway. April 21, 2020.
Medical doctors found the bullet inside the body of late U Paye Sone Win Maung after post mortem exam at Sittway hospital today evening that military spokesperson said. It needs independent verification.

U Paye Sone Win Maung was staff and driver of WHO and worked in Rakhine State for over two years and killed by the gunshot on Ramoung bride yesterday.

Military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said the bullet is 7.62x32 mm and inside the body of WHO driver staff. He went on accusing AA for accountable, but no independent sources nor medical doctors who examined the body released a statement out of it. 

Myanmar Red Cross brought late U Paye Sone Win Maung body to Sittway hotial to examine this afternoon. 

Local charity and coordinated with ICRC also bring the wounded health worker U Aung Myo Oo via Pauktaw after Minbya to Sittway this afternoon. He is admitted at Sittway hospital for further treatment. 

According to the residents in Sittway, security is tighten at the hospital, and no one is allowed to see the patient at this moment. 

A friend of the pass-away staff from WHO, who keeps her name unmentioned for security reason, said, “We got contact with Pyae Sone Win Maung 10 minutes before they got shot. He called me and said they got permit to go. He said his boss told him to shop at a secure village and sleep out there overnight. It was about 5 PM.”

She said, “I lost connection with him for a while; I kept calling him; the phones kept ringing, but got no answers.” 

“About 6.30 PM, we got connected with U Aung Myo Oo and villagers. He told us the villagers and health department workers from Min Wra village took them to Minbya hospital. At that time, U Pyae Sone Win Maung was already unconscious,” She said. 

She said, “The villagers and the health worker told us at first the shell was fired to the bridge and landed near the car; immediately after it the automatic weapons fired directly to the car for several minutes. Then the bullets hit Pyae Sone Win Maung and the health worker.” 

 “For a while they were laying down with wounded in the car that slid off the main road. Later on, AA members found them bleeding and unconscious. AA treated them and called the villagers to help. The villagers then carried wounded men with the stretchers to the end of the bridge. After that the health workers and the chairman from the villages joined and took the patients to Minbya hospital,” She said.

“There are not only two wounds in U Pyae Sone Win Maung body. There are several wounded marks on his back and in the head when I saw him before he was taken to the hospital to exam. He was a good friend of mine and had known each other for over two years,” She cried. 

UN office issues a statement today and flies the UN flag a half mast at the office in Yangon to show sadness and respect for their fallen colleague. The UN office said it was “deeply sadden to the confirmed death of Mr. Pyae Sone Win Maung." 

“The WHO colleague was driving a marked UN vehicle from Sittway to Ynagon transporting COVID19 surveillance samples in support of the Ministry of Health and Sports,” the statement said. 

The UN said it is seeking the further information on the circumstances of the incident. 

Myanmar government accused AA for the incident. But AA stated in their statement the government soldiers near the bridge shot the WHO vehicle. 

UN driver Paye Sone Aung died in Minbya on April 21

Sittway. April 21, 2020.
Myanmar's Ministry of Information released news and published it on state owned media that United League of Arakan and its armed wing Arakan Army shot the World Health Organization’s transportation car, UN 5/34, and wounded WHO’s  driver and health worker near Ramaung Bridge in Minbya townhop at 5 PM yesterday. 

Arakan Army statement released on yesterday said government soldiers shot the UN car when World Health Organization (WHO) was carrying blood samples from suspected patients of coronavirus at Sittway hospital.

Rakhine State does not have the lab to test the coronavirus infection but in Yangon.
Health worker Aung Myo Oo
There must be the truth laying behind these accusations by both conflicting parties who shot and killed the UN driver and injured the health worker. To discover the truth, independent investigation unit and experts shall be allowed to investigate the incident in order to find the truth and bright perpetrator (s) to justice. Otherwise, the family of suffered and injustice that unfairly experience done over the victims will never satisfy. Then the justice becomes meaningless and peace is potential to replace with violence. 

Here who say what and the extracts:

Arakan Army

Among the many passenger cars waiting to cross Ramaung Bridge, the UN car with two staffs and belongs to WHO registered and granted permit from the soldiers at the checkpoint near the bridge at 5.40 PM. The staffs were carrying blood sample from coronavirus suspected patients. 
After  staffs got permits from the soldiers, they crossed the bridge. When they were crossing the bridge, the soldiers who gave the permit opened fired the guns behind the car.  The staffs were critically injured.
Their car was fallen down to the roadside. 
Arakan Army found the two critical injured men one hour after the shooting and rescued them and then took to secure locations to further treatment. We will release more details after we receive more information. 

Information Ministry

Information Ministry learned that ULA/AA terrorist shot WHO car with UN tag while carrying blood samples of coronavirus suspected and wounded two civilian staffs in Minbya township. 
The driver’s left side bum and arm were hit by bullets. The heath worker’s palm was scratched. The village heath department took the wounded men to Mibya hospital for further treatment. The UN damaged car on the road side will be taken back on April 21.

Paye Sone Maung at the hospital
Our news agency learned the UN diver U Paye Sone Maung, 28, passed away today at Minbya hospital. 

The health worker U Aung Myo Oo has still been treated at the hospital since yesterday.

A reliable source close to incident told us the AA team rescued the UN driver and the health worker yesterday.

The source who does not want to mention his name for personal safety said,  “The WHO car driver is Karen ethnic and the health worker is Rakhine. The driver was found with the very critical condition and unconscious at the moment when the AA fighters rescued them.” He continues, “AA will release the video for the wounded UN staffs and its  rescue efforts” 

It is unusual Ministry of Information headed by both Rakhine minister and deputy minister released the statement at this time instead of Office of Commander in Chief of Myanmar Armed Force that usually releases news and statement for this kind of urgency.   
Bullet went into Paye Sone Maung's back