Myanmar’s democratic journey ended more than a year and a half ago with the overthrow of the democratically elected government. Since then, the Southeast Asian country has been plagued by political instability. The country’s junta government is cracking down on pro-democracy activists.
In addition to this, the military government often conducts airstrikes to suppress the separatists. And these attacks were carried out mainly by warplanes made by Russia. Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based media outlet, reported this information in a report on Saturday (July 30).
According to the report, Myanmar’s junta government has been accused of using Russian-made Yak-130 fighter jets to attack civilians. This Russian built fighter has ground attack capabilities.
- The London-based human rights organization “Myanmar Witness” recently reported this information. This human rights organization collects, verifies and presents evidence of rights violations in Myanmar.
- The London-based organization says it has been able to verify the Myanmar junta’s use of unguided rockets and 23mm artillery against civilians in built-up areas.
- In their report published last Friday, this human rights organization says, “Myanmar Witness has verified the fact that the Myanmar government has repeatedly used Yak-130 model warplanes to attack pro-democracy activists. During the investigation, the use of Yak-130 in populated and civilian areas of Myanmar came up.
- The latest Russian-made Yak-130 model has documented ground attack capabilities. In recent incidents, videos shared on Facebook last month showed at least one Yak-130 flying in the sky and firing unguided rockets at targets on the ground.
- A second video also shows at least one Yak-130 model fighter jet performing and firing about 18 rockets.
- The attacks against civilians are said to have taken place south of Myawaddy town in Myanmar’s southeastern Karen province.
- Ethnic armed groups in the area have long fought for autonomy and are providing training and support to civilian militias established to fight the February 2021 coup.
- Myanmar Witness has geolocated (identifying the geographic location of a person or device through digital data processed over the Internet) those two videos. The organization says the videos were recorded just 200 meters from the Thailand-Myanmar border.
The London-based human rights group also verified an airstrike in February this year
At that time, a Yak-130 fighter jet participating in the operation was detected in the western area of Loikaw, Kayah Province, near the Thai border in eastern Myanmar.