Myanmar’s Civilian Government Calls on Neighbors to Deny Junta Jets Airspace Access

By The Irrawaddy 17 January 2023

Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG) has called on neighboring countries to stop junta warplanes from using their airspace following last week’s air raids along the Indian border.

On January 10 and 11, junta fighter jets attacked Camp Victoria, the headquarters of the Chin National Front (CNF), near the border, killing five Chin fighters, injuring many others and damaging a health clinic and civilian houses.

The NUG’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Tuesday that CNF and other sources reported seeing the jets entering Indian airspace during the attack amid claims that some bombs landed in Indian territory.

“This is not the first time the illegal junta has used the airspace of its neighbors while committing atrocities, with Bangladesh and Thailand earlier examples. Nor is it the first time that junta bombs have struck foreign soil during such air raids,” the shadow ministry said.

“The NUG calls on Myanmar’s neighbors, in the interests of regional peace and security and the protection of civilians, to block junta use of their airspace for attacks,” it said.

The statement referred to the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation of attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in resolution 2669 while demanding an end to violence.

Junta aircraft have also intruded into Thai and Bangladeshi airspace while launching airstrikes on resistance forces in Karen and Rakhine states.

International human rights watchdog Fortify Rights last week called on India to prevent junta jets from accessing its airspace and take measures to protect Chin and Indian civilians along the border.

“New Delhi shouldn’t tolerate the junta’s incursions on its airspace, and Indian authorities should do everything in their power to ensure the security of civilians and border areas,” said Matthew Smith of Fortify Rights.

Regime airstrikes last year killed at least 155 civilians and injured 187.