Over 55,000 Civilian Homes Torched by Myanmar Regime Since Coup

By The Irrawaddy 15 February 2023

Myanmar junta forces including pro-regime militia have burned down more than 55,000 civilian houses nationwide since the 2021 coup, said Data For Myanmar, an independent research group.

In total, 55,484 homes across the country’s 14 states and regions were torched as part of the military regime’s arson campaign between February 1, 2021 and the end of January 2023.

Resistance stronghold Sagaing Region suffered the most arson attacks, with 43,292 houses burned, followed by 8,863 in Magwe Region and 1,484 in Chin State, according to Data For Myanmar’s report.

The research group said that it used reports from the media, rights groups and refugee organizations to calculate the number of homes destroyed.

However, the actual number of houses torched may be higher than the reported figure, as many regime arson attacks have yet to be verified and recent data from Kayah State is currently not available.

Several resistance strongholds have experienced a recent escalation in junta arson attacks, following the regime’s imposition of martial law in 37 townships in Sagaing, Magwe and Bago regions and Chin and Kayah states.

The Myanmar military has ignored calls from the international community to end all violence and release political prisoners.

Instead, it has continued to commit atrocities including burning people alive, the arbitrary torture and killing of civilians, extrajudicial killings of resistance detainees, using civilian detainees as human shields, artillery and airstrikes on residential areas, looting and burning houses and acts of sexual violence.

Since the February 1, 2021 coup, the junta has killed at least 2,989 people and arrested more than 19,000, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group that monitors deaths and arrests by regime forces.