Why Is Myanmars Air Force Bombing Civilian Targets

Why Is Myanmars Air Force Bombing Civilian Targets

Myanmar’s Political Landscape

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian nation bordered by Bangladesh, China, India, Laos and Thailand. It has been ruled by a military junta since 1962. The junta has long been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including the use of arbitrary detention, torture and extrajudicial killings. Since 2011, Myanmar has been transitioning to a more democratic form of governance and has seen some degree of reform. However, the country continues to struggle with deep-rooted political and ethnic divisions, as well as ongoing armed conflict between the military and various rebel groups, most of which are seeking autonomy or self-determination in their respective regions. In recent years, the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) has been accused of targeting civilians in its air strikes, a tactic that is widely condemned and in violation of international law.

Violations of International Law

The use of air strikes on civilian targets is a violation of international law. According to the Geneva Conventions, any attack that is “directed against the civilian population or individual civilians” is prohibited. The United Nations has also established a set of principles known as the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which includes the obligation for states to protect their citizens from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. It is therefore the responsibility of the Myanmar government to ensure that its military does not carry out such attacks.

Myanmar Air Force’s Campaigns Against Civilians

Despite these international obligations, the Myanmar Air Force has been accused of targeting civilians in its air strikes. Reports from local media, human rights groups and UN officials have documented a pattern of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas in various parts of the country. In some cases, the MAF has reportedly used cluster munitions, an internationally-banned weapon, in its air strikes. The MAF has also been accused of using air strikes to target ethnic minority groups, including the Rohingya, Kachin and Shan.

The Impact of Civilian Bombing

The bombing of civilian targets by the MAF has had a devastating effect on the population of Myanmar. Thousands of civilians have been killed or injured in the air strikes, and many more have been displaced from their homes. The destruction of civilian infrastructure has had a significant impact on the ability of people to access basic services and to rebuild their lives. Furthermore, the targeting of ethnic minority groups has exacerbated existing tensions and further undermined the country’s fragile peace process.

Reasons Behind the Air Strikes

The reasons behind the MAF’s campaigns against civilians are complex and multi-faceted. One factor may be the government’s desire to maintain control over certain regions of the country. Local media reports suggest that air strikes have been used as a means of intimidating ethnic minority groups and preventing them from organizing politically or participating in the peace process. In addition, the MAF may also be seeking to punish perceived enemies of the state, such as rebel groups or political dissidents.

International Response to the Air Strikes

The international community has condemned the MAF’s bombing of civilian targets and called for an end to the attacks. The UN Security Council has repeatedly expressed its concern about the situation in Myanmar and has urged the government to investigate reports of civilian bombing. International human rights groups have also called for an end to the attacks and for the perpetrators to be held accountable.


The bombing of civilian targets by the Myanmar Air Force is a serious violation of international law. It has had a devastating effect on the population of Myanmar, with thousands of civilians killed or injured and many more displaced from their homes. The reasons behind the attacks are complex and multi-faceted, but the international community has been united in its condemnation of the MAF’s actions and has called for an end to the attacks.

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