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Myanmar fell into conflict and chaos a year after the coup

In the days after Myanmar’s military took power on February 1 last year, millions of people took to the streets to protest the takeover, quitting their jobs in what has become a lasting civil disobedience movement across the country. nationwide and against the murderous violence of the military.

A year later, the Southeast Asian nation was mired in conflict, its economy crippled, war spread to every region, and public institutions fell into disrepair. Peaceful protesters were shot down, suspects were tortured and thousands of civilians were killed.

The original daily rallies, loud and colorfulhas been replaced by an eerie quiet.

To mark the anniversary of the coup, protest leaders called for a “silent strike” on Tuesday, urging people to stay home, close their shops and stop outdoor activities during the day. six o’clock. The authorities have released leaflets warning that participants will be charged with terrorism, incitement and violation of electronic communication laws. Dozens of people were arrested.

The regime has sown hatred that it cannot consolidate control. Hundreds of armed rebel units have sprung up across the country and a shadowy National Unity Government – headed in part by ousted elected officials – has been formed to help lead the faction. opposed to the government.

“Since the early days of the coup, when protests were concentrated in cities, conflict has spread to the rest of the country,” said Khu Ree Du, a spokesman for the National Defense Forces. Karenni, one of many armed groups against the military. “The shape of the conflict will be more intense next year because what the Myanmar military has done is unforgivable.”

As part of the coup, the military arrested more than 100 elected officials, including the country’s top civilian leader, 76-year-old Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She faces 173 years in prison on 17 charges that her supporters say were covered up. She used to sentenced to five counts hitherto.

But Senior Lieutenant General Min Aung Hlaingcommander-in-chief of the army and coup leader, seems to have underestimated the public’s disdain for him and his generals, who responded with a vicious crackdown.

According to the United Nations Office for Human Rights, Junta forces have killed at least 1,500 civilians either during peaceful protests or during raids on homes and businesses. The Human Rights Office says nearly a fifth of the deaths – at least 290 – occur while the victims are incarcerated and are often due to torture.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in remote areas in military raids on towns and villages, sometimes using heavy weapons, artillery and air strikes. More than 8,800 people who opposed the regime were jailed.

Padoh Saw Hla Htun, spokesman for the Karen National Coalition, another ethnic group for self-rule, said: “The Myanmar military has used extreme force and air strikes in many areas. “They target civilians. Now they are making war all over the country and trying to rule the people with fear. The army turned Myanmar into a failed nation within a year.”

In a statement Monday, President Biden denounced “unspeakable violence against civilians, including children,” and denied humanitarian access to millions in need of aid. born.

Addressing the people of Myanmar, Mr. Biden said: “We have not forgotten your struggle. And we will continue to support your courageous determination to bring democracy and the rule of law to your country.”

For decades, the military has battled many ethnic groups in Myanmar but has never gained complete control over areas on the northern periphery of the country. Now, fighting has reached all parts of the country, and in some areas newly formed anti-regime units are fighting alongside armed ethnic groups.

In recent months, the authorities have lost control over more territory, including in Chin and Rakhine states, the Sagaing region and the Magway division. In an audio recording leaked to local media, a security minister in the Magway area last week told military officials that the military had lost control of half a dozen counties in the region. He blamed the rebels’ popular support and their effective use of guerrilla tactics.

“As you all know, the government must be able to exercise its power over the people,” said the official, Colonel Kyaw Kyaw Lin.

Yanghee Lee, a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, called the military’s overthrow of the civilian government a failed coup because the regime was unable to consolidate power. What the country is witnessing now is a “nationwide democratic revolution”, she said.

“Min Aung Hlaing tried to take power over Myanmar on February 1 last year,” she said. “A year later, he still hasn’t made it. Why did he fail? Because the people of Myanmar have resisted”.

With the military hitting civilian targets in the countryside, more than 400,000 people have been displaced from their homes. International aid group Save the Children reports that at least 150,000 children are among those displaced, and many are living in makeshift homes in the jungle, where they are vulnerable to hunger and disease. .

In the weeks following the coup, pro-democracy protesters begged for help from the international community. Many signs say “R2P” or “Responsible for Protection”, referring to 2005 United Nations doctrine affirms the responsibility of states to protect their people from serious crimes.

But they soon disappoint.

The United Nations Security Council, which includes Myanmar’s allies Russia and China, did not intervene. And the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member, has been ineffective in stopping the violence.

Human rights groups have called on the international community to cut arms supplies to the military, eliminate cash flow to the regime and end the military’s punitive status by prosecuting generals in the Criminal Court the International.

In January, oil giants Chevron and Total came under pressure and announced the withdrawal plan from a natural gas field off the coast of Myanmar, a major source of money for the regime. But US sanctions on military leaders have not proved to be a significant deterrent.

On Monday, Britain, Canada and the United States added new sanctions against top judicial officials and other individuals who help supply weapons to the military, including U Jonathan Kyaw Thaungthe lineage of a famous business family.

“How many more people will the Myanmar military have to detain, torture and shoot,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. from their cash flow and weapons? ”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/01/world/asia/myanmar-coup-anniversary-sanctions.html Myanmar fell into conflict and chaos a year after the coup

Fry Electronics Team

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