21 June 2021
Widespread internal displacement is on the rise in conflict-torn Myanmar. Following the failed military coup on 1 February, civilians in rural and urban areas have been forced to abandon their homes as they flee junta violence. A new briefing paper by the Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma), ‘Destruction & Displacement: Civilian Safety and Security at Risk Post-Coup in Myanmar,’ condemns the failed military coup, which has exacerbated brewing conflict in the borderlands as the junta’s quest for power and control blinds them from justice and meaningful reforms. Since the coup, over a quarter of a million people have been forcibly displaced. Our members demand an end to military rule in Myanmar and for immediate consequences against the leaders of the regime who are responsible for crimes against humanity.
ND-Burma’s latest briefing paper concludes that civilians are not safe anywhere in Myanmar. Junta security forces are acting with lawlessness as they evoke a culture of fear throughout the country. Civilians are being arrested and detained under draconian policies. While in detention, they are subject to torture, which has resulted in the death of several senior level officials. Women and young girls are subject to sexual violence. Meanwhile, conflict is being waged in urban and rural areas resulting in growing numbers of internal displacement. The junta is acting without a shed of humanity, as those in remote parts of the country who are starving and without life-saving necessities are denied humanitarian aid.
The consequences of conflict have been carried by our communities for far too long. The current situation overall demands civilian security and livelihoods are preserved and protected, especially amid a raging pandemic. Victims deserve justice for the crimes that have been perpetrated against them prior to the coup, and after. Without such steps forward, the people in Myanmar will be forced to reconcile with a future that they do not deserve. They are entitled to prosperous futures which grant them security and safety.
Further, the international community must hold the junta to account to ensure peace and democratic stability for all. Humanitarian aid organizations must be supported with the funding and resources needed to provide aid to their communities directly. Any facilitation of aid through the junta assumes recognition of the regime, which should not be legitimized. The preservation of basic human rights and freedoms must be upheld in Myanmar for the present and for the generations to come.
ND-Burma is a network that consists of 13-member organisations who represent a range of ethnic nationalities, women and former political prisoners. ND-Burma member organisations have been documenting human rights abuses and fighting for justice for victims since 2004. The network consists of nine Full Members and four Affiliate Members as follows.