Report 400 Views

Coup Watch June 2021: Junta Worsens Threats Caused by Conflict and COVID-19

Featured image
  • In the fifth month since its forcible and unconstitutional power grab, the junta’s oppressive acts to secure political, territorial, or economic control have escalated conflict and the threats posed by a third wave of COVID-19. Security forces created battlefields in more towns and cities, expanded airstrikes on Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, and Sagaing States/Regions, and shelled villages in all of these places as well as in Shan State.
  • During June alone, security forces killed at least 81 civilians and displaced over 30,000. There were 538 violent attacks that either targeted or failed to protect civilians during 1–25 Jun, and a total 3,012 incidents 1 Feb–25 Jun.
  • In total, they have killed over 1,080 civilians, injured thousands more, displaced over 230,000 mainly ethnic minority people, and detained at least 6,435 politicians, activists, journalists and others, in attacks against the democracy movement.
  • The economic situation continued to decline for most people in Burma, with COVID-19 and violence depressing work opportunities, and food prices rising by up to 50%. Meanwhile, the junta continued looking for ways to enrich itself, including by selling thousands of tons of timber previously confiscated by the civilian NLD government.
  • The National Unity Government (NUG) continued to pursue justice for victims of the junta, established an interim education program, and welcomed defecting Burma military (Tatmadaw) soldiers. It acknowledged past abuses against the Rohingya and welcomed them to participate in rebuilding Burma’s democracy.
  • Despite Brunei bending over backwards to appease the junta, coup leader Min Aung Hlaing snubbed ASEAN by reasserting his
    own 5-point plan. China also made its own. Burma now has three “5-point” plans.
  • Both the UN General Assembly and the ILO adopted resolutions condemning the coup and calling for a return to democratic rule.
  • In order to avert worse violence and create space for dialogue and negotiations, the movement in Burma and allies urge that:
    • The UN, foreign states, and international finance institutions (IFIs) must expand sanctions against the junta;
    • These actors must engage with the NUG as the legitimate government of Burma, rather than the junta; and
    • The UN Security Council must take a more active role, in the face of ASEAN’s weakness and the junta’s intransigence.

Download full report.