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Coup Watch November 2021: Junta Vows to Wipe Out Resistance; Conflict Numbers Tell the Story

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  • During 1 Feb–26 Nov, there were 6,675 attacks on civilians or armed clashes that failed to protect them, a 632% increase from the same period in 2020.
  • Junta forces continued to suffer heavy losses, with defections and deaths subtracting hundreds of soldiers per week. The junta reacted by shelling and conducting air strikes, particularly in Chin, Sagaing, and Magway States/Regions, raiding civilian homes and villages, arbitrarily detaining and torturing civilians. The UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) said that evidence pointed to crimes against humanity.
  • The junta’s crimes resulted in a massive increase in displaced persons, including around 50,000 just in Chin, Sagaing, and Magway since May 2021.
  • Junta courts handed down lengthy sentences to high-profile NLD leaders. Sham trials against Aung San Suu Kyi moved forward, but the court delayed two verdicts without explanation. Junta military courts sentenced 21 people to death and 29 to life in prison.
  • The junta ordered its soldiers in Sagaing, Tanintharyi, and Mandalay Regions to shoot at any male passenger on a motorbike.
  • The junta amended Burma’s Broadcasting Law, further restricting online expression. As of 15 Nov, it had detained at least 107 journalists and media workers.
  • Students and teachers largely boycotted schools reopening, and were targeted by the junta. Resistance forces targeted those who returned, flouting NUG orders.
  • As of 1 Dec, the junta had killed at least 1,299 people and detained at least 10,568 politicians, activists, journalists and others. It
    continued to target relatives of people evading arrest, prompting families to cut ties with wanted relatives.
  • Profits from extractive industries continued to provide a lifeline to the junta. International oil and gas companies were exposed as a source of USD 1.5 billion per year for the junta. The junta also cashed in on sanctions-busting gem and timber trade.
  • The UN Security Council issued more empty statements. ASEAN leaders invited the NUG to represent Burma, for the first time, at a meeting on climate change and disaster risks.

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