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Coup Watch (Feb 2022) – Attacks Continue and ASEAN Chair Throws Up His Hands

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Burma’s illegitimate military regime continued to escalate violence as it desperately sought to gain control of the country in the 13th month of its attempted coup.

Key summary points:
  • During 1–25 Feb, there were at least 741 armed clashes and attacks on civilians (or 29.64 per day), as conflict continued to escalate. In the prior twelve months, there had been 23.69 incidents per day.
  • Junta airstrikes, artillery strikes, and raids displaced tens of thousands more people. UNHCR said that 810,000 people were displaced in Burma, likely a significant underestimate based on local information.
  • Junta forces continued to commit grievous atrocity crimes, particularly in Sagaing Region. They targeted civilian areas and IDPs, torched religious buildings and thousands of homes, killed children, burned people alive and desecrated dead bodies, and looted extensively.
  • As of 28 Feb, the junta had arrested at least 12,417 civilians, including politicians, activists, and journalists, and killed at least 1,869 civilians.
  • The junta greenlit the sale of Telenor Myanmar to Lebanon’s M1 Group and crony company Shwe Byain Phyu. Both Telenor and Norway refused to take measures to prevent the data of Telenor’s 18 million customers from being handed over to the regime despite civil society calls.
  • COVID-19 cases spiked dramatically as experts warned that Burma could face a deadly fourth wave of infections due to low vaccination rates.
  • The EU placed sanctions on 22 individuals and four entities, including Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
  • The NUG withdrew Burma’s previously- asserted preliminary objections before the International Court of Justice, implored the court to delegate representation to UN ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, and appointed a legal team to assist him with the case.
  • As new ASEAN Chair, Cambodia prevented the junta from attending the first ASEAN meeting of 2022, but conceded that it could do little to improve the situation.

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