Coup Watch August 2022 – Burma Further Plunges into Chaos as Conflict Heats Up in Rakhine State

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Key Summary Points:

  • As of 12 Aug, there had been at least 14,461 armed clashes and attacks, resulting in the displacement of 1,019,900 people since the coup began. Junta troops continued to slash their way through the country in August, torturing and killing civilians and torching villages.
  • Junta head Min Aung Hlaing admitted his regime did not fully control the country. The junta’s ‘peace process’ kept faltering; meanwhile resistance escalated. Military tensions increased significantly in Rakhine State, with several clashes breaking out between regime and AA forces.
  • Junta forces have killed at least 2,259 civilians and arrested 15,294 as of 31 Aug. The regime continued to target former officials and NLD members, as well as perceived opponents and their families. A junta court sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to a further six years in prison for corruption, bringing her total sentence to 17 years.
  • Min Aung Hlaing replaced 10 top officials including Ministers with loyalists to consolidate control ahead of the sham 2023 election. He promoted the proportional representation system while the regime’s election authorities barred political parties from meeting with foreigners without prior approval.
  • The Kyat continued its dive, forcing the regime to ease its disastrous exchange rate policies and inject USD 200 million into the forex market. Inflation kept driving up food, fuel, and medicine prices, leading to shortages across the country. The junta announced it would import cheap oil from Russia to ease supply concerns and rising prices.
  • UN Special Envoy to Burma Noeleen Heyzer met with Min Aung Hlaing, called him ‘kind-hearted’ and urged him to stop the violence; to no avail. In response, over 850 CSOs called on the UN to withdraw the mandate and demonstrate a serious commitment to resolving Burma’s worsening crisis.
  • ASEAN expressed disappointment at the regime’s lack of implementation of the bloc’s Five-Point Consensus, and gave the junta until November to change course. ASEAN members decided to keep barring the regime from high-level meetings until progress is made.

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