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Coup Watch December 2022 – Security Council fails to deliver real action as humanitarian needs explode

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Key summary points:

  • As of 9 Dec, there were at least 18,636 armed clashes and attacks, displacing 1,225,100 people since Feb 2021. Junta troops continued to commit war crimes.
  • UNOCHA projected that 17.6 million people (34% of the population) will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023, up from 14.4 million in 2022 and 1 million in 2021. It said the rate of new displacement was expected to continue at similar or higher levels in 2023, and projected a figure of 2.7 million IDPs (5.25% of the population) by the end of next year.
  • The junta used the informal ceasefire it reached with the AA on 26 Nov to dispatch reinforcements to Rakhine State. In Karen State, fighting between KNLA-led resistance and junta forces brought border trade with Thailand to a near halt.
  • Junta forces have killed at least 2,688 civilians and arrested 16,704 as of 30 Dec. The regime continued to target former officials and NLD members, as well as perceived opponents and their families. The junta sentenced ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint to seven more years in prison each, bringing their respective totals to 33 and 12.
  • The regime stepped up preparations for its sham 2023 ‘election,’ gathering support from two minor political parties and five ethnic armed organizations. The junta sent two self-seeking NLD members to try and sell the election to Suu Kyi; to no avail.
  • UNHCR reported that some 1,920 people, mostly Rohingya, had fled Burma and Bangladesh by sea during Jan-Nov 2022. An estimated 119 died, and 180 are feared dead: the highest toll in years.
  • The UN Security Council adopted its first resolution on Burma in 74 years, urging the release of all political prisoners and demanding an end to violence. China and Russia opposed giving the Council coercive powers in case of non-compliance, making the text toothless.
  • Thailand hosted a ‘non-ASEAN’ meeting on Burma attended by Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, during which junta reps urged ASEAN members to denounce the NUG and PDFs as terrorists. Human Rights Watch accused Thailand of helping whitewash the junta’s atrocities.
  • The US Congress passed the BURMA Act, broadening the government’s authority to provide non-lethal assistance to resistance groups and impose sanctions on regime-controlled companies.

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