ASEAN Act Now: Protect the Myanmar People From Atrocities by the Military Junta

April 12th, 2023  •  Author:   Special Advisory Council for Myanmar  •  3 minute read
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12 April 2023: The international community must take immediate action against the illegal military junta to protect the Myanmar people from escalating junta atrocities and bring its leaders to justice following Tuesday’s shocking airstrikes against civilians, says the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M).

At least 100 people, including children, were killed and dozens injured in an horrific aerial attack by junta forces on civilians in Pazigyi village, Kanbalu Township in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar on Tuesday, 11 April 2023. 

According to local media, junta jets dropped bombs and junta attack helicopters fired machine guns on more than 100 people gathered in the village for the inauguration ceremony of a local civilian administration office on Tuesday morning. The junta then launched a second round of aerial attacks on the village later the same day, as people were attempting to locate and identify the dead.

The airstrikes could not have taken place without authorisation from commanders who report directly to the leader of the illegal junta, Min Aung Hlaing, through their chain of command. Only the junta has access to military aircraft in Myanmar.

The junta’s violence is in further blatant defiance of United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 2669, adopted on 21 December 2022, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Five-Point Consensus, that Min Aung Hlaing agreed to with ASEAN leaders on 24 April 2021. The UN and ASEAN are being played for fools by Min Aung Hlaing and the Generals, who believe they will face no consequences for the barbaric violence they continue to inflict on the Myanmar people – violence that includes the 2016 and 2017 Rohingya genocide.

The UN Security Council must use its powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to enforce the junta’s compliance with its resolution, including through targeted sanctions on military financial interests and aviation fuel, a comprehensive arms embargo and referral to the International Criminal Court. SAC-M calls on the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting this week to consider actions under Chapter VII. 

ASEAN must use its upcoming summit in May 2023 to adopt complementary punitive actions against the junta, with support from other governments in the region.

Support for the democratic resistance in Myanmar must be urgently stepped up, including, as a priority, the provision of cross-border humanitarian assistance delivered directly to those in need. 

Until the military junta’s violence is ended, there can be no solution to the crisis in Myanmar.


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