More than two years since the military coup in Myanmar, the junta’s atrocities continue to escalate, driving the country ever deeper into a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the international response to the situation has had no noticeable impact on the military’s crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The junta is unbowed by “statements of condemnation.” Targeted sanctions are critical but they have not been coordinated closely or enforced rigorously enough.
The UN Security Council’s resolution in December was regrettably watered down to contain almost no actionable language. In the three months since it was adopted, the junta’s security forces have arrested over 530 people, sentenced over 420, and killed more than 275 in airstrikes, arson attacks, and summary executions. Just last week about 20 civilians who had taken shelter in a monastery were massacred.
The junta likewise continues to flagrantly disregard ASEAN’s five-point consensus adopted in 2021, which the regional bloc lacks effective tools to enforce.
A new, bolder approach is needed. Myanmar’s generals are not going to change their conduct until the cumulative cost of their atrocities grows too great to bear.
States need to harmonize their efforts to impose real consequences: coordinating and enforcing tougher targeted sanctions to cut off the junta’s access to the extractive revenue, weapons, and aviation fuel enabling its abuses. As ASEAN chair, Indonesia should lead the bloc in supporting these measures as well as accountability efforts to bring justice to the junta’s victims.
The facts on the ground are clear. What are governments waiting for?