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Over three years since the Myanmar military coup, the junta’s flailing efforts to consolidate power have ravaged the country’s population. Fighting has intensified across much of the country, displacing 2.4 million people since the coup.

The number of people needing assistance has grown from 1 million before the coup to 18.6 million today, amid spiraling atrocities and countrywide economic and infrastructure collapse. The UN estimates that 10,000 children under age 5 died last year due to lack of treatment for malnutrition.

Yet the junta has only ramped up its deadly blocking of humanitarian aid as a method of collective punishment of the population. These blockages sustain the military’s longstanding “four cuts” strategy, designed to maintain control of an area by isolating and terrorizing civilians.

The conflict is now increasingly impacting regional peace and security, spilling over into China, India, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

The military’s crimes against humanity and war crimes are fueled by decades of impunity and meager international efforts to stop the violations. Much more needs to be done.

The 2022 Security Council resolution—presented as a first step to further action—has instead become the feeble peak of council activity on a country in harrowing crisis.

In the face of the junta’s unrelenting repression, UN member states should take more concrete, collective action to pressure the military to stop its abuses, guided by the voices of the Myanmar people. Their resolute struggle for democracy and freedom is a clarion call that global actors need likewise to persevere.

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