On the one-year anniversary of the coup attempt, we, the Women’s Peace Network, are extremely distressed that the Myanmar military and security forces are continuing to advance a brutal campaign of terror against the people of Myanmar, and the international community is failing to take concerted and comprehensive action to truly stand in solidarity with our calls for democracy, freedom and justice.
Within a year, the Myanmar military and security forces overthrew an elected government, massacred over 1,500 people, arbitrarily arrested and detained at least 11,800, launched air raids and air strikes on villages and internally displaced people’s camps, and committed the most brutal forms of torture and other acts that may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Amid its bloody campaign, the military junta murdered over 106 women and girls, and arbitrarily arrested and detained at least 2,342. The junta soldiers, who are predominantly male, are committing rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence as a way to torture women and girls in detention, and as a weapon of war across the country’s growing areas of conflict. The Myanmar junta is composed of perpetrators of decades-long mass atrocity crimes against the country’s ethnic minorities, including genocide against Rohingya.
It is past time for the international community to hold the Myanmar military and security forces accountable for their heinous crimes. Countries must impose targeted economic sanctions and financial penalties on the military junta and its related businesses, and enable cross-border aid to be delivered to those forcibly displaced by the coup attempt.
The UN Security Council and secretary general must uphold their mandate for peace and security, including by issuing a global arms embargo on Myanmar and referring the country’s situation to the International Criminal Court. In cooperation with Myanmar humanitarian organisations and civil society, governments and their leaders must urgently provide comprehensive psychosocial, economic and livelihood support to victims and survivors of the junta’s atrocities, including sexual and gender-based violence.
The people of Myanmar, including its women and girls, cannot bear another year of the junta’s reign of terror and the international community’s broken promises for peace. – Women’s Peace Network