Over a year ago, Myanmar’s government drastically changed and the military group who staged the coup still has control.
The military group, known as Tatmadaw, launched a successful coup on Feb. 1, 2021, to regain full military control of the country. Myanmar used to be jointly controlled by military and civilian government since 2011.
Since claiming total control, nearly 2,400 civilians have been killed and nearly 16,000 were arrested, according to data from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Recently, this includes an airstrike on a local concert which has killed at least 80 civilians. The concert was held by the Kachin Independence Organization, a pro-democracy ethnic group that has been fighting against the military regime.
The strike has been called a war crime and evil act by the organization, in a statement with CNN, due to the number of civilians, rather than military members, who were targeted.
Strikes and attacks on human rights in Myanmar, such as the airstrike, aren’t uncommon. Sanctions and bans have been in place against the country throughout the world since the coup.
These sanctions come from countries like the United States and regions such as the European Union. The problem is that sanctions only work when they are coordinated together and used to target a country.
At the moment, they aren’t. There is no immediate pressure caused by the spread out sanctions set by different countries and regions.
However, with this recent strike being one of the largest since the coup, human rights activists have been using the opportunity to bring back awareness of the situation in Myanmar.
Throughout the world, different countries have seen refugees from Myanmar. These refugees are asylum seekers who have fled the country after the coup. This includes both displaced civilians and defectors from the Myanmar military.
This has not always led to open hands. Recently, the neighboring country of Malaysia has been in the spotlight.
Malaysia has received a large amount of refugees due to its close proximity to Myanmar. Many of these refugees have been accepted by human rights and ethnic groups within Malaysia. However, recently the country has been deporting many refugees back to Myanmar where they have been arrested.
The Myanmar embassy in Malaysia posted on Facebook that about 150 Myanmar nationals were deported by Malaysian immigration on Oct. 6. This follows many other reports on deportations.
This has led to rights groups, as well as organizations like the UNHCR, condemning Malaysia. They have subsequently used the opportunity to call for and urge other countries to help aid Myanmar refugees.
Myanmar continues its civil war against the controlling military coup.