What’s happening in Myanmar Now 2022 - An Update
Over a year ago, a coup took over the civilian government of Myanmar. Amid claims that the general election was a fraud, the military seized the country on February 1, 2021. There was a demand for a re-run of the election, but the election commission found no evidence of fraud.
Since then, a civil war has broken out within Myanmar, mass protests have occurred, and local militia has attacked convoys and assassinated officials.
A Military Regime
Recently, the governing military revoked the citizenship of leaders of the resistance. Eleven members were targeted for allegedly harming national interests and fleeing the country. While claims by this regime are untrue, they are also illegitimate.
Since they are not an actual government, the military can not revoke citizenship or anyone’s loyalty.
“Ceasing citizenship of Cabinet members by terrorist military junta is just a joke! Nothing can stop our love to our country,”
Human Rights minister Aung Myo Min wrote via Twitter.
While the opposition is strong, there is no end to this internal conflict.
As of now, military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing is in power. In contrast, he claims to want to form a “true and disciplined democracy,” wanting to hold a “free and fair” election once the coup is over. However, evidence shows Hlaing is an enemy of the people.
Myanmar’s History of War
While many citizens are being struck by poverty and war, many existing ethnic groups have joined forces to abolish this new government. Myanmar has a history of internal conflict, with insurgencies beginning in 1948 and those largely being ethnically motivated.
The military has targeted minority groups since the end of colonial rule. Through systematic oppression and abuse, ethnic groups within the country are constantly targeted.
However, a decade of reform began in 2010 when a military-backed civilian government replaced military rule. Thousands of prisoners were released under an amnesty, bans on public gatherings were lifted, and relations improved with Western countries.
In recent years, the military has blatantly called for the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in 2016. Thousands were killed, and villages were raided.
After an international lawsuit from the Gambia, with claims that the country violated the UN Genocide Convention, a level of peace was reached within the country. Unfortunately, a sense of reform did not last.
The People of Myanmar
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) says that 1,503 people have been killed since the beginning of the regime. Furthermore, the number of displaced citizens has risen to nearly 800,000.
While death rates continue to rise, so does the fire under the citizens of Myanmar. On the first night, February 1, 2021, protesters banged pots and pans to symbolize their resistance.
While 55 million residents are trying to fight for their freedom, the country is wearing thin.
Half of the population is in poverty, unable to provide for their families. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also weighed on the country, compounding job loss, commodity prices, and disruption to essential services.
“Some 600,000 stateless Rohingya in Rakhine state, including some 148,000 displaced in camps, villages, and displacement sites, require humanitarian support. For 2022, UNHCR needs $56.7 million to support the vulnerable communities,”
The United Nations reports.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar military is planning to reopen the country for tourists and resume international flights from April 17.
They are also demanding citizens convert their foreign currency savings to Myanmar Kyat, the local currency.
What’s happening now is a need for action and justice for the people of Myanmar.
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References (click the arrow to expand):
Callie McNorton is a Journalism (Media and Society) student at Georgia State University and a Content Writer at the International Youths Organization for Peace and Sustainability.
Inputs and Edits by Sovena Ngeth.