ISSN 2330-717X

Burma Continues To Suffer As A Result Of February 1, 2021 Coup – OpEd

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The Arakan Rohingya National Organisation condemns the Tatmadaw’s illegal takeover of Burma/Myanmar since February 1, 2021. The international community is aware that one year ago, Tatmadaw, the military junta of Burma, perpetrated a coup against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, the winners of the 2020 elections. While the Rohingya were disenfranchised from the voting process in Burma, ARNO condemned the coup and has continued to condemn the violence perpetrated by the junta against innocent civilians, ethnic groups, and peaceful protestors. The junta has dismantled the rule of law, continues to hunt those who are opposed to its illegal power grab, and has utilized weapons normally deployed in war against its own people.

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Generally, ARNO calls upon the international community to do more than make speeches and write empty promises on paper. Despite targeted sanctions having been placed on members of the junta, they have still been able to acquire weapons. The international community, specifically the UN Security Council, must place a global arms embargo upon Myanmar and enforce this arms embargo. Regional actors such as ASEAN must also enforce a global arms embargo and insist that the Tatmadaw bring the violence to a standstill. Countries which violate the global arms embargo should be penalized accordingly. In addition, complimenting the global arms embargo is the imposition of a no-fly zone across Myanmar to prevent the junta from attacking civilians. These barbaric acts have caused thousands to flee in to neighboring countries like Thailand and India.

Further, ARNO calls upon the international community, specifically the Special Envoy to Myanmar to ask the junta to open humanitarian corridors in Myanmar to allow for food aid and COVID 19 assistance to reach all peoples, particularly those who are being targeted by the junta.

With regards to the Rohingya people, the international community is aware that the next set of hearings at the International Court of Justice will take place in February 2022. It is important that all parties continue to keep pressure on the junta to take the provisional measures orders seriously and implement them. Despite technical compliance in creating a “genocide law” in Burma, the junta has continued to violate that law on a daily basis.

ARNO has been mindful of dialogue that is taking place between Myanmar and Bangladesh regarding the repatriation of Rohingya people back to their traditional homeland in Myanmar. In order for the return to be safe, dignified, and voluntary, both parties must resolve issues related to citizenship and citizenship must not be conditioned on any single factor. It is unacceptable that this dialogue has been prolonged, both under the Aung San Suu Kyi and under the Tatmadaw. Further, all conversations regarding repatriation must include discussions regarding the appropriate return of Rohingya back into the Arakan to the lands that they owned. There should be no misunderstanding that the Rohingya people want to return home, in a voluntary capacity and not to worsened conditions or to an open-air prison built to further restrict the Rohingya’s movements in the Arakan.

ARNO stands in solidarity with all people in Burma who are continuing to experience a deterioration of their life.

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