Myanmar’s Civilian Government Appeals for Global Support Against Military Junta
A Plea for Assistance
The civilian National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar is urging the international community to aid in its fight against the military junta. This appeal comes at a time when global leaders are gathering for the United Nations General Assembly. The NUG is seeking effective and practical support, encompassing military, political, economic, and diplomatic channels. The NUG’s statement highlighted the junta’s continued disregard for the ASEAN five-point consensus and the UN Security Council’s resolution on Myanmar.
The NUG’s statement also shed light on the surge in violence by the military regime, despite widespread opposition to the military rule. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has brought to light that close to 25,000 individuals have been detained since the coup in February 2021, with over 19,000 still behind bars. It is estimated that at least 4,100 people have lost their lives at the hands of the junta, although the actual death toll is thought to be significantly higher.
Humanitarian Crisis Under Military Rule
The NUG statement also painted a grim picture of the social disasters faced by the population under the military rule. Approximately one-third of the population is in dire need of humanitarian aid. However, the majority of international aid is reportedly controlled or obstructed by the regime, and does not reach those who need it the most.
The NUG’s statement underscored its commitment to upholding the rule of law and providing defense through their people’s defense forces (PDFs). The statement made it clear that PDF troops are trained to adhere to a strict code of conduct, in accordance with international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention. The primary duty of the NUG and PDFs is to safeguard people’s lives and property. The NUG pledged to collaborate with the populace to overthrow the military regime and establish a new system of freedom and justice for all.
Addressing the Genocide Allegations
Alongside the ongoing battle against the military junta, Myanmar is facing allegations of genocide against the ethnic Rohingya population. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, is set to hold public hearings on the case. The case, brought forward by The Gambia with the backing of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), alleges that Myanmar’s atrocities against the ethnic Rohingya violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The ICJ case provides an unprecedented opportunity to scrutinize the abuses of Myanmar’s military, which has been accused of grave abuses across the country.
The NUG’s financial situation is undoubtedly challenging, and financial support from the international community could potentially tip the balance in its favor. While it is currently unclear whether this support will materialize, the NUG’s appeal for assistance underscores the urgent need for international action in Myanmar. The country’s civilian government is calling on the world to help restore democracy and end the reign of the military junta.
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