Escalation of violence in Myanmar

More pressure on military leadership needed (Press Release)

Following the renewed escalation of violence by the Myanmar military, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has called on Myanmar's neighboring countries to act together. According to the human rights organization, the ASEAN countries – especially Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand –should try to support the democratic aspirations of the people in Myanmar through targeted sanctions against the country's military regime and its economic empire. "Myanmar's immediate neighbors have every reason to show solidarity with the protesters and demand the military to back down," stated Jasna Causevic, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, in Göttingen today. "On the one hand, the neighboring countries would also be affected if Myanmar's generals were to fuel the spiral of violence. On the other hand, a peaceful and democratic Myanmar would be beneficial for the entire region." The neighboring countries have already provided shelter for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya and members of other minorities who were driven out of Myanmar, but new waves of displacement would be very problematic for the already poor states.

"Without targeted pressure, the military junta will continue its ruthless course – and there will be many more deaths," Causevic expects. "There must be pressure from all sides: from within the country, from Western countries, from the surrounding region, and also from international organizations if possible. The UN Security Council should refer the case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as quickly as possible, to investigate the crimes committed in recent years."

"Due to the state of emergency and the violence of the military, the entire country is paralyzed. Humanitarian organizations have no access to the region, and the civil society and the media can't do their work," Causevic criticized. "This must be changed immediately, to ensure that Myanmar can return to democracy and to help the entire region find peace."