Myanmar: show of force on the occasion of the day of the army

The Burmese junta engaged in a show of force, promising to “annihilate“his opponents, Sunday March 27 on the occasion of army day, the scene in 2021 of a bloody repression against pro-democracy demonstrations.

More than 8,000 members of the security forces, tanks, trucks carrying missiles and artillery pieces marched on the gigantic arteries of Naypyidaw, the capital built by the former military regime in the early 2000s.

the junta leader, Min Aung Hlaing, in ceremonial dress, inspected his troops from an open 4×4, while fighter jets flew over the city, displaying the yellow, red and green colors of the national flag.

The junta”will no longer negotiate (…) and will annihilate until the end” the opponents, said the general who overthrew the civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, 2021.

Deadly repression

The last day of the army, March 27, 2021, was the scene of repression deadliest since the coup.

Some 160 demonstrators were killed that day by the security forces, according to a local NGO, the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Burma has descended into chaos since the generals’ putsch. More than 1,700 civilians were killed and nearly 13,000 arrested according to the AAPP, the UN denouncing “probable war crimes and crimes against humanityThis brutal repression put an end to the large peaceful demonstrations which shook the country in the first weeks after the putsch.

This Sunday, only a dozen protesters launched flares in Yangon, the economic capital, chanting anti-junta slogans, according to images posted on social networks. Other protesters called on the population to cut off the electricity from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. local time as a sign of resistance.

Despite the repression, large portions of the territory still escape control of the generals, fourteen months after their passage in force.

Citizen militias supported by ethnic minorities have taken up arms in several regions and are carrying out guerrilla actions against the regime.

The soldiers respond. “In recent weeks, there have been increasing reports of the military’s use of airstrikes and heavy weaponry causing civilian casualties and property.“, notes Human Rights Watch in a statement issued on the occasion of the day of the army.

This violence has moved “more than 500,000 people“, according to the NGO which deplores that the junta “deliberately blocking aid to populations (…) as a form of collective punishment“.

On the one hand, United States announced new sanctions on Friday, March 25, days after officially calling it “genocide” the abuses carried out in 2017 by the Burmese military against the Muslim minority of the Rohingyas.

Troubled game of Beijing and Moscow

On the other hand, Beijing and Moscow continue their troubled gamecontinuing to supply weapons – including fighter jets and armored vehicles – to the junta, according to the United Nations special rapporteur, Tom Andrews.

Justice for Myanmar (JFM), a rights group that investigates military investments in the country, revealed on Sunday a list of 19 Russian arms suppliers that have supplied the Tatmadaw (the name of the Burmese armed forces).

Russia’s arms industry reaps big profits from Burmese military atrocities“, underlined the JFM spokesperson, Yadanar Maung. It calls on the UN Security Council to decree as soon as possible “a global arms embargoto Burma.

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