February 1, 2024
To Members of the United Nations Security Council

1 February 2024

Re: Urgent call for swift action against the military junta to end its war of terror and protect civilians in Myanmar

Your Excellencies,

As we mark the third anniversary of the Myanmar military junta’s coup attempt on 1 February 2021, we, 462 civil society organizations, express in the strongest terms our utmost disappointment in the ineffectiveness and inaction of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in response to the military junta’s war of terror against the people of Myanmar. We urgently call on the UNSC to act in accordance with its mandate for peace and security and take concrete actions against the Myanmar military junta. These actions must reflect the gravity of the mass atrocity crimes committed by the junta for which the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on the UNSC to, among other measures, refer the crisis in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.

We find that the UNSC’s adoption of Resolution 2669, which passed its one-year mark in December 2023, not only came too little and far too late – after decades of atrocities by the Myanmar military – but also produced no concrete progress towards halting the military’s genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, which have only intensified since the adoption of the resolution.

Since its adoption, the military junta has launched at least 909 airstrikes,[1] killing more than 364 civilians including scores of children, and torched nearly 80,000 houses. Over the last year, it is undeniable that the military junta’s violence has become more targeted against civilian populations with blatant attacks on villages, towns, internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, religious sites where IDPs were seeking refuge, schools, and hospitals. Since the coup attempt, the military junta has killed at least 4,450 people and arrested more than 25,900 people, with more than 19,900 individuals still detained, including President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Inhuman conditions, ill treatment, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and extrajudicial killings remain ubiquitous in junta-controlled prisons and detention centers.

Furthermore, the military junta has insisted on a pilot repatriation project for the Rohingya, despite the UNSC expressing concern that the situation in Myanmar poses challenges for a safe, voluntary, sustainable, and dignified return. Resolution 2669 does not recognize the Myanmar military as a government or a de facto authority to carry out such a repatriation project. A sustainable, safe, and dignified return of Rohingya is impossible while the illegitimate Myanmar military junta continues to conduct a nationwide campaign of terror, including in Rakhine State where many more Rohingya are being forced to flee overland and by sea – with 2023 being the deadliest year for Rohingya’s sea crossings since 2014.

Read more Eng | MM