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Myanmar Coup Anniversary

Volume 708: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2022

One year since the military seized power in Myanmar, it is clear they miscalculated. They did not reckon with the courage and tenacity of the people of Myanmar to resist their brutal takeover. However, the coup has plunged the country into a deep crisis. Over 14 million people are in humanitarian need, mass displacement is increasing, democratic gains have been reversed, and violence is escalating across the country. It is clear that the military has no interest in seriously addressing these issues

The UK is appalled by the brutal actions of the military regime, who continue to commit atrocities, with credible reports of torture, sexual violence and mass killings. We call on the military to immediately release the thousands of people it has detained arbitrarily, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

We continue to stand with the people of Myanmar who have rejected the military junta. We are clear in our support for all those working to restore democracy in Myanmar, including the National Unity Government.

We are using our global leadership role to bring the international community together, including at the UN Security Council and through the G7, to condemn the military’s actions. This included an unprecedented Security Council Presidential Statement on the coup on 10 March and a Security Council meeting to mark the anniversary of the coup on 28 January.

We have announced nine tranches of sanctions targeting the military leadership, and key military revenue streams. This includes three designations yesterday of individuals responsible for subverting democracy and the rule of law. We are working closely with partners in the US, Canada and the EU to identify further targets.

We are committed to preventing the flow of arms to Myanmar and worked to secure a UN General Assembly Resolution to this end. We will continue to put pressure on those who sell arms to the military.

Since the coup we have provided £49.4 million to support those in need of humanitarian assistance, deliver health and education for the most vulnerable and protect civic space. Our humanitarian programmes have reached over 600,000 people, including with water, sanitation, and life-saving food.

We remain committed to supporting efforts to hold perpetrators to account. We have provided additional funding to the independent investigative mechanism for Myanmar and established the Myanmar witness programme to collect and preserve evidence of serious human rights violations and abuses. We are closely monitoring the risks of further atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities, including the Rohingya.

We recognise the important role ASEAN is playing in resolving the crisis and we reaffirm our support for the ASEAN five-point consensus, which the military must implement immediately.

The UK, and the wider international community, has sent a clear message to the military regime. They must immediately end the violence, uphold human rights, protect civilians, and remove obstacles to a comprehensive health and humanitarian response.