Please see the below statement from Refugees International Deputy Director for Africa, Asia, and the Middle East Daniel Sullivan:
“The Myanmar military’s actions a year ago have unleashed an inordinate cascade of suffering. Through mass killings, forced displacement, and direct blocking of lifesaving aid, the military junta has generated a spiraling crisis with devastating humanitarian consequences.
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased from around 1 million before the coup to more than 14 million people in 2022. The number of people forced to flee their homes has more than doubled, with more than 400,000 people newly displaced since the coup.
Yet the response by the UN Security Council and regional neighbors has been woefully inadequate. The United States must build upon the steps it has taken to lead like-minded allies, particularly in Southeast Asia, with tangible actions. These actions should include further coordinated targeted sanctions, efforts to enforce a global arms embargo, and support for accountability measures. The United States can take an immediate decisive step on the latter by, at long last, recognizing the evidence and making an official determination that the crimes committed by the military junta against the Rohingya people amounts to genocide.
More immediately, readily available actions to mitigate the humanitarian suffering of the people of Myanmar must be taken, including provision of cross-border aid through local civil society networks along the Myanmar-Thailand border. The United States must also engage Myanmar’s neighbors toward ensuring that international assistance reaches new arrivals and refraining from forcing back refugees from Myanmar.
A year since the junta’s coup, the trajectory of the crisis remains alarming. The world must do all it can to push back on those responsible and to support the people of Myanmar.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Refugees International VP for Strategic Outreach Sarah Sheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Myanmar soldiers patrol the street during a demonstration against the military coup outside the Central Bank in Yangon, Myanmar on February 15, 2021. Photo Credit: Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto via Getty Images.