March 27th, 2021, saw the worst bloodshed in Myanmar since the beginning of the military coup on February 1st, 2021. Over a 100 people were killed by the military amidst anti-coup protests on Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day, which included children as young as 5-year-olds. March 27th is a national day that commemorates the start of resistance in 1945 to Japanese occupation in Myanmar.
The coup was initiated by the Myanmar military following the claims that November elections were fraudulent, a claim that was dismissed by the election commission. Several elected officials including Aung San Suu Kyi have been detained at undisclosed locations. Before the massacre on Saturday, The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which is tracking deaths and arrests, had reported that the civilian death toll following the crackdown on anti-coup protests to be 320.
The International community has responded with severity to the situation through several defence chiefs from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific jointly condemning the use of force against unarmed civilians by the military in Myanmar. The US Ambassador to Myanmar tweeted against the military crackdown stating that the “bloodshed was horrifying”. The European Union’s delegation in Myanmar called Saturday “a day of terror and dishonour”. The United Nations has also made statements condemning the violence in and anti-democratic proceedings in Myanmar. Two senior UN Officials released a statement denouncing the systematic attacks on the peaceful protestors in Myanmar. The UN Secretary General also released a statement condemning the killings of dozens of civilians by security forces in Myanmar.
CD4Peace echoes the sentiment of the Secretary General and calls for an end to the systemic impunity in Myanmar. The military powers must serve to protect the people of their country and not harm them. We would also like to stress on the points raised by the OHCHR statement regarding the protection of ethnic and religious minorities like the Rohingya Muslims who have long been suffering from violence by the Myanmar military.
Photo Credit; https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/03/1088482