The Burmese junta parades and promises to “wipe out” opponents

The Burmese junta engaged in a demonstration of power and promised to “wipe out” its opponents, Sunday on the occasion of Army Day, scene in 2021 of a bloody repression of the pro-democracy demonstrations.

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

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, in full dress, inspected his troops from an open 4×4 while warplanes flew overhead, showing the yellow, red and green colors of the national flag.

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

Russia’s deputy defense minister – a major arms supplier and a traditional ally of Burmese generals – attended the parade in 2021 and was expected this year.

But Alexander Fomin was unable to come because of “his country’s business”, the operation in Ukraine, said junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun.

Opposition on half bar, deadly repression and chaos

The last day of the army, March 27, 2021, was the scene of the deadliest repression since the coup. About 160 protesters were killed that day by security forces, according to a local NGO, the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Burma has gone into chaos since the generals’ shot.

More than 1,700 civilians were killed and nearly 13,000 arrested, according to the AAPP, the UN, which condemns “probable war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

Also read: Washington says the military junta committed genocide against Rohingya in Burma

This brutal repression put an end to the great peaceful demonstrations that shook the country in the first weeks after the breath.

This Sunday, only a dozen protesters launched flames in Yangon, the economic capital, chanting anti-junta slogans, according to photos posted on social networks. Other protesters urged the population to cut off power from 8pm to 8.30pm local time as a sign of resistance.

Resistance, reaction and violence

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

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

Also read: Opponents of the Burmese junta are protesting in silence

The soldiers respond.

“In recent weeks, there have been increasing reports of military use of airstrikes and heavy weapons causing civilian casualties and property damage,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement released on the occasion of Army Day.

This violence has displaced “more than 500,000 people”, according to the NGO, which regrets that the junta “deliberately blocks aid to the population (…) as a form of collective punishment”.

Generals exploit the divisions in the international community.

On the one hand, the United States announced new sanctions on Friday, a few days after officially describing the atrocities committed by the Burmese military in 2017 against the Muslim minority of the Rohingya as “genocide”.

On the other hand, Beijing and Moscow continue their murky game and continue to supply weapons – including fighter jets and armored vehicles – to the junta, according to UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews.

Justice for Myanmar (JFM), a rights group investigating military investments in the country, on Sunday unveiled a list of 19 Russian arms suppliers who have supplied Tatmadaw (the name of Myanmar’s armed forces).

“The Russian arms industry is making huge profits from the atrocities committed by the Burmese army,” JFM spokesman Yadanar Maung said. She called on the UN Security Council to impose a “global arms embargo” on Burma as soon as possible.

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