Increasing Number of Casualties in Myanmar’s Coup Protests

On February 1st, 2021, a coup d’état took place in Myanmar as the military refused to accept the results of the November 2020 general elections. Over the 100 days of the military coup, more than 800 people have died. According to Myanmar’s Association of Political Offenders (AAPP), a human rights group, 802 people were confirmed dead, and 4,210 were arrested or detained in oppression by the junta as of May 18th.

While the bloody crackdowns continued across Myanmar, the situation in the Mindat region of western Chinju has worsened recently due to severe military and police attacks. As the military mobilized heavy weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades and artillery weapons, thousands of residents fled to the jungle but faced the danger of food shortage, medicine, and shelter. While the situation intensified in this region, the local media reported on the 18th that the military took control of Mindat and that it cut off the water supply. The AAPP analyzed that the reason for the intense violence of the military and police in a city with a population of only 50,000 is to send a warning message that other cities will be in this position if they oppose the military regime. Despite the issued statement of UNICEF’s Myanmar branch urging the military to ensure that all remaining people, especially children, are given medical and humanitarian aid, the military seemed to be unconcerned. 

Seeing the scale and duration of the anti-coup, it seems only after a certain period will there be a determined direction of the future development. As the situation in Myanmar worsens due to widespread protests, bloodshed caused by military crackdowns, prolonged arrests and detention of key figures, and media crackdowns, international sanctions centered on the U.S. and the EU are likely to revive or impose additional sanctions to address these issues.

By: Seo Yoon Jung