The Myanmar military, also known as the Tatmadaw, is the armed forces of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). It is one of the largest and most powerful institutions in the country and has been in power for much of Myanmar’s modern history.
The Myanmar military has played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of the country, including the establishment of military rule in 1962 and the recent coup in February 2021, which overthrew the democratically elected government and led to widespread protests and violence.
The military has been accused of human rights abuses, including the persecution of ethnic minorities, forced labor, and the use of child soldiers. It has also been accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in conflicts with various ethnic armed groups.
The international community has condemned the military’s actions and imposed sanctions on Myanmar in response to the coup. However, the military has maintained its grip on power and continues to suppress dissent and protests in the country.
Military airstrikes refer to the use of aircraft by military forces to drop bombs or launch missiles on a specific target. These targets could be military targets such as enemy bases, weapons depots, or vehicles, or civilian targets such as buildings, infrastructure, or other locations that are deemed to be of strategic importance.
Military airstrikes are a common tactic used in modern warfare, and they can have devastating consequences for both military and civilian targets. They can be used as part of an offensive strategy to weaken the enemy’s defenses, disrupt their supply lines, or destroy their command and control centers. Alternatively, they can be used defensively to prevent an enemy advance or to neutralize a threat before it reaches friendly forces.
However, military airstrikes can also have significant humanitarian consequences, including civilian casualties and damage to critical infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, and water treatment facilities. They can also lead to displacement and the destruction of homes and communities.
The use of military airstrikes is subject to international humanitarian law and the principles of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity. These principles require that military forces only target legitimate military targets, minimize harm to civilians, and ensure that the harm caused to civilians is not excessive compared to the military advantage gained.
Human Rights in Myanmar
The human rights situation in Myanmar has been a cause for concern for many years. The country has a history of military rule, and the military has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced labor, and extrajudicial killings. The Rohingya crisis, in particular, has been a major human rights issue in Myanmar, with the military accused of committing crimes against humanity, including genocide, against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
In addition to the Rohingya crisis, other ethnic minorities in Myanmar have also faced persecution, including the Karen, Kachin, and Shan peoples. There have been reports of forced displacement, sexual violence, and other human rights abuses committed against these groups by the military and other armed groups.
Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press have also been severely curtailed in Myanmar, with journalists and activists facing harassment, intimidation, and arrest for speaking out against the government. The military coup in February 2021 has further escalated the human rights situation, with widespread protests and violence, as well as reports of arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings.
The international community, including the United Nations, has called for an end to the human rights abuses in Myanmar and for accountability for those responsible for committing them. Sanctions have been imposed on the country, and humanitarian aid has been provided to those affected by the crisis.
With Myanmar’s Military Back in full control, Rohingya
With Myanmar’s military back in full control after the coup in February 2021, the situation for the Rohingya remains precarious. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group that has faced persecution and discrimination in Myanmar for many years. They have been subjected to violence, forced displacement, and denial of citizenship and basic rights.
The military’s actions in the Rakhine state, where most of the Rohingya live, have been particularly brutal. In 2017, the military launched a campaign of violence that led to the forced displacement of over 700,000 Rohingya to neighboring Bangladesh. The military has been accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes against the Rohingya.
With the military back in control, the Rohingya’s situation is likely to worsen. The military has a long history of mistreating ethnic and religious minorities and has shown little regard for human rights. There have already been reports of an increase in violence against the Rohingya since the coup, and their access to humanitarian aid and assistance has been severely restricted.
The international community has condemned the military’s actions in Myanmar and called for an end to the violence and persecution of the Rohingya. Sanctions have been imposed on Myanmar, and humanitarian aid has been provided to those affected by the crisis. However, with the military back in power, the situation remains volatile, and the future of the Rohingya is uncertain.