UN expert suggests ‘collective punishment’ to end Myanmar military’s war on the people

UN expert suggests ‘collective punishment’ to end Myanmar military’s war on the people


War on the people of Myanmar can be stopped with a “collective punishment” strategy on the military junta, said the UN Human Rights Rapporteur to Myanmar.

Toms Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur said to UN Congress’s Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on 13 September, that the best way to stop war on the people of Myanmar is to deny Myanmar military three things - weapon, money and legitimacy.

In his discussion, Andrews referred to Myanmar military as “the hunter”. 

Andrews said that the billion-dollar death trade, more than a billion dollars worth of weapons have been transferred to the military since the 2021 coup.

He said,“ Notwithstanding the evidence that these weapons are almost certainly going to be used to commit war crimes and and and kill and assault innocent people, the’ hunter ‘has continued to purchase the jet fuel that allows its jet fighters and helicopter gunships to attack villagers in increasing numbers.” 

Andrews remarked that the junta has increased aerial attacks on civilian targets, including villages, schools, hospitals, encampments for displaced people as they failed to control a widespread resistance across the country, and lost their ground. 

Regarding actions through “money”, the Special Rapporteur, pointed out that state-owned entity Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise supplies more than US$1 billion to the regime every year, in addition to extraction of timber, jade and gemstones in other areas of the country. 
He expressed his appreciation to  the sanctions of the United States on the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank and the Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank in June that have highly significant impacts on the military regime before banks in Singapore and Bangladesh froze Myanmar military’s linked accounts holding millions of U.S.

Regarding legitimacy, Andrews said that the fallacy of Myanmar military is the claim that they represent the legitimate government of Myanmar.

The majority of democratic governments agreed and have withdrawn diplomats, disinvited “hunter” officials from multilateral meetings, and engaged with the legitimate opposition National Unity Government (NUG), while a few ASEAN members, along with some other governments, have been seeking to reintegrate “hunter” officials into high level regional meetings.

In conclusion, Andrews urged the United States  to join the European Union and immediately impose sanctions on this hunter’s single largest source of revenue Myanmar oil and gas enterprise; to  continue to target the hunter’s access to international finance by expanding and enforcing sanctions on state owned owned banks and working with regional partners to ensure that they can't evade these sanctions; to  work in coordination with others to block the hunter’s access to weapons, materials and jet fuel, while denying it any opportunity to came to claim legitimacy, including by declaring any attempt by the Myanmar military to hold an election to be what it will be, a fraud.