Myanmar Situation Update (9-15 August 2021)

The National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) said it welcomes ASEAN’s appointment of a special envoy to help resolve the country’s post-coup crisis. However, advocate group Justice for Myanmar released a statement warning that the appointment of Erywan Yusof as ASEAN’s special envoy to Myanmar was not suitable because Brunei's fully state-owned oil company Brunei Energy Services and Trading has ties with the Myanmar junta. The United Nations Secretary-General’s special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said the junta had not responded to her request for talks as it tries to consolidate its rule. 

The junta-controlled Union Election Commission (UEC) instructed all political parties on Thursday to compile a list of the party’s funding, finance and assets in preparation for the UEC’s scrutiny. The date of submission will be announced soon.

More than 740 junta soldiers were killed and almost 370 wounded during 355 shootouts with ethnic armed forces and civilian resistance fighters in July, according to the National Unity Government (NUG). Based on media reports, the NUG said almost 200 civilians were killed and 47 injured by the military in fighting during the same month. The junta has also carried out at least 252 attacks and threats against health workers since the coup, killing at least 25 medics and hampering the response to a resurgent outbreak of COVID-19.

Myanmar's junta said it had "nothing to do" with an alleged plot to attack the country's ambassador to the UN U Kyaw Moe Tun, who has defied the military and backed the pro-democracy movement. Thai arms manufacturer Chaiseri Metal and Rubber Co. Ltd has denied any connection with the assassination attempt.

About 38 political detainees are being interrogated by prison authorities in Mandalay’s Obo Prison following a loud protest on Sunday night. A source close to the prison department said “the prisoners were kept in solitary cells of Obo’s prison and will be held there for two weeks and the organizers were beaten by prison authorities.”

According to the International Trade Union Confederation's (ITUC) 2021 Global Rights Index, Myanmar is one of the ten worst countries for working people as the military coup led to systemic violence against working people.

The State Department said that Danny Fenster, an American journalist who was working for Frontier Myanmar, is being held in a Myanmar prison and has not been in contact with U.S. officials for several weeks. The Directors’ Guild of Japan has called on the junta to release filmmaker Maung Thein Dan who has been detained in April while junta-run newspaper released a list of the members of the Myanmar Press Council who have been elected or shortlisted for the organization’s executive committee. Shortly after the announcement, objections were made to some of the elected or shortlisted members by CSOs. 

A group of 45 global and Myanmar human rights groups, media and other organizations called on Norway’s Telenor Group to halt the controversial sale of its Myanmar operation to M1 Group, a Lebanese company with ties to Myanmar’s junta.

Protests continue in different parts of Myanmar despite the crackdown by the junta. The clashes between the junta forces and the civil resistance fighters or Ethnic Armed Organizations also emerged across Myanmar particularly in Shan, Kayin, Kachin, Chin, Kayah, Mon, Kachin States and Sagaing, Mandalay, Yangon, Ayeyarwady and Magway Regions.

According to the information compiled by ANFREL, at least 36 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week. It was reported that at least four people died. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported that, as of 14 August, 971 people have been killed by the junta. 5,604 people are currently under detention and 255 are sentenced. 65 have been sentenced to death and 1,984 are evading arrest warrants.


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