Myanmar’s Arms Import since Coup Hits $1 Billion

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Myanmar’s military has imported arms worth at least $1 billion since seizing power in February 2021, despite “overwhelming evidence of its responsibility for atrocity crimes”, a United Nations expert said.

Most of the weapons came from Russia, China and companies in Singapore, Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar said in a report released on Wednesday in New York.

The exports cover weapons, dual-use technology and materials used to manufacture weapons exported from the day of the coup on February 1, 2021, to December 2022.

“These weapons, and the materials to manufacture more of them, have continued to flow uninterrupted to the Myanmar military despite overwhelming evidence of its responsibility for atrocity crimes,” said the report, according to Al Jazeera. It identified more than 12,500 unique purchases or recorded shipments directly to the Myanmar military or known Myanmar arms dealers working on the military’s behalf.

Myanmar was plunged into crisis by the coup, which triggered mass protests. A deadly crackdown ignited armed resistance, with ethnic armed groups that have long been fighting the military joining forces with so-called People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) to fight against the generals.

The PDFs are aligned with the National Unity Government (NUG) established by legislators removed in the coup and others opposed to military rule.

The UN and rights groups have accused the military of human rights abuses in its attempts to suppress opposition, saying some incidents may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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