In Burma, an endless nightmare
By a classic phenomenon of media eclipse, Burma has been off our radar for several months. Mobilized by the war in Ukraine, the attention of Europeans for this part of the world has faded. Far from our eyes, the Burmese population is the object of merciless repression. On Monday, the military junta announced the execution of four people. Among them are two former deputies, human rights activists. It is the first time since 1988 that the death penalty has been applied, while 114 death sentences have been pronounced since the February 2021 coup. The regime assumes a strategy of terror. At the end of March, its boss declared that he “would negotiate more and annihilate until the end” his opponents. He keeps his word. A local NGO estimates that, in eighteen months, 15,000 people have been arrested and 2,000 civilians killed. Many of them are victims of anti-personnel mines used extensively by the junta, as Amnesty International recently reported.
In a country with more than a hundred ethnic groups, the opportunities for conflict are incessant. The brief – and relative – experience of freedom (2015-2021) was not exempt from mass violence. It was during this period that the army engaged in the bloody repression of the Rohingyas, now officially qualified as genocide by the United States. Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, was accused at the time of complicity by NGOs. She is now imprisoned and held incommunicado by the soldiers whom she had defended at the time. This trajectory alone symbolizes all the complexity of the Burmese nightmare, before which we can do very little, if not avoid looking elsewhere.