Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons: Zlatica Hoke (VOA) Refugees entering Bangladesh after being driven out of Myanmar in 2017.
21 November 2022
It is nearly two years since the military junta overthrew the elected government in Myanmar and fifteen months since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan.
Both countries are facing calamity.
Last week, UAI published two new articles on the situation in Myanmar, the first, by Florence Duchet, with support from Charles Petrie, describes the anarchy, the atrocities, and the destitution confronting the people of Myanmar.
In the second article, Jeff Crisp and Heeba Hasan, chronicle the unending horrors facing the Rohingya, whether in Myanmar itself, in the refugee camps of Bangladesh, or eking out an existence as undocumented migrants in other countries in the region.
All the authors urge much greater international attention to Myanmar, without which things will only get worse.
The recent release of some political prisoners by the military junta is welcome, but does nothing to address the fundamental problem; the overthrow of a properly elected civilian government by the military junta.
Since March this year, UAI has campaigned relentlessly on the ‘Frozen Funds’ question, seeking to unlock around $9 billion of deposits belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank, held in US and European banks.
Now, a glimmer of hope: A consignment of new Afghanis, the Afghan local currency, has finally arrived in Kabul after a long-delayed shipment was released (see UAI’s statement below).
Other steps to allow the banking system to operate normally are still urgently needed, but this is a start.
UAI was represented in Dublin at the adoption of the Political Declaration on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas on 18 November.
UAI is a member of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) and supports the statement they issued.
As the horrors of the Russian attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure continue, all efforts to strengthen the norms intended to protect civilians in armed conflict, must be vigorously supported.
The UAI team