Myanmar: Military Control

Media Release:

The Hague, 1st February 2021

Myanmar: Military Control

International Community Urged to Restore Democracy

We are saddened by the news that Myanmar's short-lived democracy has ended at the hands of the military. The news of the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and other political leaders is not a shock but the dawn of February 1st marks a black day for democracy in Myanmar.

Gender Concerns International has a deep connection to Myanmar through its Gender Election Observation Mission in 2015 (GEOM Myanmar 2015). The urge for democracy and civilian rule is exceptionally high among the people in Myanmar and this has been evidenced through the high turnout of voters in elections in both 2015 and 2020.

Observing the past elections and working in conjunction with different local and regional civil society groups we offer our unwavering support to our partners, especially women rights activists and organisations, in these testing times. It is appalling that the results of a democratic election have not been respected and the people’s mandate has been denied.

We are concerned for all people in Myanmar, including the stranded parliamentarians, government officials, UEC staff, and many others feared to become the direct victims of brutal military action. It is extremely worrying that many regions are still so hard to reach, even more so since the reports of national telecommunications blackout. These reports create an additional threat to the county and people, who are already dealing with so much in the wake of this action and a global pandemic.

We urge the Netherlands, EU, and the entire international community to act swiftly to restore democratic order and protect the people of Myanmar. They must also work together to influence the evolving and sensitive situation of the Rohingya Repatriation process. This is a sad day for democracy.

Issued by Sabra Bano, Director at Gender Concerns International.

For further information please contact:

Rosalind Bennett

E: rosalind@genderconcerns.org

Gender Concerns International

Wolga 9D, 2491BK, The Hague, The Netherlands

P: +31 (0) 74445082 W: www.genderconcerns.org

Gender Concerns International is an international gender and development organization with its headquarters in The Hague and offices in several focus countries. It specializes working in the areas of gender, democracy, and electoral processes, particularly in fragile democracies and conflicting areas. It has been observing elections in Myanmar since 2015.