UN expert says Myanmar has imported $1 billion in arms since 2021 coup

·1-min read
© Aung Shine Oo, AP

Myanmar’s military has imported at least $1 billion in arms and other material since it staged a coup in February 2021, a UN expert said on Wednesday in a new report that calls out Russia and China for aiding the junta's deadly campaign to crush its opposition.

Since the military seized power and jailed democratic leaders, some opponents of military rule have taken up arms, in places joining ethnic minority insurgents, and the military has responded with air strikes and heavy weapons, including in civilian areas.

Russian-made Mi-35 helicopter, MiG-29 fighter jets and Yak-130 light aircraft, and Chinese K-8 jets, have been most frequently used to conduct air strikes that have hit schools, medical facilities, homes and other civilian sites, said the report by Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar.

A single attack on a village gathering organized by the military's opponents in Sagaing region on April 11 killed at least 160 people, reportedly including nearly 40 children, the report said.

Myanmar’s military says it is targeting insurgents and after the Sagaing attack said any civilians killed were probably supporters of opponents it calls "terrorists."

State-owned entities in India also made a smaller volume of transfers, and companies in Singapore, India and Thailand were also involved in transfers to the military.


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