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Jakarta Post

We must stop mass atrocities in Myanmar – now

  • Pou Sothirak

    Phnom Penh

PREMIUM
Phnom Penh   /   Thu, April 8 2021   /  01:00 am
Protesters carry a wounded man shot with live rounds by security forces during a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 17, 2021.(AFP/Stringer)

Humanity has apparently failed to learn important lessons from the past about mass atrocities. Atrocity crimes still continue even as states also fail to ensure the protection of civilians amid outbreaks of violence. This is particularly egregious in light of the myriad commitments made by member states of the United Nations, which vowed to “never again” stand idly by in the face of mass atrocity crimes after the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm at the UN World Summit of Leaders in 2005. Following the Feb. 1 coup, I have followed the ongoing suffering of the people of Myanmar with a heavy heart. However, I believe that it is not too late for further atrocities to be prevented. After the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975, at least 1.7 million innocent civilians died from starvation, torture, execution and forced labor during Pol Pot’s reign...