Burma junta extends state of emergency again

Burma's ruling military junta announced Jan. 31 that it has extended the country's state of emergency period for another six months. The junta previously extended the state of emergency by six months on July 31, 2023 and postponed an election it had promised to hold in August 2023. The state of emergency was first declared in the aftermath of the February 2021 coup, and has been continuously extended since then.

While Article 425 of the Constitution stipulates that a state of emergency may only be extended twice at maximum, the junta stated that the extension was necessary as Burma is in an unusual situation.  The junta blamed opposition organizations for keeping the country from conducting multi-party democratic elections. 

UN Security-General António Guterres expressed concerns Jan. 31 over the protection of civilians in Burma. He wrote that the country's humanitarian crisis has continued to deepen, and emphasized the importance of ensuring that all communities in Burma are protected.

On Jan. 23, the UK-based Centre for Information Resilience reported findings that there is a correlation between areas of Burma that have been paced under martial law and those subject to air-strikes by the junta. It also stated that ethnic and religious minorities are targeted by the military. 

From Jurist, Feb. 1. Used with permission.

Note: As of last year, there were a total of 50 townships under martial law in Chin, Kachin, Karen (Kayin), Karenni (Kayah), and Mon states, as well as in Yangon, Mandalay and Sagaing regions. (HRW) Deadly junta air-strikes in these areas have been rapidly mounting

More deadly air-strikes in Burma

Air-strikes struck two schools in Burma's southeastern Karenni state Feb. 5, killing four students, aged 12 to 14, and two teachers. More than 80% of the state's population has been displaced by fighting between the military and local resistance groups, and an estimated 500 civilians have been killed by military shelling and air-strikes, according to the resistance-aligned Interim Executive Council. UNICEF condemned the school attacks as a "grave violation" of international humanitarian law. (TNH)

Burma: junta instates military conscription

The military junta in Burma has enacted mandatory conscription, saying it hopes to draft 60,000 men and women each year into the nation's armed forces, starting in April. The move comes after armed opposition groups have wrested back significant territory from the regime. (TNH)