For Oral Answer on : 25/01/2024
Question Number(s): 48 Question Reference(s): 3390/24
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs to report on the current situation in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I am deeply concerned by the continuing deterioration of the situation in Myanmar. I wish to reiterate the Government’s strong condemnation of the February 2021 coup and the resulting violence.
Recent figures suggest that 18.6 million people, over a third of the population, are now dependent on humanitarian assistance for their survival. Nearly 2.6 million people have been displaced and more than 3,600 deaths have been recorded. Over 50% of the population are now living in poverty. I am disturbed by reports that the junta has been withholding humanitarian aid from civilian populations and by the mounting evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity collected by the United Nations Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.
Since October 2023, Operation 1027, a joint military operation of anti-junta groups, has resulted in regained territory for resistance forces. These months have also seen increasingly brutal attacks by the junta, including indiscriminate air strikes on civilian targets. On 12 January, a ceasefire agreement was announced between the military junta and resistance groups in the Shan State region of Myanmar, though continued fighting is reported in the region. Conflict between the Tatmadaw and other anti-junta groups continues elsewhere in the country.
Ireland remains actively engaged on the crisis in Myanmar through multilateral fora including the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. Most recently, Ireland made a statement at the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee, condemning the military, drawing attention to the dire human rights and humanitarian situations, and expressing support for relevant accountability mechanisms including the International Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.
On 11 December 2023, the EU adopted the eighth sanctions package on Myanmar since the coup in 2021.
Ireland also provides significant humanitarian funding to Myanmar and to the Rohingya crisis. In 2023, Irish funding for these crises totalled nearly €2.4 million which included grants to both civil society organisations and UN agencies. In 2024, Ireland will continue to provide support to the people of Myanmar, including through increased sums of €1 million to the UN Myanmar Humanitarian Fund and €1.5 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.