March 7, 2021

Burma Campaign UK today welcomed an announcement by the Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, that is had finally suspended its training programme with the Burmese military.

It is 35 days since the military coup. Australia has not provided an explanation as to why it took them 35 days to decide whether or not to keep training the Burmese military following the coup.

It is three and a half years since the beginning of the 2017 military offensive against Rohingya civilians, mostly children, which United Nations investigators described as genocide and crimes against humanity. Australia has not provided an explanation as to why it considers a military coup and shooting civilians in cities as unacceptable, but shooting ethnic civilians in villages and committing genocide is not serious enough to stop providing training.

On 3rd March Burma Campaign UK published a briefing paper listing 13 countries engaged in military training and cooperation with the Burmese military. The briefing paper is available here: https://burmacampaign.org.uk/media/12-countries-involved-in-training-and-cooperation-with-the-Burmese-Military.pdf

“Australia has finally ended a training programme it should never have started in the first place,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Twelve more countries are still engaged in training and cooperation with the Burmese military. Countries providing training to the Burmese military have sided with the military, which is shooting peaceful protesters. They cannot claim non-interference in Burma’s internal affairs when they are helping one side, a military which is killing civilians.”


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