The case of Myanmar has become one of the most glaring examples for the failure of the international community to realise the promise made with the adoption of the responsibility to protect (R2P) norm in 2005: 'Never again' has turned into again and again. A mix of unwillingness and inability to prevent atrocity crimes has in Myanmar over the past ten years led to several instances of atrocity crimes and genocidal violence against the Rohingya. Most recently, the military coup of February 2021 has showcased that the notion of an international community exercising a responsibility to protect the population of Myanmar against crimes against humanity and other atrocity crimes dissembles into a few states openly shielding the perpetrators, a few condemning and countering the newest cycle of violence, and many silent bystanders to the ongoing atrocities. This article discusses the role of the R2P norm in the case of Myanmar and introduces the different contributions that comprise the special issue on Myanmar and the failure of R2P.
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© KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2021