Myanmar Issue: UN warns of “mass deaths” in Myanmar after 100,000 flee fighting

Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized power, with daily protests across the country and fighting in border areas between the army and armed ethnic minority groups

A United Nations rights expert warned of “mass deaths from starvation, disease and exposure” in eastern Myanmar after “brutal and indiscriminate attacks” by the army forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes in the Kayah state.

In a statement Wednesday, Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, called for urgent international action, saying that the army attacks, which took power after a February coup, were “threatening the lives of many thousands. of men, women and children. “In the state of Kayah or Karenni.

“Let me be frank,” Andrews said. “Mass deaths from hunger, disease and exposure, on a scale that we have not yet seen since the February 1 coup, could occur in Kayah state without immediate action.”

The petition came hours after the UN office in Myanmar said the violence in Kayah had displaced some 100,000 people, who were now seeking safety in the forests, host communities and the south of neighboring Shan State.

Those fleeing and those in the places affected by the shelling and artillery fire were in dire need of food, water, shelter, fuel and access to medical care, the UN office said in a statement.

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Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized power, with daily protests across the country and fighting in border areas between the army and armed ethnic minority groups. People living in Kayah told that the army has launched indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling in civilian areas after fighting broke out on May 21 between security forces and a civilian resistance group calling itself the Force. Defense of the Karenni People (KPDF).

There have been several deaths, including a 14-year-old boy who was shot to death in Loikaw Township and a young man who was shot in the head with his hands tied behind his back. Security forces have also attacked and threatened humanitarian workers, while Andrews said he had received reports that soldiers were “preventing aid from reaching these desperate people” by setting up military blockades and laying landmines on public roads. .


“Any pressure or influence that UN member states may exert on the junta must now be exerted so that the leader of the junta, Min Aung Hlaing, will immediately: (1): open access roads and allow aid to save lives reach those in need, and (2) stop terrorizing the population by ceasing aerial bombardment, bombardment and shooting of civilians ”.

Andrews said the military attacks on civilians in Kayah were “the latest in a series across Myanmar that caused mass displacement and humanitarian suffering, including in Mutraw in Karen state, Mindat in Chin state and the city of Bago, between other areas”.


“Now more than ever, the international community must cut off access to the resources on which the junta depends to continue these brutal attacks against the people of Myanmar,” he added. The agreement, reached at a special summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), called for an end to violence, political talks and the appointment of a regional special envoy.


On Monday, ASEAN foreign ministers met with a Myanmar military envoy in China’s Chongqing and expressed concern about the army’s “painfully slow” progress in implementing the consensus. However, Wunna Maung Lwin, the army’s foreign minister, said at the meeting, “The only way to ensure that the democratic system is disciplined and genuine” was through a five-pu military program.

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