UN fears ‘mass atrocities’ in Myanmar

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The UN warned of a possible new human rights catastrophe in Myanmar as thousands of soldiers moved into the north of the country during a crackdown on dissent.

The military junta that took over the south east Asian country in a February coup has been responsible for over 1,100 civilian deaths and 8,000 arrests, according to a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Tom Andrews.

Andrews expressed fears of more bloodshed, repression and torture in his annual human rights report on Myanmar to the General Assembly. Tens of thousands of troops were now moving into the north and northwest of the country, he reported.

These tactics are ominously reminiscent of those employed by the military before its genocidal attacks against the Rohingya in Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017,” he recalled.

The UN report said that most people are protesting peacefully against a coup which forced the country into chaos and displaced over a quarter of a million people.

Andrews said that the “unrelenting violations of human rights” have led concerned citizens to arm themselves as part of a “people’s defense forces” so they could potentially repel any potential onslaught from junta forces.

Photo – A demonstrator lit candle and prays in Yangon, Myanmar. EPA-EFE/NYEIN CHAN NAING

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