Photo: DVB

DMG Newsroom
15 June 2021, Sittwe

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has warned that Tatmadaw troop buildups in Myanmar’s Chin and Kayah states, as well as other “key areas,” threaten to bring further bloodshed and a deepening humanitarian crisis.

“State security forces have continued to use heavy weaponry, including airstrikes, against armed groups and against civilians and civilian objects, including Christian churches,” she said on Friday. “There appear to be no efforts towards de-escalation but rather a build-up of troops in key areas, contrary to the commitments the military made to ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to cease the violence.”

In its June 8-14 bulletin, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs highlighted ongoing concerns about more than 15,000 people displaced in Chin State, which neighbours Arakan State, since last month.

“Over 18,000 people are currently hosted in 74 displacement sites in Mindat, Kanpetlet, Hakha, Matupi and Thantlang townships in Chin State since 12 May and in Saw Township in Magway Region since 6 June,” said UN OCHA.

The United Nations says at least 860 people have been killed by junta forces since the Myanmar military staged a coup on February 1, with most of the fatalities occurring during anti-regime protests. At least 4,804 people — including activists, journalists and members of the opposition movement — remain arbitrarily detained, according to the UN, which cited “credible sources.”

Bachelet will present the latest information on the situation in Myanmar to the UN Human Rights Council on July 7.

“In just over four months, Myanmar has gone from being a fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe,” Bachelet said last week. “In addition to the loss of life, people are suffering from severe impacts on the social and economic rights. The military leadership is singularly responsible for this crisis, and must be held to account.”

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