Asia & Pacific

UN Special Envoy Warns of Imminent Bloodbath in Myanmar if Security Council Does Not Act

Over the weekend, Myanmar security forces killed at least 114 civilians across various cities, prompting the United Nations to urge the international community to help protect the country’s peaceful demonstrators.

United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Christine Schraner Burgener warned the Security Council on Wednesday that a “bloodbath is imminent” in Myanmar if action is not taken to halt the military crackdown against protesters, CBS News reported.

“Looking back ten years from now, how will history judge this inaction?” Burgener asked the diplomats, as CBS News reported. “I hope you can act while there is still time to avoid the worst outcome by overcoming caution and disagreement.” 

In her remarks, Burgener revealed that more than 520 people have been killed since democratically elected members of Myanmar’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was toppled by Myanmar’s armed forces, the Tatmadaw, on February 1.

“Already vulnerable groups requiring humanitarian assistance, including ethnic minorities and the Rohingya people, will suffer most. But inevitably, the whole country is on the verge of spiraling into a failed state,” Burgener noted.

“I will remain open to dialogue and continue to signal this but if we wait only for when [the military leaders] are ready to talk, the ground situation will only worsen. A bloodbath is imminent,” Burgener added.

On Thursday, Myanmar’s military ordered internet service providers to shut down wireless broadband services, Reuters reported. A lawyer for Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s deposed leader, also revealed this week that the opposition leader had been charged the week before in Yangon with breaching the country’s secrets law, Al-Jazeera reported.

Suu Kyi and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) have been detained since the February 1 coup.

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