A humanitarian disaster threatens the 100,000 people who fled from military violence in East Myanmar. That is what the UN human rights rapporteur says, who warns against mass mortality from illness and starvation if not intervened.
In the aftermath of the military coup, the Myanmar army carries out large-scale ground and air strikes in Kayah state, bordering Thailand. The battle goes between the government army and the local rebel movement KPDF. But according to the UN, the military makes no distinction and civilians are also being shot and bombed.
Fled into the jungle
“ The brutal attacks by the junta pose a threat to the lives of thousands of men, women and children,” says rapporteur Tom Andrews. The flow of refugees would have hidden largely in the jungle. According to Andrews, there is a great shortage of medicines, clean drinking water and shelter.
Eyewitnesses report that military forces with blockages make the supply of emergency aid impossible. “I also receive worrying reports that government soldiers place landmines on public roads,” continues the UN rapporteur.
Citizens in the region report statutory executions to news channel Al Jazeera. Two churches were also said to have been shot at by the army. That happened in an area where predominantly Christians live. They form a minority, the vast majority of the 57 million inhabitants are Buddhist.
Andrews calls on UN Member States to put pressure on the military regime. With the direct aim of restarting the supply of emergency aid and to “stop the terror against the population”. He adds that the army is also committing violence against minorities in other Länder.
The military rulers contradict all abuses. The junta also continues to reiterate its intention to restore democracy in the country. The military leadership committed a coup détat in February, because the elections would have been unfair. International and national observers contradict this accusation.
Since the coup in Myanmar, according to human rights organisations, more than 850 civilians have been killed by security forces. Nearly 5000 people would have been arrested, charged or convicted for political reasons.