The United Nations fears another human rights disaster in Myanmar amid reports of thousands of troops massing in the north of the Southeast Asian country, which has been in chaos since a coup. Status in February.
“We should all be prepared, as the people of this part of Myanmar are prepared, for more mass atrocities. I desperately hope I am wrong, ”said UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Tom Andrews.
More than 1,100 civilians have been killed in the country’s bloody crackdown on dissent and more than 8,000 have been arrested since the coup, according to a local watch group.
Andrews, who presented the findings of an annual human rights report on Myanmar to the United Nations general assembly in New York, said he had received reports that tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weapons were moved to the turbulent areas of the north and north. -Where is.
The findings, he said, also indicated that the junta had engaged in probable crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“These tactics are ominously reminiscent of those employed by the military prior to its genocidal attacks on the Rohingya in Rakhine state in 2016 and 2017,” Andrews said.
About 740,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017 after security forces launched a crackdown that the UN says could amount to genocide.
Andrews urged countries to deny Myanmar’s military junta the money, weapons and legitimacy it wanted, citing the release of a prisoner earlier in the week as proof the pressure was working.
On Monday, Burmese junta leader Min Aung Hlaing announced the release of more than 5,000 people jailed for protesting the coup.
The move came just days after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations handed a major snub to the military regime, excluding the junta leader from an upcoming 10-country bloc summit.
“ASEAN’s announcement that the junta will not be welcome at its next summit strikes at the heart,” Andrews said.
Andrews said junta-controlled forces displaced a quarter of a million people. Many of those who had been detained were tortured, he said, including dozens who died as a result.
Andrews added that he had received credible reports that children had also been tortured.