Myanmar is evolving ‘from bad to worse, to horrible’, hears the Human Rights Council


“With each report, I have warned that unless UN member states change course in the way they are collectively responding to this crisis, the people of Myanmar will suffer even further,” he told the Human Rights Council in Geneva, saying the conditions “from bad to worse, to horrific for untold numbers of innocent people in Myanmar.”

‘Stakes can’t be higher’

Mr Andrews presented a stark assessment of 1.3 million IDPs; 28,000 destroyed houses; villages burned down; more than 13,000 children killed while the death toll for innocent people rises significantly; an impending food crisis; and 130,000 Rohingya in de facto internment camps, while others suffer deprivation and discrimination because of their lack of citizenship.

“Let me be honest: the people of Myanmar are deeply disappointed with the international community’s response to this crisis. They are frustrated and angry with member states who are working to prop up this illegal and ruthless military junta with funding, trade, weapons and a layer of legitimacy,” he explained.

“But they are also disappointed by the countries that express their support but then fail to back up their words with actions. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”

war crimes

Myanmar’s military commits war crimes and crimes against humanity on a daily basis, including murder, sexual assault, torture and assault on civilians, Mr Andrews continued.

And the conflict is spreading across the country as more and more civilians take up arms against the junta.

In addition, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding as military leaders impede aid delivery to displaced populations and communities they believe are aligned with pro-democracy forces.

“Uncountable numbers of innocent people have no access to food, medicine and the means to survive,” he said.

Failed response

The UN expert noted that the international response has failed, saying that “first and foremost” member states must more vigorously deprive the junta of revenue, weapons and the legitimacy it needs to attack the Burmese and suppress their democratic aspirations. .

“Many in Myanmar have come to the conclusion that the world has forgotten them, or just doesn’t care. They ask me why Member States refuse to take measures that are both possible and practical, measures that could save untold numbers of lives,” he said.

“Honestly, I don’t have an answer.”

Recalling that the Human Rights Council is called the conscience of the UN, he called on its members to “rethink status quo policies that are not working” and chart a new course for UN member states to work alongside and for them. to stand. are “fighting for their lives, their children, their future”.

Unsplash/Zag Wunna

A group of people on the streets of Yangon show their support for Myanmar.

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