Conflicts & War

Myanmar civilian killings: Biden outraged, EU says ‘unacceptable’

Washington/Brussels, Mar 29 (efe-epa).- United States President Joe Biden and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have condemned the escalation of violence that has left more than 100 civilians killed over the weekend in military-ruled Myanmar.

Biden called it “absolutely outrageous,” after security forces on the Armed Forces Day on Saturday shot dead dozens of people, including at least six children.

“It is terrible. It is absolutely outrageous. And based on the reporting I have gotten, an awful lot of people have been killed totally unnecessarily,” Biden told reporters in brief remarks to reporters in his home state of Delaware.

The European Union foreign minister described the deadly violence perpetrated by the Myanmar people against its people on its Armed Forces Day as “unacceptable.”

“Far from celebrating, the Myanmar military has made yesterday a day of horror and of shame,” Borrell said in a statement.

“I reiterate the EU’s condemnation of the callous violence perpetrated against the people of Myanmar and urge the Myanmar military leaders to stand down from this senseless path. This tragedy must stop.”

Borrell said the EU was working with key partners to stop this violence against Myanmar civilians, to get a proper political process underway, and to release all the detainees.

“We will continue to use the EU’s mechanisms, including sanctions, to target the perpetrators of this violence, and those responsible for turning back the clock on Myanmar’s path of democracy and peace,” he said.

Local news media outlet Myanmar Now put Saturday’s toll at 114 killed across 44 cities, in the deadliest day unleashed by security forces since the coup.

The number of deaths due to military and police brutality against civilians in Myanmar since the Feb.1 coup has risen to 423, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The advocacy group recorded at least 90 people killed on Saturday, including six children between the ages of 10 and 16.

But it said that “the actual number of fatalities is likely much higher as the death toll continues to rise.”

The military seized power alleging electoral fraud in the elections in November, which were won by the party of the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and which were declared legitimate by international observers.

Since the coup, the military junta has arrested more than 3,000 people, including Suu Kyi, and several members of her cabinet, who have mostly been held incommunicado. EFE-EPA


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