Conflicts & War

UN envoy calls for ‘New Year’s ceasefire throughout Myanmar’

Bangkok Desk, Dec 28 (EFE).- The United Nations’ special envoy of the secretary-general on Myanmar said Tuesday she is “deeply concerned” over the escalation of violence in the country, and appealed for a nationwide “New Year’s ceasefire.”

In her first statement, Noeleen Heyzer urged “all parties to exercise utmost restraint and seek a peaceful solution.”

The Singaporean diplomat stressed the need for an “immediate cessation of violence,” recalling one of the five points of consensus reached in April between Myanmar coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and nine Southeast Asian political leaders.

“Those inflicting suffering on its own people need to silence their guns and protect people in time of great need. The future of Myanmar’s children counts on this,” she said.

Heyzer also appealed “for a New Year’s ceasefire throughout Myanmar.”

In recent weeks, the military has launched violent offensives in areas controlled by ethnic militias in Karen (Kayin) and Karenni (Kayah) states in the east of the country, where massacres of civilians have been reported and thousands have fled their homes, many taking refuge in neighboring Thailand.

Since Dec. 15, the military has bombed civilian areas in eastern Karen state with planes, helicopter gunships and artillery, causing the displacement of about 10,000 civilians, of which about 6,000 are estimated to have fled across the border into Thailand, according to various Myanmar NGOs.

The military junta is also under fire for the massacre of at least 35 civilians, including women and children, on Dec. 24 in Karenni state. Save The Children reported that two of its workers also remain missing in the violence.

Karen and Karenni are two of the states where the armed forces’ clashes with ethnic guerrillas and civilian militias have been exacerbated.

Myanmar has spiraled into crisis and further violence since the military led by Min Aung Hlaing seized power in the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the democratic government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

In addition to peaceful protests and a civil disobedience movement, civilian militias have taken up arms alongside ethnic guerrillas that have been in conflict with the military for decades.

After 10 months since the coup, the military junta still does not have the support of the majority of the country despite the violence unleashed against dissent, which has caused at least 1,377 deaths to date, according to an organization of Myanmar activists. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button