Conflicts & War

UN rapporteur: Myanmar crisis has become invisible

Jakarta, June 21 (EFE).- United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Tom Andrews said Wednesday that the crisis in the country is not receiving sufficient attention from the international community.

Andrews said the conflict in Myanmar “has become invisible to a large part of the world” and that some governments are beginning to think that “the tyranny of the military junta is inevitable.”

Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta, where he wrapped up his eight-day visit to Indonesia, Andrews said this narrative of the inevitability of the military regime in the aftermath of the 2021 coup “is exactly what the junta wants and needs.”

He said the conflict in Myanmar has reached a “turning point” and that the international community must “rethink its way of approaching the crisis.”

“This should start with the recognition that Myanmar’s current crisis response procedures are simply not working and that a change of course is imperative,” he said.

Andrews spoke of the importance he said Indonesia must have to unblock the situation.

“I came to Indonesia because the human rights situation in Myanmar is dire and getting worse and because I believe Indonesia is positioned to play a crucial role in resolving this crisis,” he said.

He spoke of the little progress achieved with the strategy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – chaired this year by Indonesia – which he asked to “take measures to hold the junta responsible for serious violations of rights” and of having ignored the five points of consensus agreed in 2021 to get out of the crisis.

The plan included an end to violence against civilians, access to humanitarian aid and an inclusive dialogue between all parties.

He said ASEAN allows the participation of military members of the military regime in meetings on Defense or the informal meeting on Myanmar that Thailand organized this week with members of the junta because “they can have the dangerous effect of giving legitimacy to the junta”. .

Andrews listed facts about Myanmar since the Feb. 1, 2021 coup: more than 3,600 civilians have been killed by authorities, 19,000 political activists have been imprisoned, 58,000 houses, schools and clinics have been destroyed in dissenting areas, where more than 1.5 million people have been displaced.

Added to this situation, which he called “dark,” was the powerful cyclone Mocha in May, which left a trail of destruction and caused more than 450 deaths in the country, according to the civil opposition to the junta.

The military regime, which lowered the figure to about 150 deaths, received strong criticism from international organizations for blocking the entry of international humanitarian aid to areas affected by the storm.

“This despicable action says everything there is to know about the junta and its priorities,” Andrews said, adding that the regime was “weaponizing humanitarian aid.”

The UN already denounced this blockade last week, which he described as “incomprehensible.” EFE


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