Burmese army slaughters civilians and aid workers: UN “horrified”

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Martin Griffiths, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, announced that the organization was “horrified” by a Christmas Eve massacre in eastern Myanmar (Burma) that left 35 people dead. civilians, possibly two aid workers.

This non-profit organization, Save the Children, reported that two of its employees were still missing in Kayah State in Myanmar. The vehicle in which the aid workers were found was attacked and set on fire by government troops, according to local sources.

“I condemn this serious incident and all attacks on civilians across the country, which are prohibited by international humanitarian law,” Griffiths said in a press release.

“I call on the authorities to immediately open a full and transparent investigation into the incident so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice quickly. “

The UN official separately called on both the Myanmar armed forces, whose leaders have ruled the country since February 2021, and the various Burmese rebel groups that have opposed it to protect civilians.

The US Embassy in Burma said it was “appalled by this barbaric attack”, which it said killed women and children, in a Twitter statement.

“We will continue to press for the perpetrators of the ongoing campaign of violence against the Burmese people to be held accountable,” the statement said, using the country’s old name in accordance with State Department policy.

More than 1,300 people were killed in related violence in February 2021 Rebellion by the Tatmadaw, or Burmese military, against the elected government of President Win Myint and State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi. Months of protests followed the coup, resulting in a crackdown by security forces, an increase in rebel activity in the countryside, and subsequent government retaliation targeting civilians.

On Sunday, photos posted on social networks depicting two burnt trucks and a car in Hpruso, Kayah township. A local anti-government militia leader said his group had inspected the scene and found the bodies of 27 people, according to AFP.

The Burmese government has admitted that its troops killed a number of people in Kayah following a clash with anti-government rebels, according to government spokesman Zaw Min Tun.

Save the Children said on Saturday that two of its staff in Myanmar were returning home via Kayah and were “caught up” in the incident. It has since temporarily suspended its work in several parts of Myanmar, according to a statement published by the group.

Trevor Filseth is a current affairs and foreign affairs writer for the National interest.

Image: Reuters



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