World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

‘Mass Deaths’ Alert In Myanmar As 100,000 Flee Junta’s Heavy Weapons

In Myanmar, international action is needed urgently to prevent “mass deaths” there, after civilians fled attacks by so-called “junta bombs”, a top independent UN rights expert has warned.

“Mass deaths from starvation, disease and exposure could occur in Kayah State after many of the 100,000 forced to flee into forests from junta bombs are now cut off from food, water and medicine by the junta. The international community must act”, UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar, Tom Andrews, tweeted late on Monday.

In his alert, Mr. Andrews noted that the Kayah state attacks were just the latest in a series throughout Myanmar that had caused mass displacement and suffering, from Mutraw in Karen state to Mindat in Chin state and Bago city.

The independent rights expert, who reports to the Human Rights Council, emphasised that that the lives of many thousands of men, women and children were under threat from indiscriminate attacks, on a scale not seen since the 1 February coup, “that likely amount to mass atrocity crimes”.

The development echoes concern by the UN Country Team in Myanmar, which on Monday underscored the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Kayah State and other parts of the country, linked to protests caused by the military takeover.

Basic needs blocked

Citing credible reports, Mr. Andrews said that people were in dire need of food, water, medicine and shelter after reported clashes with volunteer community militias, while the UN country team said that many had also sought safety in host communities and forests across Kayah and southern parts of neighbouring Shan state.

Aid deliveries had been allegedly blocked to those forced to flee their homes to escape bombing raids and artillery fire and the military had also placed landmines on public roads, said the Special Rapporteur.

“Any pressure or leverage UN Member States can put on the junta must now be exerted” to encourage junta leader Min Aung Hlaing to allow lifesaving aid in, and to stop “terrorising the population by ceasing the aerial bombardment, shelling and shooting of civilians”.

Medical teams a target

In its appeal, the UN Country Team reiterated earlier calls for all parties to protect all civilians and civilian infrastructure, “particularly medical units and health workers”.

Despite that fact that UN aid teams and their partners had supplies that were ready to be deployed “insecurity, travel restrictions imposed by security forces, and poor road conditions are delaying the delivery of supplies”, the team said in a statement.

The team called on "the security forces to allow for a safe passage of humanitarian supplies and personnel and to facilitate our ability to directly provide aid to all those who need it."

“Now, more than ever, the international community must cut off access to the resources that the junta needs to continue these brutal attacks on the people of Myanmar,” Mr. Andrews said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Covid-19: Vaccines Donated Next Year, ‘Too Late For Those Who Are Dying Today’

Millions more COVID vaccines need to be donated now to save lives and help the UN health agency reach the key global target of having 70 per cent of all national populations vaccinated, by the middle of 2022... More>>


UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>



OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


COP26: Progress Made As May-June UN Climate Change Session Closes

The May-June Climate Change Session, the first to have been held virtually to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held at the end of the year in Glasgow, Scotland, closed today... More>>

UNFCCC: Halving Emissions By 2030 Is New Normal - Race To Zero Anniversary
Over 4,500 non-state actors from across the global economy have committed to halving emissions by 2030, joining the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign... More>>


UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>