In a recent call to action, the United Nations (UN) has urged Myanmar's military junta to cease the use of weapons and halt acts of violence in an effort to reinstate peace and stability within the nation. This appeal comes in the wake of significant unrest in Myanmar following a military coup in February 2021 that sparked widespread protests and harsh military crackdowns, resulting in numerous reports of human rights abuses.
UN Expert Calls for De-escalation
A UN expert implored UN Member States to intervene in the escalating military conflict in Myanmar. The military junta stands accused of using weapons to commit probable war crimes and crimes against humanity. The conflict has displaced more than a quarter of a million people throughout the country. The junta's control appears to be drastically waning and has resorted to attacking civilians and obstructing humanitarian relief in response to its military losses.
Need for International Intervention
The UN expert emphasized the need to ground junta jets and helicopter gunships that are attacking villages, schools, hospitals, and internally displaced person (IDP) camps. He further stressed the importance of the international community's role in delivering humanitarian assistance to displaced and vulnerable populations. Finally, he called for proactive engagement with the National Unity Government, ethnic resistance organizations, and Myanmar civil society to help establish a democratic and rights-respecting country.
Mounting Civilian Casualties
An escalating conflict between Myanmar's military and ethnic groups seeking autonomy has burgeoned into the largest scale conflict since the 2021 coup. More than 286,000 people have fled their homes following an offensive launched by an alliance of ethnic armies in northern Shan State in late October. The fighting has spread to other regions, resulting in the death of 187 civilians and injuring 246 others. The conflict has now reached densely populated urban centers, heightening the safety and security risk to civilian populations across the nation. Amid a weak economy and a multi-front conflict from armed ethnic groups, the military junta's situation is precarious.