Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews says the people of Myanmar are increasingly frustrated with an international community they feel has failed them.
Tom Andrews, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has said that conditions for Myanmar’s 54 million people have gone from “worse to worse to terrible” since the military took over. government last year.
Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Andrews said the international response to the crisis caused by the February 2021 coup had “failed” and that Myanmar’s military was also committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including sexual violence, torture, intentional. campaign against civilians and murder.
Andrews was speaking to the council on Wednesday, a day after it was reported that at least 11 children had been killed in a helicopter attack on a school north of central Sagaing, where the armed forces claim anti-coup fighters are hiding.
Myanmar was plunged into crisis when Senior Lieutenant General Min Aung Hlaing arrested re-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and took power on the day the new parliament met.
People took to the streets to protest in large numbers and start a nationwide civil disobedience movement to which the military responded by force, leading a number of civilians holding weapons. More than 2,300 people have been killed since the coup and thousands have been arrested, according to the Association to Support Political Prisoners, a civil society group that monitors the situation.
Andrews told the Human Rights Council that 295 children were among those detained, while at least 84 political prisoners were executed.
The military caused outrage in July when it hang four pro-democracy activistsincluding Aung San Suu Kyi’s prominent former member of the National League for Democracy, marking the first use of the death penalty since the late 1980s.
Earlier this week, the head of the United Nations team investigating human rights violations in Myanmar also spoke to the Human Rights Council, telling member states that the scope and scale of the alleged international crimes took place in Myanmar has “expanded considerably”.
Nicholas Koumjian of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) told the panel that post-coup incidents are now also a “main focus” of the agency’s investigations.
Senior generals and those with military connections have been affected by Western sanctions, as have some of the military’s own businesses, while some international businesses have withdrawn from the land. country.
In response, the generals have deeper relations with Russiawas also isolated because of the invasion of Ukraine.
Faced with that situation, Andrews said the international community needed to take “stronger, more effective action to deprive the government and its forces of revenue, arms and legitimacy”.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)The country, which admitted Myanmar as a member in 1997, has spearheaded diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, but the generals have ignored the five-point agreement agreed to in April 2021.
As a result, ASEAN has banned military appointees from its annual summit, but earlier this week, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the bloc needed to consider whether more needed to be done. and whether consensus should be “replaced with something better”.
Saifuddin also argued that ASEAN should join the National Unity Government (NUG) established by elected officials out of power, prompting angry criticism from the Myanmar military.