Thousands of people risk their lives in Myanmar, says UN

map of Myanmar map of Myanmar Photo by yorkfoto on iStock

09 June 2021

The UN special rapporteur for Myanmar states that many thousands of people of the country are exposed to risks

Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, urged the international community to take immediate action in order to rescue the lives of the many thousands of citizens who find themselves in dire need of essential resources such as food, water, electricity and access to healthcare services. As confirmed by the UN office in Myanmar, the military attacks taking place in Kayah State forced in these last months approximately 100,000 people to flee their homes and look for shelter in the forests of the neighbouring Shan State. Those fleeing are exposed to the risk of starvation and disease, which may tragically lead to an unprecedented amount of deaths.

In eastern Myanmar, the military forces took power after the coup occurred in February. Ever since, there have been protests and clashes between the military and armed ethnic groups across the region. As a reaction to this violence, the security forces have been perpetrating brutal and indiscriminate attacks, bringing about terrible consequences for people’s living conditions. It has been reported by the Italian Newspaper “La Repubblica” that at least 547 civilians were murdered by the security forces in the period between February and April, whereas according to Al Jazeera’s sources the death toll of victims would amount to 849 people, including women and children. As to this, a 14-year-old child was shot dead by the military army in Loikaw township. 

In addition to that, the attacks perpetrated by the security forces have damaged civilian infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and markets. Subsequently, many civilians living in the area have been struggling to access essential goods, services and livelihood opportunities. 

Because the numerous pleas to stop the violence in the country have remained unheard, Tom Andrews has urged the international community to cut off access to resources that military forces need in order to continue perpetrating such heinous acts against the civilians. This is a fundamental step in order to pull the plug on these mass atrocities ultimately saving the life of thousands of innocent people.




Author: Gianpaolo Mascaro; Editor: Emily Herstine

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