New Delhi, Jan 31: Three years after Myanmar’s military ousted the elected government, the country is facing a severe human rights crisis, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk.
On the eve of the coup’s anniversary, Türk called for increased global attention to Myanmar’s plight, emphasizing the prolonged suffering of its people.
The conflict between the military and opposition groups has led to widespread displacement and civilian deaths. The military is accused of conducting indiscriminate aerial and artillery attacks following recent battlefield losses.
Recent reports confirm over 554 fatalities since October, with civilian deaths caused by the military surpassing 1,600 in 2023, an increase of around 300 from the previous year. Around 26,000 individuals have been arrested for political reasons, with over 19,000 still detained.
Türk criticized the military’s tactics, noting their deliberate targeting of civilians and protected facilities, including medical and educational institutions. He highlighted the severe impact on Rakhine state and the Rohingya community, with many Rohingyas in Bangladesh attempting perilous sea journeys due to dire conditions in refugee camps.
Türk stressed the need for accountability, calling for targeted sanctions against Myanmar’s military to curb their capacity for serious violations and urging the restoration of civilian governance.
Additionally, he advocated for increased funding for the OHCHR, seeking $500 million to enhance global human rights promotion amid escalating conflicts, climate change, disinformation, poverty, and inequality.