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UN Special Envoy addresses Burma’s crisis

The UN Special Envoy on Burma Noeleen Heyzer told the UN General Assembly on March 16 that violence since the 2021 military coup in Burma is continuing on an “alarming scale.” Heyzer raised last month’s state of emergency extension by the regime, its airstrikes and its attacks on civilians. “We just received reports that 28 civilians were killed by the military at a monastery in Southern Shan State,” said Heyzer, referring to the Burma Army operation and alleged massacre in Pinlaung Township on March 11. 

Heyzer drew attention to the resistance across the country to the military coup. “A generation that benefited from Myanmar’s previous opening up, especially the youth, is now disillusioned, facing chronic hardship and many feeling they have no choice but to take up arms to fight military rule,” she said. The regime is denying access to food to punish communities across Burma for supporting the resistance to military rule. Heyzer noted the “unprecedented solidarity that has emerged” in Burma among resistance forces. “I know that this [UN] General Assembly will renew its commitment supporting the will of the people, including the Rohingya, to build a peaceful, just and democratic union of Myanmar for all,” she added.


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