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Myanmar must act now, before it's too late, according to a top UN official


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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has warned of a human rights disaster in Myanmar under military rule and urged the international community to do more to prevent the crisis from worsening.


“The national ramifications are horrible and devastating – the regional consequences could be enormous as well,” Bachelet said in a statement released on Thursday.

 

“Before it is too late, the international community must redouble its efforts to restore democracy and prevent further conflict.”


Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized control in a coup on February 1, ending ten years of timid advances toward democracy and provoking uproar both domestically and internationally.

 

According to the United Nations, more than 1,120 people have been killed since the coup, many of them amid a widespread crackdown by security forces on strikes and rallies by those opposed to the military regaining power.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals have been detained.


Armed opposition forces have arisen in numerous locations, clashing with the military, forcing tens of thousands of people to leave, even to India in recent days.

 

Security personnel allegedly burned down homes and opened fire on inhabitants in their village in the Sagaing Region on Thursday, forcing locals to flee.


The bloodshed in Sagaing came just a day after anti-coup dissidents and the military clashed in Chin state near the Indian border, forcing thousands of residents to flee.


According to Bachelet, troops utilised weaponry intended for military confrontation against civilians and carried out "indiscriminate airstrikes and artillery barrages."

 

On Thursday, local media in Myanmar reported deadly fighting in at least five different areas and states, including militias aligned with the shadow National Unity Government (NUG), which called for a "people's defensive war" against the generals earlier this month.


The NUG and its followers have been labelled "terrorists" by the military, who believe their campaign will fail.

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