UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The UN chief of humanitarian affairs called on Monday for the Myanmar military leadership to provide unimpeded access to more than 3 million people in need of vital humanitarian assistance since government forces took over on February 1 “amid growing conflict and insecurity, COVID-19 and a crumbling economy. “
Martin Griffiths also called on donors to respond to the UN call, saying less than half of the $ 385 million needed has been raised since the military toppled Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.
Griffith’s announcement came when members of the UN Security Council held a private meeting on Myanmar, requested by the United Kingdom.
UK Deputy Ambassador James Kariuki told reporters before heading to the meeting that the UK is particularly concerned about the escalation of hostilities in northwest Chin State, “and we are concerned that this rather reflects the activity we saw four years ago before the atrocities. which have been committed. committed in Rakhine against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
“So we are very interested in keeping the council focused and the military knowing what we are seeing,” he said.
The February 1 military coup follows the November elections, which Suu Kyi’s party won by an overwhelming majority, which the military dismisses as fraudulent.
After Suu Kyi’s expulsion, Myanmar was shaken by unrest, peaceful demonstrations against the ruling generals turned first into low-level insurgency in many urban areas after the use of lethal force by security forces, and then into more serious fighting in rural areas, especially in border areas. … regions where ethnic minority militias have engaged in violent clashes with government forces.
READ MORE: UN envoy says “civil war” has spread across Myanmar
On September 7, the Government of National Unity, the main underground group that coordinates resistance to the military, formed by elected lawmakers who were not allowed to take their seats when the military seized power, called for a nationwide uprising. His People’s Defense Forces are active in many areas and have received training and weapons from some armed ethnic groups.
Christine Schraner Burgener told The Associated Press shortly before her three-and-a-half-year term as UN special envoy to Myanmar on October 31 that “civil war” had spread across the country.
She said the UN had heard that many soldiers were conducting “clearing operations” in Chin State, reminding the world that the military “clearing operation” in Rakhine State in 2017 led to the burning of villages, widespread rape and more than 700,000 Muslims. -rohingya. flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
Griffiths also said that “the situation in the northwest of the country has become extremely alarming due to the escalation of hostilities between the armed forces of Myanmar and the Chinese Defense Forces in Chin State, as well as with the People’s Defense Forces in the Magway and Sagaing regions.”
“More than 37,000 people, including women and children, were recently displaced and more than 160 homes were burned, including churches and humanitarian offices,” Griffiths said. “Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including humanitarian workers and targets, are clearly prohibited by international humanitarian law and must be stopped immediately.”