Michelle Bachelet demands rapid recovery of civilian rule in the country almost a year after the military takeover.
The United Nations’ human rights chief has urged world leaders to increase pressure on Myanmar’s military rulers to halt violence against the country’s own people and restore civilian rule quickly.
Almost one year since the army took power in the countrysaid UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the country’s people had paid a high price in terms of lives and lost freedoms.
Bachelet said that although there was almost universal condemnation of the coup and subsequent violence, she described the international response as “ineffective”, saying that it “lacked a sense of urgency commensurate with the scale of the crisis”.
“It is time for an urgent, renewed effort to restore human rights and democracy in Myanmar and to ensure that perpetrators of systemic human rights violations and abuses are brought to justice,” she said.
The former Chilean president said the UN Security Council and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations did not do enough to convince the coup leaders to facilitate humanitarian access.
Bachelet said she had spoken to defenders of civil liberties in Myanmar pleading with the international community not to abandon them.
“I call on governments – in the region and beyond – as well as businesses, to listen to this plea,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Myanmar’s army seized power on February 1 last year, ousting the civilian government and arresting its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Since the coup, the military has carried out a bloody suppression of discord.
The United Nations Office for Human Rights has said that since the coup, at least 1,500 people have been killed. was killed by the army in a brutal attempt to suppress discord, while thousands more would have been killed in the wider armed conflict and violence.
At least 11,787 people were detained arbitrarily for expressing opposition to the military, the office said, of whom 8,792 remain in custody.
At least 290 have died in custody, most likely due to the use of torture, it added.
Bachelet said the current crisis was built on the impunity with which the military leadership was waging a campaign of violence against the Rohingya minority Four years ago.
“As long as impunity prevails, stability in Myanmar will be a fiction. “The responsibility of the army remains crucial for any solution going forward – the people are demanding it overwhelmingly,” she said.
Bachelet’s office is expected to publish a report in March the human rights situation in Myanmar since the coup.
“Enough is enough, the 55 million people of Myanmar can not afford another year of faltering and sitting on the sidelines afforded by many governments around the world.”#What Happens In Myanmar #Enough is enough https://t.co/VSVhFma9B7 pic.twitter.com/wC88MkNut8
– amnestypress (@amnestypress) 28 January 2022
Meanwhile, China’s UN ambassador, Zhang Jun, on Friday, following a closed UN briefing on the situation in Myanmar, said the UN Security Council’s primary goals in Myanmar should be to avoid more violence and civil war.
Zhang said Beijing welcomed the efforts made by Cambodian leader Hun Sen travels to Myanmarcalling his visit “fairly good, fairly fruitful,” and saying “we asked them to continue to make further efforts”.
“Some people do not like this kind of situation [now]”But I think what we also need to keep in mind is that we need to avoid aggravating the situation, to avoid more violence, to avoid a civil war,” Zhang said.
“This is the primary goal we need to keep in mind.”
He said China also welcomed the appointment of Noeleen Heyzer as the new UN special envoy for Myanmar. She is talking to key parties and has requested to visit Myanmar, he said, and “let’s hope she can do it”.