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“A bloodbath is imminent”

The military junta in Myanmar uses extreme violence against demonstrators. More than 500 civilians have already been killed. UN special envoy Christine Burgener sees the danger of civil war.

In view of the ongoing military violence in Myanmar, UN Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener has urged the United Nations Security Council to act. A hesitation by the most powerful UN body would result in a further deterioration of the situation in the Southeast Asian country, said the Swiss diplomat on Wednesday at a meeting of the Security Council in New York. At the same time she warned: “A bloodbath is imminent.” There is an unprecedented danger of civil war.

The commanders-in-chief seemed determined to secure their position by force, the special envoy for the former Burma continued. “This council must consider drastic measures that can reverse the course of events in Myanmar.”

The Security Council has met several times amid the excessive use of force by the military against protesters across the country. After an earlier meeting, the panel had condemned the army’s actions – but this obviously had no influence on their brutal actions.

More than 500 civilians killed, including children

In Myanmar, military violence reached a temporary peak over the weekend with nationwide protests with more than 100 dead. The United Nations called Saturday the “bloodiest day” since the February 1st military coup against Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. In total, more than 500 people have been killed, including several children and young people.

The local Political Prisoner Aid (AAPP) announced Tuesday that it could confirm the deaths of 510 civilians, but the actual number of victims is likely to be significantly higher. Meanwhile, armed junta rebel groups threatened retaliation if violence against demonstrators continued.

Aung San Suu Kyi: She has been under house arrest for more than two months.  (Source: AP / dpa / Aung Shine Oo)Aung San Suu Kyi: She has been under house arrest for more than two months. (Source: Aung Shine Oo / AP / dpa)

Since the military coup around eight weeks ago, the junta in Myanmar has been faced with massive protests, against which it has used extremely brutal tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. Despite the ongoing violence, demonstrators took to the streets this week to demand a return to democracy and the release of the disempowered de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest

Myanmar’s former de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi is apparently in good health despite her two-month house arrest. The lawyer Min Min Soe announced on Wednesday after speaking to the 75-year-old politician via video switch. Min Min Soe, a member of Suu Kyi’s legal team, had been summoned to a police station in the capital, Naypyidaw, to do the video broadcast.

According to her appearance in the video images, Suu Kyi’s physical condition appears to be “good,” the legal team said. Suu Kyi has not been seen in public since she was deposed by the military and placed under house arrest on February 1.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate faces a number of criminal charges, including possession of radios without proper authorization, violation of corona regulations and incitement to public unrest.

The military authorities also accuse her of having accepted the equivalent of a good 500,000 euros and more than eleven kilograms of gold as bribe payments. If found guilty, she could be expelled from all political offices for life.

A court hearing with Suu Kyi is scheduled for Thursday. According to another member of her legal team, Khin Maung Zaw, this appointment will only be about procedural issues.

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