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Myanmar: UN warns of “imminent bloodbath” and increases exodus of people

The UN special envoy to Myanmar alerted the Security Council on Wednesday about an “imminent bloodbath,” for which she urged action to reverse the Army’s repression against the civilian population after the coup d’état on December 1. February. Faced with the upsurge in violence, calls from various governments to their citizens to leave Myanmar are increasing and UNHCR urges neighboring countries to welcome Burmese who must flee their nation.

At least 512 people have already been killed by the Myanmar armed forces since the protests against the coup began on February 1, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP). But the situation could be even worse. The UN warns of an imminent and unprecedented “bloodbath”.

“The most serious international crimes and violations of international law seem to be happening in plain sight (…) It will become bloodier because the commander-in-chief seems determined to strengthen his illegal control of power by force,” warned the special envoy of the UN to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, before the Security Council.

Faced with the upsurge in violence by the military, who so far show that the sanctions of some countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, are not enough to make them stop the repression against anyone who demonstrates against it, Schraner urged take new actions that are “meaningful”.

“When we look back in ten years, how will history judge this inaction? I hope you can act while there is still time to avoid the worst of results,” the official warned.

In recent hours, the US government called on China to use its closeness to the Burmese junta to help stop the bloodshed.

“We, of course, continue to ask China, the Beijing government, to use its influence to hold those responsible for this military coup accountable,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference.

Although the UN Security Council has condemned the violence, it has not yet considered possible measures against the military, which will require a vote within the body of Myanmar’s neighbor and friend: China.

Exodus of foreigners and Burmese citizens on the rise

Amid the escalation of violence, the embassies of different countries have urged their citizens in Myanmar to leave this country as soon as possible.

“In the event that you are currently in Myanmar: it is recommended to leave the country as soon as possible, making use of the available flights to leave Myanmar,” the Spanish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The recommendation of the Spanish authorities comes from forecasts that “in the coming days and weeks the episodes of violence will continue to escalate significantly in the main cities of the country, and especially in Rangoon.”

This request had already been joined by the US government, which on Tuesday issued an exit order for all its non-essential diplomatic personnel. The diplomatic headquarters is still in operation, but with few officials.

“The US embassy in Myanmar will remain open to the public and will continue to offer limited consular services,” he clarified. However, he justified his decision that “the safety of government personnel and their dependents and that of US citizens is the highest priority.”

Other countries such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, and Australia have also urged their compatriots to leave Burmese territory.

According to figures from diplomatic sources, there are currently around 1,400 citizens of the European Union in this nation. Of them, 53 Spaniards remain, of the 90 who were registered there as residents before the crisis began on February 1.

Many are still looking for options to leave the country. As an alternative, the authorities inform that there will be two commercial flights to Singapore, two to Kuala Lumpur and Seoul, in addition to a commercial plane that will fly between Yangon, the main city of Myanmar, and Paris, on April 4.

To this exodus is added that of thousands of Burmese citizens. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on March 31 asked neighboring countries to host refugees, whose numbers may increase due to the renewal of armed clashes in border areas.

“We urgently ask the countries of the region to offer refuge and protection to all those fleeing in search of safety, it is vital that anyone who crosses the border and requests asylum does so,” the organization said in a statement.

Over the weekend, in the border area with Thailand, Army airstrikes were recorded that forced the departure of around 3,000 people from Myanmar’s oldest ethnic minority, the Karen National Union (KNU).

Although, according to reports from the Karen Peace Support Network, a group of civil society organizations that works in favor of that community, the majority were later forced, by the Thai authorities, to return to their place of origin. Information that was refuted by the Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-ocha.

The UN agency said it is willing to work with host country authorities to “ensure that refugees receive the protection they need.”

With Reuters and EFE

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