Fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe: UN rights chief on Myanmar

The United Nations Human Rights chief has warned that violence intensifying across Myanmar plunged the country into a “human rights catastrophe” since the military took power from a democratically elected government. 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in her recent statement that multiple reports from Myanmar indicate that armed conflict was continuing, including in Kayah, Chin and Kachin states. The violence is particularly intense in areas with significant ethnic and religious minority groups.

“There appear to be no efforts towards de-escalation but rather a build-up of troops in key areas, contrary to the commitments the military made to ASEAN to cease the violence,” said UN High Commissioner. 

“In just over four months, Myanmar has gone from being a fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe. The military leadership is singularly responsible for this crisis, and must be held to account,” she further remarked. 

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