| 24 March 2023, Friday |

Myanmar military has caused ‘perpetual human rights crisis’, UN report says

In a report released on Friday, the UN called for an immediate end to the bloodshed in Myanmar and accused the military of fostering “a continuous human rights disaster” there.

After a brutal crackdown on opponents that led to the reimposition of sanctions by Western nations, a resistance movement has been fighting the military on numerous fronts in Myanmar since a junta took control two years ago.

The report, which documents alleged human rights violations between Feb. 1, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2023, found that violence had intensified in northwestern and southeastern Myanmar due to the military’s “indiscriminate air strikes and artillery shelling, mass burnings of villages to displace civilian populations, and denial of humanitarian access.”

The tactic used by the military, the report said, was designed to cut off non-state armed groups from access to food, finances, intelligence and recruits.


“The military, emboldened by continuous and absolute impunity, has consistently shown disregard for international obligations and principles,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, said in a statement.

“Urgent, concrete action is needed to end this festering catastrophe.”

Myanmar authorities did not immediately respond to Reuters calls and an email seeking comment.

The junta has previously said it has a duty to ensure peace and security and denied atrocities have taken place, saying it is carrying out a legitimate campaign against terrorists.

James Rodehaver, chief of the U.N. Human Rights Office’s Myanmar team, said that armed clashes were occurring in about 77% of the country.

“There has never been a time and a situation in which a crisis in Myanmar has reached this far, this wide throughout the country,” he told a briefing in Geneva.

In its recommendations, the report called on authorities in Myanmar to end the violence and stop persecuting opponents.

“Military operations must stop to provide room for dialogue that could end this crisis,” the report said.

  • Reuters