At least 962 people have been killed by the security forces in Myanmar since the February 1 military coup as the country continues to face instability, UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said on Tuesday.
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“Until now, we have 962 people [who] were killed,” Schraner Burgener said at a press briefing in the United Nations.
The special envoy pointed out that since her last update in May, the situation on the ground has remained “very worrisome,” with Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing appearing determined to solidify his grip on power.
The military has already arrested more than 7,000 people, including foreigners. Of those arrested, 5,526 still remained in detention, with 104 children among them, Schraner Burgener said.
In addition, the people in Myanmar are now faced with a “severe” third wave of COVID-19 infections sweeping across the country and causing emergencies in many parts.
“Entire families are falling sick with COVID, with relatives desperately seeking and struggling to access treatment, emergency oxygen and other supplies while the prices have skyrocketed,” Schraner Burgener said.
In these circumstances, the Security Council should show unity, prioritize COVID-19 prevention issues and focus on its response to the ongoing political crisis, Schraner Burgener said.
“It is up to the Security Council to decide what kind of tool they want to use, to pass unity, to show that they want to find measures to help people with the COVID situation and, clearly, also the democratization,” the special envoy stated.
On February 1, following the general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won by a landslide, the military seized all control of the country, imprisoned elected leaders and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered massive demonstrations across the nation that have been met with a violent crackdown.