UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet has warned that the military forces in Myanmar are now targeting the opposition with heavy weapons, calling for International action as the coup government continues its military buildup in some parts of the Southeastern Asian country.
Bachelet said that more than 108,000 people have fled their homes in eastern Kayah state in the last three weeks because of the increase in violence while there are “credible reports” that the army is shelling homes and churches and confiscating humanitarian aid.
“Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, have a duty to protect civilians,” said Bachelet.
“The international community needs to unify in its demand that the Tatmadaw cease the outrageous use of heavy artillery against civilians and civilian objects,” she added.
The military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi in February and has been using violence to silence widespread opposition to its rule.
Some protesters have now joined armed groups to fight the soldiers and police, after they used deadly force to crush peaceful demonstrations. The armed opposition and their small weapons, however, are no match for the military.
Bachelet’s office says at least 860 people have been killed by security forces since February and that more than 4,800 people remain in arbitrary detention.
“In just over four months, Myanmar has gone from being a fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe,” Bachelet said. “The military leadership is singularly responsible for this crisis and must be held to account.”
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