‘Around 10,000 refugees have fled to India and Thailand from Myanmar’: UN Special Envoy
The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution condemning the military’s use of lethal force and violence
Noting that in nearly five months since the military coup in Myanmar 175,000 people have been uprooted, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener informed the UN Security Council that around 10,000 refugees have fled to India and Thailand.
The UN Special Envoy,.speaking to journalists on Friday, described the situation in Myanmar as ‘very worrisome’ and ‘very bad’.
Highlighting the alarming situation on ground, she said that 600 people have been killed in the nearly five months since the coup and 6,000 arrested, with 5,000 still in detention. Around 100 people have “disappeared” without trace, Burgener added.
The crisis has uprooted some 175,000 people, which has added to internal displacement that existed before the military seized power and detained political leaders, including President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, she said.
Roughly 10,000 refugees have fled to India and Thailand, the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar stated.
“I asked the Security Council for timely support and action; that it’s really paramount,” she said.
“We have an alarming situation on the ground for all civilian people because the health system collapsed completely, and food security is also in danger,”Schraner Burgener said.
She warned that around half the population could be living below the poverty line next year if the situation continues.
“I urged the Council to speak in unity and especially against violence, and also that the political prisoners will be released as quickly as possible,” she said.
Questioned about the lack of Council unity on Myanmar, the Special Envoy responded that she has also held bilateral talks with ambassadors.
“Clearly not all share the same position, what they should do together, but my role is always to urge them to show action and to be united,” Schraner Burgener said.
She further reported that violations have increased in Myanmar, while violence is occurring in regions where it had not occurred before.
In yet another development, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in New York on Friday condemning the military’s use of lethal force and violence, and supporting the efforts by the Special Envoy and regional bloc ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The UN had 193 Member States and 119 voted in favour of the resolution while one, Belarus, voted against it, and 36 abstained.
Among Myanmar’s neighbours who abstained in the Friday’s vote included Myanmar’ India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Laos, Nepal and Thailand and so did Russia, Brunei and Cambodia while the rest of the UN member nations voted in favour of the resolution.
Explaining India’s position on the resolution, India’s Permanent Representative to UN TS Tirumurti stated that India is cognizant of the ‘serious impact of political instability’ and the potential of its spill over beyond Myanmar’s borders.
Calling for greater engagement with the objective of peacefully resolving all issues, India said it is engaged in a spirit of finding a constructive and pragmatic way forward.
However, the country find that our views have not been reflected in the draft being considered for adoption today, Tirumurti said in defending India’s abstention from the vote.
“We would like to reiterate that a consultative and constructive approach involving the neighbouring countries and the region, remains important as the international community strives for the peaceful resolution of the issue,” he clarified.