HRC48 Oral Statement on Item 4: Interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
23 September 2021 10:30 pm
48th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 4: Interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
Delivered by Khin Ohmar
On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
23 September 2021
Madam President, Madam High Commissioner,
We welcome the OHCHR’s continued monitoring and reporting on the human rights and humanitarian catastrophe in Myanmar.
Myanmar stands on a precipice of a nationwide civil war, as a result of the military’s barbaric violence to quell the nationwide, popular resistance to its illegitimate coup attempt.
Since February, over 250,000 people have been forced to flee from the junta’s indiscriminate aerial assaults, shelling and mortar attacks and ground clearance operations in ethnic areas, adding to the over 500,000 people already displaced in previous conflicts. They lack basic needs as the junta continues to escalate attacks, block and destroy humanitarian aid and essential supplies in clear violation of international law. The attack on Thantlang town in Chin state on September 18, in which the junta burned down at least 19 houses, shot dead a Christian pastor, and cut off his wedding finger to loot his ring, and forced most of the town’s 10,000 residents to flee, demonstrates the junta’s brutality.
The military’s attempted coup has allowed it to continue to enjoy impunity for genocide against Rohingya, and make safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return of over a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh impossible, while the remaining Rohingya continue to live in apartheid like conditions.
The UN and international community have a small window of opportunity to prevent further bloodshed in Myanmar. They must not rely on the ASEAN, that has done little more than legitimising the junta and advancing its own interests, to resolve the Myanmar crisis.
Principled and coordinated action by the international community is critical to stop the Myanmar military and hold them to account for past and ongoing atrocities by imposing global arms embargo and targeted sanctions on the military leadership and their businesses and associates and referring Myanmar to the ICC.
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