UN calls on authorities to launch « serious and transparent investigation » into attack on civilians in Burma

UN Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths said on Sunday, December 26, « Horrified by reports of an attack on civilians » in Burma on Friday.

Qualifier of « Credible » information on the discovery of « 35 corps » in charred vehicles in the state of Kayah (east), he continues, in a statement:

« I condemn these serious facts [et] calls on the authorities to immediately launch a serious and transparent investigation. (…) I call on the Burmese forces and all armed groups in Burma to take all necessary measures to protect civilians. « 

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Save the Children has suspended operations

On Saturday, photos were posted on social media showing two trucks and a car set on fire on a road in Hpruso township, with bodies inside. A leader of the rebellion opposing the ruling junta, the People’s Defense Forces (PDF), told Agence France-Presse that he had found at least 27 corpses.

According to the Myanmar Witness Observatory, « 35 people, including children and women, were burned and killed by the military on December 24 in the canton of Hpruso ». A spokesman for the junta, Zaw Min Tun, for his part admitted that clashes erupted in the area on Friday, and that the soldiers had killed a number of people, without giving further details.

The humanitarian association Save the Children, which had announced that two members of its staff in Burma were  » missing « , said on Sunday it had suspended operations. The two employees were going to their village of origin for the end of the year celebrations when they were surprised by violence in this state located in the east of the country, announced on Saturday evening the British NGO for the defense of children’s rights.

Burma has fallen into chaos since the putsch of 1is February, which ended a ten-year democratic transition. Since the military coup against her government, former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been under house arrest.

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In ten months, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed, according to a local NGO, the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, which reports cases of torture and extrajudicial executions. In response, PDF citizen militias have sprung up in the country and regularly inflict setbacks on the powerful Burmese army.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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