UN Special Envoy to Burma « deeply concerned » by escalating violence

The new United Nations special envoy for Burma, Noeleen Heyzer, declared on Monday December 27 “deeply worriedOf the escalation of violence and called for a ceasefire between the junta and its opponents on the occasion of the new year. The diplomat from Singapore « is deeply concerned at the continued escalation of violence in Kayin State and other parts of BurmaHis office said in a statement. This is his first speech since his appointment last October.

Protests across the country against the February military coup have been bloodily suppressed, with more than 1,300 people killed and 11,000 arrested, according to a local watch group. Diplomatic efforts by the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to resolve the crisis have so far made little progress, with the junta turning a deaf ear. In October, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Singaporean sociologist Noeleen Heyzer as special envoy to Burma, replacing Swiss diplomat Christine Schraner Burgener.

A UN official said to himself on Sunday « horrifiedWith credible reports that at least 35 civilians were killed and their bodies burned in the east of the country, and called on the government to investigate. Two employees of the British NGO Save the Children are still missing after their vehicle was attacked and burned in the incident in eastern Kayah state on Christmas Eve. The two employees were returning home after a humanitarian mission in the region, according to Save the Children, which has suspended activities in several regions.


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