Myanmar has suffered its deadliest day since last month’s military coup, as a rampaging army across the country claimed more than 100 lives and sparked reprimands around the world and accusations of “murder. massive”.
At least 114 people were killed on Saturday, according to local average, the most in a single day since the military seized power and deposed the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
In a rare joint statement, the defense chiefs of 12 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, condemned the brutality of the junta. “A professional army follows international standards of conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves,” the statement said, urging the Burmese military to “stop violence and work to restore respect and credibility. . . he lost “.
Tom Andrews, UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, called for an emergency international summit, accusing the country’s military of committing “massacres” and “mass murders”.
“It is high time for strong and coordinated action,” he said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the violence has demonstrated that “the junta will sacrifice the lives of the people to serve a few”.
Thursday, the United States and the United Kingdom sanctions imposed against two military-linked conglomerates in an attempt to squeeze the junta’s sprawling and opaque business interests.
More than 400 people have been killed in the military crackdown, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, an advocacy group, which estimated at least 90 deaths on Saturday. 2,428 others were arrested. Among those killed there were more than 20 children, according to local average, including a six-year-old girl, the youngest known victim, on Tuesday.
The Embassy of the United States confirmed that shots were fired in an incident on Saturday at the American Center Yangon, an educational and cultural center it operates. No one was injured in the incident, the embassy said.
The junta freed nearly 1,000 prisoners in two releases last week. Yet at the same time, the regime has intensified pressure to quell the protests that have persisted for nearly two months, economic activity of grinding in much of the country at a standstill.
A program broadcast on state channel MRTV on Friday warned protesters could be “shot in the head” for defying the military.
The World Bank has revised its 2021 forecast for Myanmar’s economy to a 10% contraction from a previous estimate of 5.9% growth, citing “ongoing disruptions in essential public services”.
Amnesty International has accused the army of trying to “fight its way” out of the crisis. “The cost of international inaction is counted in the corps,” Ming Yu Hah, the group’s deputy regional director for campaigns, said in a statement.
The last bloodshed took place on Armed Forces Day, a national holiday that commemorates resistance to Japanese occupation during World War II.
Photos of senior Burmese military officials, including junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, attending a gala in white uniforms sparked outrage online among coup opponents.
The festivities included a military parade, attended by Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexander Fomin, who arrived in Myanmar on Friday as part of the most publicized demonstration of support for the junta since the coup. At least seven other countries sent representatives, including China, India and Thailand.