News in Brief 2 June 2023
- Time running out to save Myanmar’s Rakhine from hunger and disease post-Cyclone Mocha
- Nicaragua crackdown on dissent must stop: OHCHR
- Regulation needed to curb use of AI for surveillance, disinformation: rights experts
Myanmar’s military commanders must answer charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in a credible court, a United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) said on Tuesday, urging the international community to cut off all financial and other support to them.
Intensifying clashes between the Myanmar military and armed separatists that reportedly involved a deadly helicopter bombing raid on civilians earlier this week in Rakhine state, have been condemned by the UN human rights office, OHCHR.
Concern over escalating violence in Myanmar’s Chin and Rakhine states continues to grow, with civilians reportedly forced to flee both internally, and across the border into Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have already sought shelter.
Calling on the Myanmar Government to “immediately reverse its decision not to allow access to all humanitarian organizations”, the United Nations expert on human rights in the South-East Asian country said on Friday, that “it’s vital that assistance is able to reach those who have fled violence in the region”.
Securing access to thousands of people affected by fighting in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is a priority for the United Nations, the organization’s top relief official in the country told UN News on Wednesday.
Amid clashes between Arakan Army separatists and the Myanmar military - which is sending more troops to the area - Acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Knut Ostby, told Daniel Johnson that there could be a “quite immediate escalation” of the situation, before calling for all sides “to find a peaceful solution” to the crisis.
Major fighting in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state has so far been avoided following clashes between armed separatists and national security forces who are increasing troop numbers there, a top UN humanitarian official there said on Wednesday.
Focussing on “listening to all sides” the new United Nations Special Envoy on Myanmar praised “recent positive steps” taken by the government and United Nations to try and ensure the eventual voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees, to their homes in Rakhine state.
Apart from nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled across the Myanmar border, a further 400,000 are living in “dire situations” at home, without access to healthcare or education.
That’s according to Ursula Mueller, the UN’s deputy relief chief, and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who spent nearly a week inside Myanmar earlier this month.
She told Matt Wells what she’d seen.