“We now live in Burma in total chaos”

The UN accuses the Burmese junta of possible crimes against humanity and war crimes after the February 1, 2021 coup. A missionary there believes a “justified” decision given the daily violence by the military. Transcript.

Adelaide Patrignani and Marie Duhamel – Vatican City

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has accused the Burmese army of being complicit in systematic and widespread violations and abuses of human rights and of flagrant disregard for human life. some of these violationscould constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity‘ the UN wrote in a report released on Tuesday. A Qualification”totally justifiedsaid a priest currently living in Yangon. If violence is not visible in the big cities, the reality in the countryside is very different.

A whole country plagued by abuse

Every day we hear of burned villages, of summary executions, of civilians being subjected to violence by the military despite being unarmed or involved in the conflict, just trying to live as they could» testifies this missionary. In its report, based on more than a hundred interviews, the UN refers to bombed inhabited areas and targeted attacks on civilians. Many of them were shot in the head, burned alive, arbitrarily detained, tortured or used as human shields, the High Commission writes.

Since the coup of 1ah In February 2021, the United Nations counted 1,600 dead and more than 12,500 arrested. Anti-junta militias have taken up arms against the generals, who are drowning the protest in blood.

Foreclosures are no longer a matter for specific regions. “What is striking is that the whole country is burning, at least in many regions and not only in the areas in which there are ethnic minorities. reports the missionary. Chin or Kayah states pay “the high pricebut also the Sagaing region, in which members of the Burmese ethnic group live. In July, soldiers killed 40 people in several raids on villages, the United Nations denounced. “Churches have been bombed, burned down or at least desecrated.” adds the prelate.

water shortages and power outages

“We live in total chaoshe complains. Beyond the violence, the chaos is expressed in the shortage of electricity.” Power outages regularly affect the country’s economic capital. In Yangon there is currently five hours of electricity per day “which is even harder for those trying to run a business or provide care.” Water scarcity is also the order of the day.

The Burmese show themselves “as usual” resilient, as if it were a moment of testing that would pass. “The most amazing thing is that they remain full of hope. remarks the priest, even if he also reigns “a feeling of abandonment“. Burma is no longer on the front page.

On Tuesday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the international community to take immediate action to stem the spiral of violence in the country. A reaction seems unlikely. China and Russia have influence, explains Michelle Bachelet. Today she hopes that one day the Burmese will be able to live in peace again, that the country will get going again “The road to progresswhich he had accepted in recent years.

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