Mar 31, 2021 - World

UN envoy says "a bloodbath is imminent" in Myanmar

A man riding a bike near a fire in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 30.

A man riding a bike near a fire in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 30. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations special envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener told the UN Security Council during a meeting Wednesday that "a bloodbath is imminent" in Myanmar and urged the council to act, according to AFP.

Why it matters: The military junta that usurped power from Myanmar's democratically elected government in February has killed hundreds of protesters during anti-coup demonstrations across the country.

What she's saying: "Consider all available tools to take collective action and do what is right, what the people of Myanmar deserve, and prevent a multidimensional catastrophe in the heart of Asia," Schraner Burgener told the council.

  • She added that it must consider “potentially significant action” to reverse the course of events because the junta is not capable of managing the country, according to Reuters.

Of note: The Security Council failed to formally condemn the military coup in February after Russia and China opposed the action, according to Reuters.

The big picture: Tensions have also flared between the military and armed ethnic minority groups.

  • The military launched an airstrike against territory controlled by the Karen ethnic minority on Sunday, killing two Karen guerrillas and sending around 3,000 villagers across the border into Thailand.
  • A group of elected lawmakers who were unable to take their seats in parliament because of the coup wants the ethnic minority groups to form an army to oppose the government armed forces, according to AP.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that it expects the civil unrest and violence occurring in Myanmar to continue.

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