10/25/2021, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Burmese junta rejects U.N. human rights report

The military terms it an "incitement to violence" in the country. The United Nations has expressed concern about recent troop movements in north and northwest Myanmar where there are clashes with ethnic militias. Ban imposed on statements by Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - An "incitement to violence": This is how the military junta of Myanmar termed the latest UN report on the human rights situation in the country.

On October 22, the UN said it feared that the human rights situation could deteriorate further after thousands of troops were transferred to the north and north-west of the country, where clashes with ethnic militias continue to occur. 

Myanmar Special Envoy Tom Andrews believes this tactic is reminiscent of those used before the crackdown on the Rohingya in 2016-17. The military junta yesterday accused the UN of using human rights "as a political tool to intervene in Myanmar's internal affairs." The report "would only lead to further internal divisions and foster violence," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, the country has plunged into chaos: the military has failed to neutralize the anti-coup opposition, and the People's Defense Forces continue to fight Tatmadaw troops, the Burmese army.

Yesterday, the military junta also said that 70 military personnel and 93 policemen have been killed since February, but analysts point out that the army tends to downplay its losses. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the military have instead killed nearly 1,200 civilians and arrested over 7 thousand people.

In recent weeks, international pressure on the junta has increased: General Min Aung Hlaing was excluded from a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and it is not clear whether there will be a non-political delegate to represent the country.

Meanwhile, former leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains in prison. In recent days, the junta has ordered her lawyers not to speak or make statements to journalists, diplomats or international organizations.

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