04/14/2021, 13.13
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UN: Myanmar heading towards war like in Syria amid a collapsing economy

by Francis Khoo Thwe

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, calls on influential states, like China and ASEAN members, to put “concerted pressure on the military in Myanmar”. For the World Bank, the country's economy will shrink by 10% this year. Fitch Solutions sees a failed state because of the military.


Yangon (AsiaNews) – In a statement released yesterday, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on the international community not to repeat the same “deadly mistakes of the past in Syria”.

Fearing that the country might be heading “towards a full-blown conflict”, she is urging concerted action to stop the military in its “campaign of repression and slaughter of its people.”

In fact, the military’s growing provocations against armed ethnic groups and their reactions are driving the country towards civil war.

Several Western countries, along with South Korea and Japan, have condemned the military’s violence, imposed targeted sanctions and halted aid programmes.

For Bachelet, “Statements of condemnation, and limited targeted sanctions, are clearly not enough”.

In a veiled appeal to China and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), she urged “States with influence [. . .]to urgently apply concerted pressure on the military in Myanmar to halt the commission of grave human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity”.

Meanwhile, because of the violence, the country is witnessing the flight of many foreign businesses and companies. The civil disobedience strike of almost all sectors of society is driving the economy – almost entirely in the hands of the junta – towards collapse.

A recent World Bank forecast expects Myanmar's economy to shrink by 10 per cent this year.

For Fitch Solutions, a provider of credit intelligence, the country risks becoming a failed state. “Tatmadaw [the military] is increasingly losing control of the country,” it said. The vast majority of the people support Suu Kyi’s ousted government.

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