UN warns against harsh treatment of protesters in Myanmar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 16, 2021   •   549

The United Nations (UN) has warned Myanmar’s military for its harsh treatment of protesters, saying that the “world is watching closely.”

In a press briefing, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that UN Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener has called on the Myanmar military to refrain from using violence and respect human rights.

“The right of peaceful assembly must fully be respected, and that demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals. She has conveyed to the Myanmar military that the world is watching closely, and any form of heavy-handed response is likely to have severe consequences,” she said.

Protests across Myanmar have grown after the military takeover on February 1 where top political leaders were arrested.

Several of the high officials detained include State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.  

There are also reports that the military use excessive force against the demonstrators.

According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), as of February 12, more than 350 political and state officials, activists, and civil society members have been taken into custody. Several members of the media, monks, and students were also detained

“Several face criminal charges on dubious grounds, and most have received no form of due process or permitted legal representation, family visitations or communication,” according to the UN.

Burgener also reiterated UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s statement and called for a visit to Myanmar under agreeable conditions. -AAC

DFA brings home 163 more Filipinos from Myanmar

Marje Pelayo   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Yangon, once again chartered another flight from Myanmar with 163 Filipinos on Thursday (April 8).

Most of the repatriates were stranded in the country due to travel restrictions from the pandemic.

This latest chartered flight, along with the previous two from Yangon, were funded by the DFA Assistance-to-Nationals Fund.

The 163 Filipinos from Myanmar included 4 seniors and 14 minors, including 3 infants.

The repatriates will be undergoing quarantine protocols, as required for all those who arrive in the country.

With these new arrivals, the total number of overseas Filipinos who have been repatriated since the start of the pandemic inches closer to 400,000.

From Myanmar, the three chartered flights have now brought home a total of 334 Filipinos.

More people are experiencing severe hunger in Democratic Republic of the Congo — UN

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2021

The United Nations has raised concerns after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a record-high level of acute hunger.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), 27.3 million people face “acute” food insecurity. There are also around seven million people who are suffering from “emergency” levels of acute hunger.

One of the factors, according to the UN, is a slump in the country’s economy as well as the effects brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Militia violence also persisted in the area for decades.

Aristide Ongone Obame, FAO Representative in DRC said social and political stability are “essential to strengthen food security and boost the resilience of vulnerable populations”.

There is also a need to boost livestock and the growing of more food.

“The main agricultural season is around the corner and there is no time to waste,” he said. -AAC

More than 3,000 people flee to Thailand after Myanmar’s army air strikes villages

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2021

More than 3,000 people in Myanmar have crossed to Thailand to take refuge after the Burma Army launched air strikes on Myanmar’s southeastern Karen state.

According to Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), the military launched night-time airstrikes on Day Bu No Village, Lu Thaw Township, Mu Traw District on March 27, killing three civilians and injuring seven others.

The KWO, an indigenous women’s organization, has condemned the said attacks and expressed fear as more attacks will soon be launched on other villages.

“Many villagers are now hiding in terror in the jungle, and more than 3,000 have crossed to Thailand to take refuge,” the KWO said.

The organization also calls for call for a UN Security Council resolution to prevent further mass atrocities.

“Burma’s security forces must be held accountable for their crimes. Diplomats and governments must stop giving legitimacy to this murderous regime. It’s clear the Burma Army leaders are not capable of change nor are they open to any dialogue to stop the violence,” the organization said.

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