UN envoy says situation in Myanmar increasingly dire; Myanmar’s military warns against dialogue with NUG

The UN special envoy for Myanmar has urged the international community to take concrete steps to resolve the country’s deteriorating situation.

Christine Schraner Burgener spoke on Friday at a virtual meeting of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with human rights issues.

She said military crackdowns on citizens continue since the coup in February, and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has tripled to 3 million.

Schraner Burgener said casualties are rising as violence intensifies following calls by pro-democracy forces last month for a revolt against military rule.

She said, “The situation is increasingly dire and optimism for any swift resolution is ebbing away.”

The envoy added the most likely outcome from the current trajectory is one of protracted conflict, continued economic collapse, and an increasingly grave human rights situation.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is seeking to mediate between Myanmar’s military and pro-democracy camps.

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military has warned the special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations not to contact the country’s pro-democracy camps, which the generals have labeled “terrorist groups.”

Erywan Yusof, the second foreign minister has been negotiating with Myanmar’s military leaders over the implementation of the so-called Five-Point Consensus. It is aimed at realizing constructive dialogue among all relevant parties in Myanmar and bringing an end to the violence that has continued since February’s coup.

In the report, the envoy says he has highlighted the necessity to engage with “key individuals” including detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. But he says the military refused because both are now on trial.

He also says he “was warned against recognising, communicating or engaging with entities declared ‘unlawful’ and ‘terrorist groups,” including the National Unity Government launched by pro-democracy lawmakers.

The report underscores the wide gulf between the envoy and Myanmar’s military. ASEAN recently decided not to invite Myanmar’s top general to the upcoming summit, citing the country’s uncooperative stance. Myanmar’s military denounced the decision.

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