Myanmar troops said to be moving to cities

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UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. unbiased investigator on Myanmar said Wednesday that “hardened” troops are being deployed from a lot of border areas in northern Rakhine state to some cities, elevating the opportunity of bloodshed and “a tragic loss of life.”

Special rapporteur Tom Andrews said in an interview with The Associated Press that the preliminary restraint of police coping with “robust citizen opposition to the coup” has moved on in some situations to use of rubber bullets, actual ammunition being fired and use of water cannons.

He said he can now affirm “from a few sources” that some troops are moving to some populated cities from Rakhine, the place the federal government continues to be combating a Rohingya insurgency after a 2017 navy crackdown that led 700,000 members of the Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh.

“The people of Myanmar understand what the military and these generals are capable of, and so the presence of military and of troops, the escalation of a military presence, and where these troops are coming from makes me very, very nervous,” Andrews said.

He said he’s impressed by the “tenacity” and “courage” of the “remarkable people of Myanmar,” particularly younger individuals, who know what the navy have achieved previously and are nonetheless protesting and interesting in civil disobedience to stress the navy to reverse the February 1 coup that ousted the nation’s chief, Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Tensions are extremely high,” Andrews said.

“The population of Myanmar has responded vigorously, and they want to see action.”

He said three-quarters of civil servants are on strike, all personal banks are closed, and the individuals have weakened the economic system considerably from the within.

Andrews said they’re in search of the worldwide group to act.

The former Democratic congressman from Maine, who served as basic secretary of “The Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign for Aung San Suu Kyi and the People of Burma” in 2001, said crucial factor the worldwide group can do now “is focused, targeted, tough economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure.”

“I have confidence that there is great potential with those steps, by virtue of the fact that they have been successful in the past,” he said.

“The incremental steps that have been taken in the direction of democracy before the coup took place were a direct result o economic pressure, sanctions being applied on the generals.”

Andrews said a U.N. Security Council decision imposing sanctions on the generals and an arms embargo on Myanmar “”would be terrific,” however even when that is not attainable there are a lot of different choices together with coordinating financial sanctions which has a a lot larger influence.

The Biden administration introduced a primary spherical of U.S. sanctions final week and promised extra relying on what occurs, he said.

Andrews said neighbour and ally China, which has an excessive amount of leverage on Myanmar, can play a vital position.

“Behind the scenes pressure from China would be very, very useful,” he said.

“They’ve made some very helpful public statements, so I’m hopeful that they are going to play and continue to play a constructive role in respect to Myanmar.”

Andrews, who was additionally a guide for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma and the Euro-Burma Network, said he has not been in a position to provide you with an excellent motive explaining why the generals carried out the coup.

Asked concerning the new fees towards Suu Kyi, who stays in detention, he said, “every time the regime opens its mouth it just demonstrates just how isolated and insulated they are, because these charges and statements are just completely ridiculous.”

He said the navy, often called the Tatmadaw, “don’t even pretend now to have a fair trial,” pointing to the secretive listening to for Suu Kyi which her lawyer wasn’t knowledgeable about till it was happening.

“You have 8.6 million voting irregularities, supposedly, unsubstantiated, and then you come up with possession of walkie-talkies as the charge, and now additional charges being piled on top of it,” Andrews said.

“One of the issues may be the security detail had the walkie-talkies, and they were provided by the military” so possibly that is why they wanted to provide you with different fees.

“Look, there’s no credibility,” he said. “This is a sham trial. There’s nothing to this except a raw grab for power.”

Andrews said what’s extraordinary is that the navy had huge financial energy that was assured, little or no accountability, management over important branches of the federal government, and 25 p.c of seats in Parliament which meant the structure the generals wrote may by no means be modified.

“What’s amazing is that they violated the laws and the rules that they themselves set,” he said.

“So you have a situation here in which they’ve overturned their own power structure that they created, their own constitution, their own rules of engagement.”

Andrews said he is aware of “this is a critical moment” however he does not know the way lengthy it can take to resolve the disaster.

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