Burma: more than 12,000 displaced after army air raids

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More than 12,000 displaced people have fled air raids carried out by the Burmese army in recent days, an ethnic rebel faction assured Saturday, also deploring “many victims” and “the destruction of schools and villages”.

“More than 12,000 civilians have fled causing a major humanitarian crisis,” said the Karen National Union (KNU), one of the country’s largest armed groups.

Responding to the bloodbath of the security forces against opponents of the coup of 1er In February, the KNU seized a military base in the south-eastern Karen state last week.

The army retaliated by carrying out air raids between March 27 and 30, targeting KNU strongholds, a first for twenty years in this region.

Burma: more than 12,000 displaced after army air raids

“Many civilians died including minors and students. Schools, houses and villages have been destroyed, ”the KNU noted.

“We urge all ethnic minorities in the country (…) to take strong action and take sanctions” against those responsible.

Since Burma’s independence in 1948, many ethnic armed factions have been in conflict with the central government for more autonomy, recognition of their specificity, access to the country’s many natural resources or a share of the lucrative trafficking. drug.

The army had concluded a ceasefire with some of them in recent years.

But since the coup d’état which overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, many have supported the democratic mobilization and threatened to take up arms again against the junta which is bloody suppressing the protest.

550 civilians have been shot by security forces in the past two months, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Burma: more than 12,000 displaced after army air raids

The toll could be much heavier: more than 2,700 people have been arrested. Held incommunicado, without access to their loved one or to a lawyer, many are missing.

The junta also blocked internet access for a large majority of the population, cutting off mobile data and wireless connections.

The generals ignore international condemnations.

The UN Security Council “expressed its deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating situation”, “strongly” condemning the violence in a unanimous statement.

But China and Russia are categorically opposed to the idea of ​​United Nations sanctions, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom which have already imposed them on their sides.