UN Special Envoy Warns ‘Bloodbath is Imminent’ in Myanmar

United Nations (UN) Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraber Burgener warned the UN Security Council on March 31 that “a bloodbath is imminent” as the military intensifies its crackdown against anti-coup protesters.

“I appeal to this council to consider all available tools to take collective action and do what is right, what the people of Myanmar deserve, and prevent a multidimensional catastrophe in the heart of Asia,” Burgener told a closed session of the 15-member council.

Security forces in Myanmar have killed 536 people, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, since the military staged a coup last Feb. 1, sparking protests across the country.

On March 27 alone, the military killed over 100 people, becoming the bloodiest day of the unrest.

On the same day, the military launched airstrikes in Karen state after rebels seized a military base.

“If we wait only for when they are ready to talk, the ground situation will only worsen,” Burgener said, although she said that she was open for talks with the military in Myanmar.

“The military’s cruelty is too severe and many are taking clear stances of opposition, increasing the possibility of civil war at an unprecedented scale,” Burgener said.

The session took place at the request of Britain in response to the military’s deadly crackdown.

“These violent actions by the military are completely unacceptable and require a strong message from the international community,” Britain’s Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said at a virtual press briefing after the session.

“Failure to prevent further escalation of atrocities will cost the world so much more in the longer term than investing now in prevention, especially by Myanmar’s neighbors and the wider region,” Woodward further said.


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