EU, US, Others Alarmed At 'increasing Harm To Civilians' In Myanmar


EU, US, others alarmed at 'increasing harm to civilians' in Myanmar

Brussels, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th May, 2024) The EU, United States and other countries jointly voiced alarm Friday at the worsening conflict in Myanmar and the "increasing harm to civilians" it was bringing.

They particularly expressed concern at reports tens of thousands of civilians in Rakhine State -- where the Rohingya minority live -- have been forced to flee their homes, and called on "all armed actors to ensure the protection of civilians".

The signatories of the joint statement -- the EU, United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland -- stressed "there must be accountability for all atrocities committed in Myanmar".

Earlier Friday, the United Nations warned that escalating fighting in Rakhine had forced around 45,000 Rohingya to flee, amid allegations of killings and burnings of property.

Clashes have rocked the state since the Arakan Army, which says it is fighting to deliver more autonomy to its ethnic Rakhine population, attacked ruling junta forces in November, ending a ceasefire that had largely held since a military coup in 2021.

The signatories to the statement said they were "deeply concerned by the escalating conflict in Myanmar and in particular the increasing harm to civilians, which are driving a worsening and devastating human rights and humanitarian crisis across the country".

They pointed to credible reports of civilians being targeted and of torture, the use of civilians as human shields, and sexual violence against women and children.

They blamed the government for food and water shortages and cut-off access for medical and other aid.

"In Rakhine State, towns and villages have been consistently targeted by the military regime and armed groups," the statement said.