The UN Secretary-General pressures Myanmar’s junta for aid access

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The UN Secretary-General has urged Myanmar’s ruling military to give humanitarian aid access and meet the country’s “desperate needs,” marking a year since a coup ended a decade of democracy and threw the country into upheaval.

The toppling of an elected government on February 1 sparked months of nationwide protests and a deadly military crackdown, with heavy weapons and air strikes used against armed opposition in the countryside, reigniting old conflicts and displacing tens of thousands of people.

“The many vulnerabilities of all people in Myanmar, as well as the regional consequences, necessitate an immediate reaction. Access to those in need is crucial for the UN and its partners to continue to deliver on the ground “Farhan Haq, Antonio Guterres’ deputy spokesman, issued a statement.

“Human rights and fundamental freedoms must be respected by armed forces and all parties. Myanmar’s citizens want to see tangible achievements.”

The military government of Myanmar could not be reached for comment. Its leader has stated that the crackdown and military offensives are being carried out to safeguard the country from “terrorists.”

The junta has promised not to yield to international pressure and has been harshly critical of the United Nations, accusing its envoys of bias and influence and top officials of relying on “distorted news.”

Haq stated that Myanmar special envoy Noeleen Heyzer had engaged all parties in the Myanmar problem and will collaborate with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is driving the diplomatic effort in the nation.

“This is critical for fostering a climate conducive to inclusive dialogue,” Haq remarked.

“Any solution must result from close engagement with and thorough listening to all people affected by the ongoing issue. Their voices must be heard.”

Source: Reuters

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