The UN expert on rights in Myanmar announced Tuesday he is preparing to release a report exposing where the country’s “criminal” ruling junta have been getting their weapons from.
Exactly one year on from the February 1, 2021 military coup, Tom Andrews said the junta was inflicting a widespread campaign of terror on the country’s people — and seemed to be getting away with it.
The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar urged the international community to step up and cut off the junta’s access to weapons, funds and legitimacy.
“The fact that one year has elapsed with no Security Council resolution imposing a comprehensive arms embargo — as arms continue to flow to the junta and kill innocent people — is unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
The former US congressman said he would soon release a report detailing the weapons that continue to flow into the hands of the junta — and identify where they come from.
“The military junta is functioning as a criminal enterprise, committing murder, torture, abductions, forced displacement, all the while stealing the revenue and seizing the assets that rightfully belong to the people of Myanmar,” Andrews said.
“What is worse, they appear to be getting away with it. Their attacks continue unabated. The suffering of the Myanmar people is steadily increasing.
“Recent months have seen an even further escalation of violence, and a campaign of terror now widespread across the country. I have received more reports of mass killings, attacks on hospitals and humanitarian targets, and the bombing and burning of villages.”
Andrews does not speak for the UN but is mandated to report his findings to the global body.
He said that despite the risks and hardships, the people of Myanmar had responded to the last 12 months with courage and tenacity, saying he was “amazed” by their resilience in the face of aerial assaults, and mass arrest and torture.
“On this first anniversary of the illegal coup by the military junta, the best and worst of humanity is unfolding in Myanmar,” Andrews said.