Home Myanmar Watch After horror in Bago, UN secretary general must act

After horror in Bago, UN secretary general must act

He must use all the authority vested in his office to pursue ways to stop the killing

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After soldiers from the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, massacred at least 82 people during a siege on the town of Bago, the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) says the country is in a state of terror and lawlessness and calls for the UN secretary general to act immediately. 

On Friday, 9 April, Tatmadaw soldiers launched a pre-dawn attack on a protest camp in Bago, a town near Yangon. The soldiers surrounded the area and began firing continuously, shooting at anyone. 

They dragged away the bodies of those killed and piled them in the compound of a pagoda, along with others who were injured and were refused medical treatment. By Saturday morning, the bodies had been removed. 

“It is hard to imagine the horror that took place in Bago,” SAC-M founding member Yanghee Lee said.

“Pre-dawn attacks, massacre, piles of bodies, bodies desecrated and evidence destroyed – this is what a Tatmadaw clearance operation looks like. The junta is on a killing spree, murdering the people they are supposed to protect and serve.” 

Electricity was shut off for several hours in Bago on Friday evening while soldiers raided homes arresting people, as well as looting and destroying property.    

“Myanmar is in a state of terror and lawlessness,” SAC-M founding member Chris Sidoti said. “The Secretary General must use all the authority vested in his office to pursue ways to stop the killing.” 

SAC-M is calling on the UN secretary general to make a personal trip to Myanmar and other countries in the Southeast Asia region. He should call for a special session of the Security Council and seek to have the Security Council act under the UN’s Responsibility to Protect. 

READ MORE:  Myanmar coup: NGOs' open letter to Asean leaders

At least 82 people were murdered during the siege in Bago, with many more still missing. More than 700 people have been murdered in the two-and-a-half months since the Tatmadaw launched the coup, and over 3,000 people have been detained. 

“The junta is murdering people by the hour,” SAC-M founding member Marzuki Darusman said.

“We demand the junta stop these atrocities. The day will come when you are held to account for your unspeakable actions.” 

Yanghee Lee is the former UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, who held the mandate from 2014 to 2020

Marzuki Darusman is the former chair of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFMM)

Chris Sidoti is a former member of the FFMM

In 2018, the FFMM called for the investigation and prosecution of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his top military leaders for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In 2019, the FFMM exposed the extent to which the Myanmar military uses its own businesses, foreign companies and arms deals to sustain its operations and called for immediate targeted sanctions and arms embargoes. 

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