The United Nations (UN) special envoy on Myanmar has warned that “a bloodbath is imminent” in the restive southeast Asian nation because of the increasing crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations.
Christine Schraner Burgener told the UN Security Council on Wednesday to take immediate action to arrest the worsening situation on the ground.
Ms. Schraner Burgener’s warning follows a flare-up in fighting between the Myanmar army and ethnic minority insurgents in the border regions.
At least twenty soldiers were killed and four military trucks destroyed in clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of the country’s most powerful rebel groups, DVB news reported.
A KIA soldier cited by Kachin Liberation Media said the attack took place on Wednesday afternoon.
Reuters reported early on Thursday that Myanmar military aircraft had begun bombing positions of another rebel group, the Karen National Union (KNU), for the first time in more than two decades. It said thousands of villagers have fled from their homes, many into neighbouring Thailand.
Myanmar has also been rocked by almost daily protests since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on February 1, citing unproven claims of fraud in a November 2020 election.
Ms. Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) are still being held in detention
The junta has accused the seventy-five-year-old Nobel Prize winner of several minor crimes, but could soon charge her with treason which can be punishable by death. The next hearing in her case is due later on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Myanmar activists held protests across the country overnight, exactly two months after the military seized power.
In cities across the country, there were candle-lit protests including in Myitnge in the Mandalay region.