Myanmar’s military has imported $1 billion worth of arms since seizing power in a 2021 coup and used them to ‘commit atrocities’, says UN expert in a report released Wednesday.
Fighting has broken out in Myanmar since the coup, including new clashes with rebel ethnic groups, as well as the formation of dozens of “people’s defense forces” now fighting the junta.
“The army has killed at least 3,500 civilians” in its crackdown on the opposition, and the number of political prisoners has risen to 20,000, according to the report.
He added that between February 1, 2021, the day of the coup, and December 2022, the junta imported “at least $1 billion in weapons, dual-use technology and materials used to make weapons”. dollars”, mainly from suppliers in Russia, China, Singapore and India.
“These weapons and military-grade materials continue to flow unabated into Myanmar’s military, despite clear evidence that it is responsible for atrocities,” said the UN special rapporteur on human rights. man in Myanmar, Tom Andrews.
The report says the junta imported $406 million to $267 million worth of arms and equipment from Russia. dollars – from China, including from public entities. India sold goods worth 51 million, Singapore – 254 million, even Thailand sold equipment worth 28 million. dollars.
“Russian and Chinese entities are critical to the transfer of advanced weapons systems and spare parts to the Myanmar military,” Andrews wrote. Arms sales to Myanmar have easily circumvented international sanctions banning such trade with the country, he said.
A UN report named an attack on an opposition-held village that killed around 170 people, including children, as an example of a “probable” war crime.
Andrews wrote that the fighter jet dropped two bombs on the village of Pazi Gyi in the central Sagaing region, targeting an opening ceremony for the office of the National Unity Government, a shadow administration dominated by party lawmakers. of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Shortly after, two attack helicopters flew into the village and opened fire on survivors and first responders, he added.
“This brutal attack is another example of the Myanmar junta’s use of internationally supplied arms and related materiel to commit atrocities,” the report said.
Special Rapporteurs are mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, but they are independent, unpaid experts who do not speak on behalf of the UN.
Source: The Delfi