Home >News >World >Myanmar: UN special envoy decries violence, says 900 civilians already killed

Some 900 civilians have been killed by security forces in Myanmar since the military takeover on February 1, United Nations Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener told the UN General Assembly.

"Despite attempts by the military and its appointed officials to justify its ongoing repression, we must refrain firm: there can be no business as usual under the current circumstance," Schraner Burgener said on Friday. "Killings continue. Some 900 civilian protesters and passerby have been verified by the organization Assistant Association for Political Prisoners since February."

Schraner Burgener also said Myanmar is seeing an increased risk of sexual violence by security forces against anti-coup protesters. "These numbers are climbing as the military struggles to stabilize its hold on power," she said.

The special envoy said civilians have started to form defence unions after receiving military training from ethnic groups and these developments could lead to a large-scale civil war.

"The opportunity to reverse the military takeover is narrowing and the regional threat is increasing," she said. Schraner Burgener called on the UN member states to continue pushing for an all-inclusive dialogue to not miss the opportunity to put Myanmar on the path of democracy.

Escalating violence across Myanmar including attacks on civilians must be halted to prevent even greater loss of life and a deepening humanitarian emergency, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said earlier. Bachelet's appeal follows reports of a continuing military build-up in various parts of the country including Kayah State in the east - where more than 108,000 people have fled their homes in the last three weeks - and in Chin State in the west.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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