U.N. Official Calls For Investigation After Myanmar Military Massacre

A United Nations official is calling for an investigation after a military massacre took place in Myanmar that reportedly took the lives of at least 35 people on Christmas Eve. 

Two employees for Save the Children, a humanitarian group, are missing, as well. 

On Sunday, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths “condemn[ed] this grievous incident and all attacks against civilians throughout the country, which are prohibited under international humanitarian law.”

He also “call[ed] upon the authorities to immediately commence a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident so that perpetrators can be swiftly brought to justice.”

“Millions of people in Myanmar remain in dire need of humanitarian support. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners remain committed to providing help throughout the country,” Griffiths concluded.

A Monday statement by the U.N. Special Envoy on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, said Heyzer is “deeply concerned by the continued escalation of violence in Kayin State and other parts of Myanmar, which have displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, including women and children, many seeking refuge across borders for protection and assistance, while many more are trapped within the country.”

The statement added, “she appeals for a New Year’s ceasefire throughout Myanmar.”

The Save the Children organization put out a statement on Christmas Day, saying they have “condemned an attack by the Myanmar military in which at least 38 people, including women and children, were killed in Kayah State in Eastern Myanmar.”

“Two of our staff, who were on the way back to the office after conducting humanitarian response work in a nearby community, were caught up in the incident and remain missing,” the statement continued. “We have confirmation that their private vehicle was attacked and burned out. The military reportedly forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed others and burned their bodies.”

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported on the attack, writing that “[a]t least 38 people, including children, were killed in an attack by Myanmar’s military in a region of the country where resistance groups have been fighting forces from the junta, according to international aid group Save the Children and a local militia that opposes the military.”

“The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a nonprofit that monitors arrests and fatalities, said that the military has killed more than 1,300 people since seizing power,” the outlet added. 

The Journal added: 

Khun Thomas, a spokesman for the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, a local militia that operates against the military, said the military attack in Kayah state took place on Friday and killed 39 people—35 civilians and, in a separate incident nearby, four militia members. He said that civilians were fleeing a military campaign in the area when many of them were shot. The military then burned their vehicles, he said.

The military, however, reportedly provided a different story of what happened during the attack.

The U.S. Embassy in Burma tweeted on Sunday that it is “appalled by this barbaric attack in Kayah state that killed at least 35 civilians, including women and children.”

It added, “We will continue to press for accountability for the perpetrators of the ongoing campaign of violence against the people of Burma.”

Myanmar has experienced violence over the course of the year after the military held a coup and took over the government in February.

As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month, Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to two years in prison after she was found to be guilty of two charges. 

The Myanmar junta has violently cracked down on protesters who are pushing back against the military takeover of the country. 

Footage of violent protests came out in March showing “security forces shooting a person at point-blank range and chasing down and savagely beating demonstrators … In other footage, about two dozen security forces, some with their firearms drawn, chase two people wearing the construction helmets donned by many protesters down a street. When they catch up to the people, they repeatedly beat them with rods and kick them. One of the officers is filming the scene on his cell phone,” per the AP.

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