The military’s actions have fueled a growing humanitarian crisis with 2.6 million people displaced from their homes, and more than 18 million people in need…reports Asian Lite News
Three years since February 1, 2021 the day when the military in Myanmar overthrew its democratically elected government, foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs on behalf of the European Union have condemned sexual and gender-based violence and the restriction of fundamental freedoms by the military regime.
The joint statement reiterated their call for the Commander-in-Chief and the military to change course, immediately ceasing violence against civilians, releasing all unjustly detained political prisoners, allowing full humanitarian access, and creating space for inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the military regime’s ongoing atrocities and human rights violations, such as sexual and gender-based violence, and the restriction of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, through peaceful protests and the media,” the statement read.
It noted that under the military regime, violence against civilians has escalated, with thousands jailed, tortured, and killed. Airstrikes, shelling, and arson have been used to destroy civilian infrastructure, including homes, schools, healthcare facilities, and places of worship.
The statement further read, “Systematic discrimination against members of religious and ethnic groups, including Rohingya, is rife. Many are displaced and continue to face horrific conditions, and others have been forced to flee across Myanmar’s borders. The military’s actions have fueled a growing humanitarian crisis with 2.6 million people displaced from their homes, and more than 18 million people in need.”
The statement also called on “all members of the international community to support efforts to push the Myanmar military to cease violence, to bring about genuinely inclusive dialogue, in order to establish a credible, peaceful democratic future for Myanmar; to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of people in Myanmar and refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, including its most vulnerable communities, and to cease providing the Myanmar military with the arms and equipment that are necessary for them to commit atrocities.” Further, it strongly encouraged unified efforts by ASEAN to resolve the crisis saying, “We commend the constructive efforts of the ASEAN Chairs and Special Envoys. We call on the military regime to implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus and engage meaningfully and positively with ASEAN representatives for Myanmar to transition towards an inclusive democracy,” the statement read.