Myanmar demonstrators demonstrated around the world overnight two months after the military took over, while a United Nations special envoy warned that “a bloodbath is imminent” due to the increased repression on anti-coup protesters.
The envoy’s alert comes after a revival in violence in border regions between the army and ethnic minority insurgents.
According to DVB news, at least 20 soldiers were killed and four military tanks were damaged in clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of Myanmar’s most strong insurgent groups.
According to a KIA soldier quoted by Kachin Liberation Media, the attack took place on Wednesday afternoon.
Reuters was unable to validate the allegations immediately, and a junta spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.
For the first time in more than 20 years, Myanmar military aircraft have begun bombing positions of another group, the Karen National Union (KNU), and thousands of villagers have fled their homes, many into Thailand.
Myanmar has been rattled by nearly regular demonstrations after the army deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on February 1st, citing unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud in November. Suu Kyi and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) are incarcerated.
According to media reports and images on social media, there were more candle-lit demonstrations in cities across Myanmar overnight, including Myitnge in the Mandalay region.
SUU KYI DUE IN COURT
According to Khit Thit Media, the junta has accused Suu Kyi of some minor offences but could soon charge her with treason, which is punishable by death.
While Reuters could not confirm this, the next hearing in her case is set for later on Thursday.
Suu Kyi and one of her attorneys, Min Min Soe, met via video conference for the first time since her detention on Wednesday.
“Amay looks healthy, her skin is good,” Min Min Soe said over the phone, referring to her with an affectionate expression that means “mother.”
Ousted members of parliament, mainly from Suu Kyi’s bloc, pledged to create a federal democracy in order to meet ethnic minority groups’ long-standing call for autonomy.
Such plans are rejected by the military, which sees itself as the only force capable of keeping the nation together.
The lawmakers who have created a parallel civilian government, known as the Committee for Serving Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), have also declared the revocation of a 2008 constitution drafted by the military that ensures the army’s power.
“The new day begin here!” Dr Sasa, the international envoy of the CRPH, said on Twitter, referring to what for now is a largely symbolic move.
U.S. URGES CHINA TO USE INFLUENCE
According to remarks exchanged with reporters, U.N. special envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgene told the 15-member U.N. Security Council that the military was incapable of handling the country and that the crisis on the ground would only escalate.
According to Schraner Burgener, the council would take “potentially significant action” to change the turn of events so “a bloodbath is imminent.”
So far, the council’s comments have expressed outrage and denounced violence against demonstrators, but they have dropped rhetoric referring to the takeover as a revolution and threatening further intervention due to criticism from China, Russia, India, and Vietnam.
According to the Aid Organization for Political Prisoners, at least 536 people have been killed in protests, with 141 of them killed on Saturday, the bloodiest day of the uprising (AAPP).
The US urged China, which has major economic and political interests in Myanmar, to use its leverage to keep those responsible for the military coup accountable.
Although the West has vigorously denounced the coup, China has been more circumspect, with the government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, calling for peace during a meeting with his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, on Wednesday.
“China welcomes and supports ASEAN’s adherence to the principle of non-interference … and the ‘ASEAN approach’ in playing a positive role in promoting the stability of the situation in Myanmar,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement after the meeting, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
According to Singapore’s foreign ministry, the ministers “called for a de-escalation of the crisis, a cessation of violence, and the start of meaningful dialogue among all parties.”
While ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member, has pledged not to intervene in each other’s affairs, some countries, led by Indonesia, have been aggressively pressing diplomatic attempts to defuse the crisis.
Nonetheless, the military has so far been impervious to outside attack.