Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations has warned of a “reported massacre” by the military junta in a letter to the world body.
Kyaw Moe Tun — who refused to step down from his post despite Myanmar’s military junta’s takeover of the country on 1 February this year — wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Tuesday informing him that 40 bodies had been found in Kani township in July in the Sagaing area of north-western Myanmar.
The military junta denied the allegations of the massacre and AFP reported that they could not independently verify the reports.
Mr Moe Tun on Wednesday also said that there had been an “apparent threat” made against him and that the US authorities had stepped up his security.
He was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Reportedly there is some threat. The police are working on it. Necessary security has been provided by the police.”
Meanwhile, in his letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Myanmar envoy said that the military tortured and killed 16 men in a village in the township around 9 and 10 July, after which he claimed “10,000 residents fled the area.”
He said in the letter that 13 bodies were discovered in the days following clashes between local fighters and security forces on 26 July.
Mr Moe Tun also said that another 11 men were killed and set on fire in a separate village on 28 July. This, he claimed, included a 14-year-old boy.
The envoy urged “humanitarian intervention” from the international community and called for a global arms embargo on the ruling junta in Myanmar.
The United Nations — in spite of the military junta’s claims that Mr Moe Tun no longer represents the country — still considers him the rightful envoy.
Mr Moe Tun added: “We cannot let the military keep on doing this kind of atrocity in Myanmar. It is time for the UN, especially the UN Security Council, to take action.”
This comes after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Wednesday appointed a new special envoy to Myanmar to help mediate a resolution to the current crisis. ASEAN’s foreign ministers announced the appointment of Brunei’s second foreign minister, Erywan Yusof..
Myanmar has been in political turmoil since 1 February when the junta ousted the democratically elected government in Myanmar. More than 900 people have been killed since and thousands displaced, as per a local monitoring group.
Meanwhile, the military junta chief said on Sunday that elections would be held and a state of emergency lifted by August 2023.