UN condemns military takeover in Myanmar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 1, 2021   •   577

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The United Nations (UN) condemned the military takeover in Myanmar and the detention of top political leaders and government officials.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the developments in Myanmar “represent a serious blow to democratic reforms” in the country. Among those detained include State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

The detentions and the seizure of power took place on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar’s new parliament.

The coup followed brewing tensions between the government and the military in the aftermath of last November’s general elections.

The Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) claimed an overwhelming victory in the polls, securing over 80% of the seats. However, the military and several political parties disputed the results and alleged that the polls were marred with irregularities.

Guterres reiterated that the November 8, 2020 general elections “provide the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform.”

“The Secretary-General urges the military leadership to respect the will of the people of Myanmar and adhere to democratic norms,” the statement reads.AAC

DFA brings home 163 more Filipinos from Myanmar

Marje Pelayo   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Yangon, once again chartered another flight from Myanmar with 163 Filipinos on Thursday (April 8).

Most of the repatriates were stranded in the country due to travel restrictions from the pandemic.

This latest chartered flight, along with the previous two from Yangon, were funded by the DFA Assistance-to-Nationals Fund.

The 163 Filipinos from Myanmar included 4 seniors and 14 minors, including 3 infants.

The repatriates will be undergoing quarantine protocols, as required for all those who arrive in the country.

With these new arrivals, the total number of overseas Filipinos who have been repatriated since the start of the pandemic inches closer to 400,000.

From Myanmar, the three chartered flights have now brought home a total of 334 Filipinos.

More people are experiencing severe hunger in Democratic Republic of the Congo — UN

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2021

The United Nations has raised concerns after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a record-high level of acute hunger.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), 27.3 million people face “acute” food insecurity. There are also around seven million people who are suffering from “emergency” levels of acute hunger.

One of the factors, according to the UN, is a slump in the country’s economy as well as the effects brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Militia violence also persisted in the area for decades.

Aristide Ongone Obame, FAO Representative in DRC said social and political stability are “essential to strengthen food security and boost the resilience of vulnerable populations”.

There is also a need to boost livestock and the growing of more food.

“The main agricultural season is around the corner and there is no time to waste,” he said. -AAC

More than 3,000 people flee to Thailand after Myanmar’s army air strikes villages

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2021

More than 3,000 people in Myanmar have crossed to Thailand to take refuge after the Burma Army launched air strikes on Myanmar’s southeastern Karen state.

According to Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), the military launched night-time airstrikes on Day Bu No Village, Lu Thaw Township, Mu Traw District on March 27, killing three civilians and injuring seven others.

The KWO, an indigenous women’s organization, has condemned the said attacks and expressed fear as more attacks will soon be launched on other villages.

“Many villagers are now hiding in terror in the jungle, and more than 3,000 have crossed to Thailand to take refuge,” the KWO said.

The organization also calls for call for a UN Security Council resolution to prevent further mass atrocities.

“Burma’s security forces must be held accountable for their crimes. Diplomats and governments must stop giving legitimacy to this murderous regime. It’s clear the Burma Army leaders are not capable of change nor are they open to any dialogue to stop the violence,” the organization said.

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