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Global outcry in the aftermath of the bloodiest day since the coup

Protesters were to take to the streets again on Sunday in Burma the day after the bloodiest day of repression since the February 1 coup, with at least 90 dead, including several children, violence strongly condemned by the international community. Activists for the restoration of democracy called for new demonstrations on Saturday, the day when the army organizes a gigantic parade every year in front of the army chief, now head of the junta, General Min Aung Hlaing. “At least 90 people [avaient] were killed “at nightfall on Saturday, said the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local NGO that records the death toll since the putsch.

The death toll since the February 1 coup has risen to at least 423, according to AAPP, a local prisoner defense NGO. Burma has been going through a serious crisis since civilian head of government Aung San Suu Kyi was ousted from power in a military coup. On Sunday, the Burmese will once again take to the streets to demand the return to democracy, and many funerals were to be held across the country, which is recovering from its bloodiest day since the putsch.

A joint press release from twelve countries

The heads of the defense forces of twelve countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Germany, condemned on the night of Saturday to Sunday the use of lethal force by the Burmese army against civilians. “As Chiefs of Staff, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed persons by the armed forces of Burma and associated security services. A professional army follows international standards of conduct and has the responsibility to protect the people it serves, not to harm them, ”the joint statement said. “We urge the Burmese armed forces to stop the violence and work to restore the respect and credibility with the people of Burma that they have lost through their actions,” he added in this rare joint statement.

Previously, the UN had referred to “reports” of “dozens of dead, including children, hundreds of injured”, and its secretary general, Antonio Guterres, condemned “in the strongest terms” this “killing “. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “horrified” by the “terror” of the Burmese military. His British counterpart Dominic Raab considered that the junta had crossed a “new level” in the repression.

For the traditional Armed Forces Day which commemorates the resistance against the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, thousands of soldiers, tanks, missiles and helicopters followed one another on a huge esplanade of the capital Naypyidaw, in front of a parterre generals and Russian and Chinese delegations. General Min Aung Hlaing again defended the coup, denouncing irregularities in the November legislative elections won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, and pledged a “transfer of state responsibility” after elections. Acts of “terrorism which can harm the peace and security of the state are unacceptable,” he said in a speech.

Act of “grave inhumanity”

Violence erupted across the country, with the military using live ammunition in more than 40 townships in nine regions, including Yangon, the country’s largest city, according to the AAPP. “Junta forces fired automatic weapons on residential areas, killing many civilians, including six children between the ages of ten and sixteen,” the NGO said. “The fact that the illegitimate military regime targets children is a serious act of inhumanity.” A journalist from Kyeikhto County, Southeastern Mon State, was shot in the leg.

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Meanwhile, an armed rebel group from the Karen ethnic minority, the Karen National Union, claimed to have been bombarded by junta hunters in the east on Saturday, hours after the rebel group seized a military base.

The authorities had not reacted to these accusations by Sunday morning and it was not known whether the attack had left people dead or injured. This action marks the first such air assault since the army seized power, against the Fifth Brigade of the Karen National Union (KNU) – one of the largest armed groups in the country, and which claims to represent the Karen people.

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