The UN warns of further "atrocities" in Burma

the head of the UN agency, Volker Turk

The United Nations human rights agency has said it is "deeply alarmed" by the return of violence in the Rakhine region of Burma [the state also known as Burma], and has warned of further "atrocities".

Fighting has spread in Rakhine since the Arakan army attacked security forces in November, ending a ceasefire that had been in place since a 2021 military coup.

"I am deeply alarmed by reports of renewed violence and destruction of property in the Rakhine region, in the north of Burma, which has resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians, mainly Rohingya," said the head of the UN agency, Volker Turk. , through a statement.

Turk has said that the United Nations is aiming to gather information about "serious violations".

"With high tensions between the communities, ethnic residents of Rakhine and Rohingya, which are constantly being instigated by the army, this is a critical period, as the risk of further atrocities is acute."

The Arakan Army is one of many armed ethnic groups in Burma's border regions that have fought the military since independence from Britain in 1948 over autonomy and control of natural resources.

The Arakan army claims it is fighting for more autonomy for the Rakhine region's ethnic population.

Fighting has spread to 15 of the 17 settlements since November last year, and since then hundreds of people have been killed and around 300.000 injured.

Turk has called on neighboring Bangladesh to increase protection for "vulnerable people who need security".

Clashes between the Arakan army and the state army in 2019 resulted in the displacement of around 200.000 people,

In that region, the state's army launched a crackdown on the Rohingya minority, and now a United Nations court is handling a case under suspicion of genocide over that period. /REL