GENEVA / MYANMAR NEW ATTACKS

05-Apr-2019 00:01:48
The UN Human Rights office condemned Friday the intensifying clashes between the Myanmar military and armed separatists that reportedly involved a deadly helicopter bombing raid on civilians earlier this week in Rakhine state. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / MYANMAR NEW ATTACKS
TRT: 1:47
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 5 APRIL 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations.
2. Wide shot, journalists and podium.
3. Close up, journalists’ hands.
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The Myanmar military is again carrying out attacks against its own civilians; attacks which may constitute war crimes.”
5. Med shot, journalists.
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The 3 April attack was carried out in an area that had seen large-scale displacement of Rohingya civilians in recent days. According to information received by our office, some 4,000 Rohingya were displaced between 25 and 30 March from the villages along the road connecting Buthidaung and Rathedaung towns.”
7. Med shot, observers.
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“These particular killings we have been able to verify with some certainty, this is why we’re putting it out there, that there was a helicopter attack, that bombs were dropped and that these seven civilians were killed.”
9. Med shot, journalists, profile.
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“There was an attack by the Arakan Army on several police posts and the Tatmadaw – the army of Myanmar - responded with very strong force and we received information that instructions were given to them to crush the Arakan Army.”
11. Close up, observers, profile.
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We call on the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army to immediately cease hostilities and to ensure that civilians are protected. Humanitarian access to all areas of northern Rakhine must urgently be restored, including those areas affected by the recent clashes.”
13. Med shot, observers.
14. Med shot, journalists.
15. Med shot, journalists.
16. Wide shot, journalists.
STORYLINE
The UN Human Rights office condemned Friday (5 Apr) the intensifying clashes between the Myanmar military and armed separatists that reportedly involved a deadly helicopter bombing raid on civilians earlier this week in Rakhine state.

Speaking in Geneva, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Ravina Shamdasani told journalists: “the Myanmar military is again carrying out attacks against its own civilians; attacks which may constitute war crimes.”

The conflict between the Myanmar military – who are known as the Tatmadaw, and the Arakan Army dates back around a decade. In the most recent escalation, the OHCHR spokesperson reported that on the evening of 3 April, two military helicopters flew over Hpon Nyo Leik village in south Buthidaung township, firing on Rohingya Muslims who were tending cows and paddyfields.

At least seven civilians were killed and 18 others were injured, according to sources in Myanmar.

“These particular killings we have been able to verify with some certainty,” Shamdasani said, noting that OHCHR had received a large amount of video and footage photographs supporting the attack. “This is why we’re putting it out there: that there was a helicopter attack, that bombs were dropped and that these seven civilians were killed.”

The Arakan Army was formed almost a decade ago in response to economic and social injustice grievances which are distinct from the systematic discrimination and violence suffered by Rohingya Muslims that forced hundreds of thousands to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh in the summer of 2016. The most recent violence was prompted by Arakan Army attacks on several police posts on 4 January, Shamdasani said, leading to credible reports of the killing of civilians, burning of houses, arbitrary arrests, abductions and damage to cultural property.

“There was an attack by the Arakan Army on several police posts and the Tatmadaw – the army of Myanmar - responded with very strong force and we received information that instructions were given to them to crush the Arakan Army.”

Amid the ongoing violence, more than 20,000 civilians are estimated to have been displaced in Rakhine state, with many staying in informal settlements including paddyfields, Shamdasani said.

She insisted that the fighting has affected civilians of various ethnic groups in Rakhine and Chin States, including Rakhine, Rohingya, Chin, Mro and Daignet.

Concerns are growing because fighting was formerly restricted to hilly areas but is now moving to more densely populated areas, where the Arakan Army is embedding itself.

“The 3 April attack was carried out in an area that had seen large-scale displacement of Rohingya civilians in recent days,” she added. “According to information received by our office, some 4,000 Rohingya were displaced between 25 and 30 March from the villages along the road connecting Buthidaung and Rathedaung towns.”
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