UN calls for investigation after report of 35 massacred by Myanmar’s military on Christmas Eve

United Nations has called for an investigation following reports that at least 35 people were killed by Myanmar’s military on Christmas Eve in Kayah state. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said reports of the killing of civilians, including at least one child, were credible.

He said, he is horrified by reports of an attack against civilians and he condemns the grievous incident and all attacks against civilians throughout the country, which are prohibited under international humanitarian law. Griffiths called for a thorough and transparent investigation so the perpetrators could be brought to justice.

Residents and a human rights group working in the area said soldiers had killed the civilians. Two workers for Save the Children, a humanitarian organization, remain among the missing. The ruling military has not commented on the killings near Mo So village in Kayah State.

Meanwhile, the UN Special Envoy on Myanmar has appealed for a New Year’s ceasefire following weeks of escalating violence in the country.

In a statement, UN Envoy Noeleen Heyzer said she is deeply concerned by increased violence in Kayin state and other areas, which has displaced thousands of civilians, many of whom have fled the country for protection and assistance. The Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN) has also appealed for an immediate cessation of the violence, she recalled.

Demonstrations have been taking place in Myanmar ever since the military seized power in February, and security forces have responded with bloody crackdowns.

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