US Evacuates All ‘Non-Emergency’ Embassy Staff & Families From Myanmar As Death Toll Hits 500
On Tuesday evening the US State Department issued an advisory for all non-emergency government employees and their family members to evacuate Myanmar. It comes after last month closer to the start of the coup crisis which began with the military seizing control on Feb.1 and junta crackdown against protests the State Dept. made departure “optional”.
“The Burmese military has detained and deposed elected government officials,” the department in the written statement, using Washington’s preferred old naming for Myanmar. “Protests and demonstrations against military rule have occurred and are expected to continue.”
“The Department of State made the decision to authorize ordered departure from Burma because the safety and security of US government personnel and their dependents, as well as private US citizens is the Department’s highest priority,” a State Department official further said.
The spokesperson added the embassy “will remain open to the public and continues to provide a limited range of consular services to both US citizens and visa applicants due to Covid-19 restrictions.”
Clashes between security forces and protesters, which have for weeks seen police and military unleash live ammunition on anti-coup demonstrators, has now resulted in over 500 people killed since the start of the crisis. This includes the bloodiest weekend so far, with 141 people killed on Saturday alone.
German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) writes “The death toll in Myanmar’s military crackdown on anti-coup demonstrators has reached 510, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) confirmed on Tuesday, warning that the true toll might be higher.”
There’s now growing calls for outside international powers to “do something” beyond mere sanctions, with online activists even going so far as to call for military intervention against Myanmar’s army.
“On Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day, security forces are murdering unarmed civilians, including children, the very people they swore to protect. This bloodshed is horrifying. These are not the actions of a professional military or police force.” Full statement by Ambassador Vajda: pic.twitter.com/7Gh2OTXEOe
— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 27, 2021
The latest Western action has been as follows:
On Monday, the United States suspended a trade deal with Myanmar, demanding the restoration of a democratic government.
The US, Canada, Britain and the European Union had imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s military generals. International organizations, including the United Nations, have continuously condemned the crackdown.
Meanwhile China has been accused by opposition voices on the ground of quietly aiding the junta, despite the Chinese embassy’s official denials.
Widespread anger over China’s alleged role in providing political cover and support for the junta has resulted in dozens of arson attacks against Chinese-owned factories and business inside the country, which Beijing has vehemently condemned, calling for police to protect them.
Wed, 03/31/2021 – 09:15