Myanmar Citizens Praised for 'Resilience' Amid Junta Takeover as 200K Have Fled Homes

Myanmar's citizens were praised for their "incredible resilience" by the U.N. human rights chief amid the military junta's takeover as 200,000 have fled their homes from military raids.

Michelle Bachelet said the raids have killed nearly 900 citizens, calling the situation a "multi-dimensional human rights catastrophe" during a Human Rights Council debate Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

"It is incumbent on the international community to stand united in pressuring the military to halt its continuing attacks on the people of Myanmar and return the country to democracy, reflecting the clear will of the people," she said.

Since the junta ousted Myanmar's civilian government in February, it has brutally cracked down on those protesting against military rule. Bachelet said Myanmar's citizens have been "resilient" in "organizing systems of mutual solidarity and support."

"People across the country continue peaceful protests despite the massive use of lethal force against them, including heavy weaponry," Bachelet said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Citizen Protests in Myanmar
Myanmar's citizens were praised for their "incredible resilience" amid the military junta's takeover that has caused 200,000 to flee their homes. In this photo, protesters make the three-finger salute beside a banner featuring Myanmar armed forces chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as they take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on July 3, 2021. STR/AFP via Getty Images

Bachelet noted that the World Food Program has estimated that more than six million people are in severe need of food aid.

The Human Rights Council debate prompted a string of statements by countries that denounced the violence, urged the release of political prisoners, and called for a return to democracy, aid deliveries and the rule of law, among other things.

"A civil disobedience movement has brought many military-controlled government structures to a standstill," Bachelet said. "At the same time, Myanmar's people have shown incredible resilience in organizing systems of mutual solidarity and support."

From the start of the council's session last week, Myanmar was at issue: Several countries including China, Venezuela and the Philippines insisted that the junta that toppled the civilian government in February should be represented during the 47-member body's debate.

But Myanmar hasn't been represented at the rights council in Geneva since the civilian government's ambassador left after the junta took over. The U.N. General Assembly's credentials committee is facing a decision about which representation of Myanmar will be recognized, so for now it has no voice at the council.