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GENEVA: The United Nations on Thursday urged the international community to deny Myanmar’s junta access to foreign weapons and currency as the conflict-wracked country’s humanitarian crisis deepens.

Myanmar was plunged into chaos after a 2021 coup ousted democratically elected civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking fighting between the military, ethnic rebel groups and newer “People’s Defence Forces”.

The UN and human rights groups have denounced alleged rights violations including attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and torture.

“We need to prevent the supply of arms to the military and to analyse the economic interests that are behind it,” said UN human rights chief Volker Turk.

In a new report presented to the UN Human Rights Council, Turk also called for “targeted measures” to limit the generals’ access to “foreign currency, aviation fuel and other means that enable attacks on Myanmar’s people”.

The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights for the Southeast Asian nation, Thomas Andrews, said foreign currency allowed the junta to buy arms, supply its weapons factories and refuel combat aircraft.

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