United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday (25/10) announced the appointment of Noeleen Heyzer from Singapore as his new special envoy to Myanmar.
Heyzer will replace Switzerland’s Christine Schraner Burgener, who will step down on Sunday after three and a half years in the position.
Schraner Burgener has spent the past nine months dealing with the aftermath of Myanmar’s military coup after last year’s general election in November, which plunged the Southeast Asian nation into chaos and violence.
More than 1,100 civilians died, thousands were imprisoned and more than 250,000 were displaced.
Heyzer, a former UN official, faces a formidable challenge in his new role.
Myanmar’s military has ignored international pressure to overturn its coup in February and return power to the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which won democratic elections.
Violence has spread to all corners of Myanmar, and the Government of National Unity (NLD) has formed its own People’s Defense Force. [lt/jm]