In Myanmar, one pregnant woman, who was referred to as Rosemary, gave birth to her child inside the dark confines of her home in a deserted village in the country's Mindat township as a 25-year-old midwife, Mai Nightingale, helped drown her cries.
Nightingale, not her real name, said they were the only two people left in the village so they closed all the doors and windows. During the childbirth, the midwife would put a blanket over Rosemary's, not her real name, mouth to stifle her cries, in fears of the military junta overhearing them.
Forced Birth in Jungle
Several other residents were interviewed about the condition of the residents living in the country and have had their names hidden for their safety. The night before her birth, Rosemary's contractions began as military personnel approached her village. The residents were forced to flee their homes and hide inside the forest, open to the unrelenting rain.
Rosemary and Nightingale risked their lives to hide inside the home the next morning to keep themselves protected from the weather. The midwife said the conditions were risky to attempt delivering the pregnant woman's baby. The two saw soldiers walking around the area but were unable to retreat because of Rosemary's condition, Aljazeera reported.
Rosemary's husband was not able to accompany his wife during her labor. They feared that if he was seen by military soldiers, he would be seen as a member of the local armed group that resists the authority of the junta. Many residents have taken up arms since the army's February 1 coup, equipping themselves with hunting rifles and homemade weapons. Since May, Mindat has been a hotspot of resistance.
The incident comes as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge within the country and has taken the life of U Nyan Win, a spokesman for the governing party of Myanmar. The official succumbed to the disease while he was detained inside a prison, his lawyer said.
The tragedy underscored the recent chaos occurring within Myanmar as the health system is failing and residents are forced to queue in long lines to get oxygen supply. The military junta is also accused of hoarding oxygen to prioritize its military officials, the New York Times reported.
Continuing Chaos in Myanmar
Nyan Win, the 79-year-old spokesman, also served as a lawyer for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was ousted in the February 1 military coup. The military junta arrested and detained the two officials along with the entire elected government.
Military officials also announced plans to replace the country's ambassador to the United Nations who has openly opposed their authority since the coup. Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he has appointed Aung Thurein as the country's ambassador.
In an accompanying letter, Lwin said that Kyaw Moe Tun, who is Myanmar's current U.N. ambassador, was removed from his position on February 27, citing abuses of his assigned duty and mandate. On that day, Tun made a speech to a General Assembly meeting and appealed for "the strongest possible action from the international community," Yahoo News reported.