UN Security Council resolution demands end to Myanmar violence | Conflict News

The United Nations Security Council adopted the first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years, demanding stop violence and called on the country’s military rulers to release all political prisoners, including democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

of Myanmar army takes power from Suu Kyi’s elected government in February 2021, arresting her and other officials, and responding to pro-democracy protests and dissent with deadly force killed several thousand people and put more than 16,000 people in prison.

China and Russia who have supported Myanmar military leaders since the coup, abstained in the United Nations vote on Wednesday, along with India. The remaining 12 members of the powerful council voted in favor of the resolution.

“We sent a firm message today to the military that they should have no doubts – we hope this resolution will be fully implemented,” said the UK ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward. , said after the vote.

“We have also sent a clear message to the people of Myanmar that we seek progress consistent with their rights, desires and interests,” Woodward said.

The only other resolution concerning Myanmar was adopted by the Security Council in 1948, when it asked the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the country – then known as Burma – as a member. of the world organization.

China’s ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, told the council after the abstention that “there is no quick solution to this problem”.

“Ultimately, whether the issue can be properly resolved or not, fundamentally and solely, depends on Myanmar itself,” he said.

He said China wants the Security Council to adopt an official statement on Myanmar, not a resolution.

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said Moscow does not consider the situation in Myanmar a threat to international security and therefore believes that the UN Security Council should not deal with the issue.

Big internal public opinion opposed The military takeover of Myanmar has since morphed into armed resistance that some UN experts have described as a “civil war”.

Last month, the Association to Support Political Prisoners, a human rights watchdog, said more than 16,000 people have been arrested on political charges in Myanmar since the military coup. Of those, more than 13,000 are still in custody.

The association also said that at least 2,465 civilians were injured killed since taking power of the armyalthough the actual number is believed to be much higher.

Negotiations on the draft Security Council resolution began in September. The original text – seen by Reuters news agency – called for an end to arms transfers to Myanmar and threatened sanctions, but that wording was later deleted.

Russia and China are among the largest suppliers of weapons to the Myanmar military, mainly missiles, aircraft supplied by Moscow and naval ships, aircraft, guns and armored vehicles purchased from China.

The UK Burma Campaign group welcomed the resolution but said it would have “no practical impact” and that imposing a global arms embargo on Myanmar’s military should have been “an untimely first step”. need to think”.

The group’s director, Mark Farmer, said in a statement: “The supply of weapons is not even mentioned in the resolution.

“Russia, China and India are using their seats on the Security Council to protect their lucrative cunning arms deals with the Burmese military,” he said.

He added: “In the United Nations it could be seen as a diplomatic coup to pass this resolution but in Burma it will have no impact on the people living under a coup. military.

The adopted resolution expressed “deep concern” about the ongoing state of emergency imposed by the military when the army took power and its “serious impact” on the people of Myanmar.

It also called for “concrete and immediate actions” to implement a peace plan agreed upon by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and made a call to “maintain and democratic process, while pursuing constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people”.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said it welcomed the resolution and the support shown for ASEAN’s role in finding a “peaceful resolution of the situation in Myanmar”.

“Malaysia will work closely with ASEAN and with external partners to ensure progress is made in these efforts for the benefit of the people of Myanmar,” the ministry said in a statement.

The resolution also stressed the need for “a peaceful, substantive and comprehensive process to reduce the escalation of violence and achieve a sustainable political solution”.

It highlights the need to resolve the crisis in Rakhine state and facilitate the repatriation of ethnic Rohingya Muslims who have been forced out of the Buddhist-majority Myanmar in a short period of time. brutal military campaign in August 2018, which America described as an act of genocide.

Some 700,000 Rohingya still live as refugees in neighboring Bangladesh while others remain displaced in Myanmar.

The United Nations Ambassador of Myanmar, Kyaw Moe Tun, who represented the ousted government of Ms. Suu Kyi and still holds the seat of the Security Councilsaid that despite the positive elements in the resolution, the Government of National Unity – which includes remnants of Suu Kyi’s administration – would want a stronger text.

“We are clear this is just the first step,” he told reporters.

“The Government of National Unity calls on the UNSC (building) on ​​this resolution to take even stronger action to ensure an end to the military junta and its crimes.”

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