The UN Security Council on Friday again called for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and the release of all detainees, including the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as it was in favor of Southeast Asian states calling for an immediate end to the violence and talks to resolve the problem Political crisis began as a result of the February 1st coup d’état by the generals.
The Council’s press release followed a briefing from the UN Chief Envoy that the strong, unified demand for democracy by the Myanmar people, who have protested since the military came to power, created “unexpected difficulties” for military leaders in consolidating power and the Risks created has brought the nation’s administration to a standstill.
Christine Schraner Burgener, who is currently in Bangkok, told the 15-member council that her discussions in Southeast Asia had “heightened” her concern that the situation in Myanmar is deteriorating in all areas.
She pointed to a resurgence in fighting in ethnic areas, job losses by poor people, the refusal of officials to protest the coup, and a brewing crisis among families in and around the capital Yangon, who “participated in the Edge of Hunger “got into debt and trying to survive.
“The common pursuit of democracy has united the people in Myanmar across religious, ethnic and communal differences like never before,” said Schraner Burgener. “This strong unit created unexpected difficulties for the military to consolidate power and stabilize the coup.”
Protesters carry a banner that reads “Who are we? We are Yangonese! ‘during a protest in the Sanchaung area of Yangon on April 27th [News Ambassadors via Reuters]The members of the Security Council “reaffirmed their deep concern about the situation in Myanmar following the declaration of a state of emergency by the military on February 1 and reaffirmed their support for the democratic transition in Myanmar.”
The Council also reiterated previous statements condemning the use of force against peaceful demonstrators and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, calling for the restoration of democracy and the release of prisoners.
Schraner Burgener attended the meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta on April 24, at which the group called for an immediate end to the violence and a dialogue to deal with the political crisis.
The UN envoy said she could hold talks with army chief Min Aung Hlaing on the sidelines of the event and asked again for permission to visit Myanmar.
They agreed to “keep details of the exchange discreet to allow for further open and frank discussions,” she said, but assured the council that she “reinforced” the statements approved by its 15 members.
Schraner Burgener has repeatedly asked to travel to Myanmar – where Generals Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her elected government arrested before taking power three months ago – but the military has not yet given her permission.
Protests for democracy have taken place in cities across the country since the coup.
“The general administration of the state could come to a standstill as the pro-democracy movement persists despite the continued use of lethal force, arbitrary arrests and torture as part of military repression,” the envoy said, according to diplomats.
Asks for a robust answer
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group that has been tracking arrests and deaths since the coup, said security forces killed at least 759 protesters while more than 4,500 people were arrested for opposing the coup. According to the AAPP, around 3,485 people remain in custody.
In a series of statements, the Security Council has strongly condemned the use of force against peaceful demonstrators, called for the restoration of democracy and the release of those detained.
The failure of the United Nations Security Council to hold #Myanmar’s military accountable for violations of international crimes will prolong the military dictatorship and the inevitable hunger and increasing poverty.
🔺 Impunity is vital. # WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #MilkTeaAlliance #SaveMyanmar https://t.co/qiOcvLgEM5
– Wai Wai Nu (@waiwainu) April 30, 2021
People from #Burma want to tell @eu_eeas @ USStateDepartm2 @FCDOGovUK & @ SchranerBurgen1 that they are not falling into the trap the junta would take seriously in order to achieve the @ Asean 5 consensus. At least don’t waste your time. @Mandy_Segall @Milktea_Myanmar @NUGMyanmar @sophiacmcbride @Reaproy
– Kyaw Win (@ kyawwin78) April 30, 2021
Civil society groups said the Security Council needed to agree on a more robust response.
“The military has already rejected the flawed ‘consensus’ it has reached with ASEAN leaders, so it is important that the international community does not see last weekend’s outcome as a legitimate way forward for Myanmar,” said Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center, made a statement before the briefing in camera.
“The Security Council must continue to focus on the solutions that the people of Myanmar have long called for, particularly on women-led civil society groups, including a global arms embargo, targeted sanctions and a referral to the International Criminal Court. It is not surprising that the Council has not acted yet and they cannot divert their responsibility for it because others like ASEAN have “acted”. “
The military, which ruled Myanmar for nearly 50 years before taking tentative steps towards democracy a decade ago, admitted that some protesters were killed but accused them of initiating the violence.
Schraner Burgener said there were reports that civilians, mostly students from urban areas, were being trained in weaponry by armed ethnic groups in border areas.
“In the absence of a collective international response, violence has increased and the use of improvised explosive devices has been reported,” she said, according to diplomats.
The United Nations estimates that around 20,000 people have fled their homes and been displaced within Myanmar, while nearly 10,000 have fled to neighboring countries, the UN envoy said.
The World Food Program has revealed that pre-existing poverty, COVID-19 and political crisis are projected to starve 3.4 million more people over the next six months, while UNDP warns that nearly half of Myanmar’s population will be affected by the next Year could fall into poverty.