The UN Security Council on Friday again demanded the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and the release of all detainees, including elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as he threw his weight behind calls for the nations of Southeast Asia to immediately end the violence and talks to resolve the issue. political crisis stemming from the generals’ coup of 1 February.
The council’s press statement followed a briefing by the UN envoy that the strong and united demand for democracy by the people of Myanmar who have been protesting since the army took power has created “unexpected difficulties”. for military leaders to consolidate power and risk administration of the nation to a standstill.
Christine Schraner Burgener, who is currently in Bangkok, told the 15-member council that her discussions in Southeast Asia had “aggravated” her concern that the situation in Myanmar is deteriorating in all areas.
He noted the resurgence of the struggle in ethnic areas, the loss of jobs of the poorest, officials who refused to work to protest the coup and the crisis of families in and around the main city. of Yangon, who “pushed to the brink” of starvation, in debt and trying to survive.
“The common aspiration for democracy has united the people of Myanmar through religious, ethnic and communal divisions like never before,” Schraner Burgener said. “Such strong unity has created unexpected difficulties for the military to consolidate power and stabilize the coup.”
Members of the Security Council “reiterated their deep concern over the situation in Myanmar following the declaration of a state of emergency imposed by the military on 1 February and reiterated their support for Myanmar’s democratic transition.” .
The council also reiterated previous statements, which include strongly condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, calling for the restoration of democracy and the release of detainees.
Schraner Burgener attended the April 24 meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on April 24 in Jakarta, where the group called for a immediate end to violence and dialogue to address the political crisis.
The UN envoy said she was able to hold talks with army chief Min Aung Hlaing on the sidelines of the event and again asked to be allowed to visit Myanmar.
They agreed to “keep the details of the exchange discreet to allow for ongoing and open discussions,” he said, but assured the council that he “amplified” the statements his 15 members had approved.
Schraner Burgener has repeatedly asked to travel to Myanmar (where generals detained Aung San Suu Kyi and members of his elected government before taking power three months ago), but the military has not yet given him permission.
Since the coup there have been pro-democracy protests in cities and towns across the country.
“The general state administration could risk stopping as the pro-democracy movement continues despite continued use of lethal force, arbitrary detentions and torture as part of army repression said the envoy, according to diplomats.
Ask for a solid answer
The Political Prisoners Assistance Association, an advocacy group that has been tracking arrests and deaths since the coup, said security forces have killed at least 759 protesters while more than 4,500 people have been killed. arrested for opposing the coup. According to the AAPP, some 3,485 people remain in detention.
In several statements, the Security Council has strongly condemned the use of violence against peaceful protesters, called for the restoration of democracy and the release of detainees.
– Wai Wai Nu (@waiwainu) April 30, 2021
People of #Burma i mean it @eu_eeas @ USStateDepartm2 @FCDOGovUK & @ SchranerBurgen1 that they do not fall into the trap that the board would bring to the @Asean5 serious 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 should agree on a stronger response.
“The military has already renounced the faulty ‘consensus’ it reached with ASEAN leaders, so it is crucial that the international community does not treat last weekend’s outcome as a legitimate path to Myanmar.” said Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the World Justice Center. a statement before the closed-door briefing.
“The Security Council must focus on the long-term solutions demanded by the people of Myanmar, in particular women-led civil society groups, including a global arms embargo, specific sanctions and a referral to the International Criminal Court: It is unconscious that the Council has not yet acted and cannot deviate from its responsibility because others, such as ASEAN, have “acted”.
The army, which ruled Myanmar for nearly 50 years, until it launched a progressive attempt at democracy a decade ago, has acknowledged that some protesters have been killed, but has accused them of initiating violence.
Schraner Burgener said there were reports that civilian groups, mostly students from urban areas, were being trained to use weapons by ethnic armed groups in border areas.
“In the absence of a collective international response, there has been an increase in violence and the use of improvised explosive devices has been reported,” he said, according to diplomats.
The United Nations estimates that about 20,000 people have fled their homes and remain displaced in Myanmar, while nearly 10,000 have fled to neighboring countries, the UN envoy said.
The World Food Program has stated that pre-existing poverty, COVID-19 and the political crisis will starve 3.4 million more people over the next six months, while UNDP has warned that almost half of the population Myanmar could be fallen into poverty next year.