Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations has called for no-fly zones and sanctions, as the international community exerts more pressure on the military government to end a deadly crackdown and restore democracy. , and as the death toll continues to rise with dozens more reportedly killed as early as Saturday.
The United States and European nations pleaded for action at Friday’s meeting of the UN Security Council, where a Southeast Asian summit on the crisis was unfolding, but the military leadership. the team still defied and refused to allow the UN special envoy to participate.
Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who has vehemently rejected the February 1 coup and dismissed the military’s claims that he no longer represents Myanmar, told the Security Council that there was “lack of action. fit and strong “despite hundreds of deaths, including children. .
“Immediately strong and collective action is needed,” Kyaw Moe Tun said in virtual remarks while sitting in front of the Myanmar and UN flags.
“I truly believe that the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, will not let these atrocities continue in Myanmar.”
The Ambassador called for a no-fly zone to “avoid further bloodshed by military airstrikes on civilian areas”.
He also ordered an international arms embargo and froze bank accounts involving military members and their families.
All foreign direct investment should also be suspended until the restoration of a democratically elected government, Ambassador said.
The diplomat’s call came as reports emerged of many of the deadly persecutions in the country, with at least 60 civilians dead on Friday night and Saturday morning during the rallies in the country. Bago area outside of Yangon’s largest city.
According to Radio Free Asia, civilians were shot for using live ammunition when security forces began to dismantle the barricade erected by the protesters. Several people were also arrested by police without an arrest warrant.
More than 60 people were killed in Myanmar’s Bago area on Friday after security forces lifted barriers set up by pro-democracy protesters at around 3am and started firing real ammunition and grenades bullets into the crowd.
Photo: RFA Burmese & Dan Tri Journalist pic.twitter.com/zFsPCpHlZX
– Radio Free Asia (@RadioFreeAsia) April 9, 2021
China and Russia hold veto power at the Security Council and often oppose international sanctions, although Beijing – Myanmar’s top military ally – has expressed growing concern about instability. in a neighboring country.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations, said the military “needs to feel the cost of its dreadful actions” after ignoring previous condemnations.
“Will the Council justify the language in another statement or will we act to save the lives of the Burmese?” she said, using the old name of Myanmar, Burma.
Estonia, a non-permanent member of the Council, called for efforts to develop a resolution that includes sanctions and arms embargoes.
The steps of diplomacy
With violence rising and refugees spilling out of Myanmar’s borders, regional powers have also stepped up efforts to find solutions.
Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy French ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council there will be a long-brooding summit on Myanmar of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take place on April 20. .
Diplomats said the meeting was scheduled to take place in person in Jakarta, ASEAN’s headquarters, but there was a split among the 10-nation bloc.
“At one end, there are Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, who are in the regime of ‘turning their backs, having nothing to see, it’s a question of internal politics’,” said one diplomat. While Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are more open to taking a more active role towards ASEAN, one diplomat said.
Another diplomatic effort met with immediate opposition from the military junta, which refused to give the UN special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, who was on a tour of Asia.
“We do not allow this. We also have no plans to allow it at the moment, ”spokesman Zaw Min Tun told the AFP news agency.
Burgener has sought face-to-face meetings with the military, as well as civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in custody since the coup.
In another sign of discreet but burgeoning diplomatic outreach, there have been reports that China has opened contacts with the CRPH, a group representing the ousted civilian government.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said China has contacted “all parties” as part of its effort to restore stability.
Just went to BKK to talk. I am very sorry that Tatmadaw answered me yesterday that they are not ready to accept me. I am ready for conversation. Violence never leads to sustainable, peaceful solutions. pic.twitter.com/cPGy5hSmbZ
– UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Myanmar (@ SchranerBurgen1) April 9, 2021
Hundreds of people were killed
According to the Association for Supporting Political Prisoners, at least 618 civilians were killed in the military’s persecution of the protests and nearly 3,000 were arrested.
The estimated death toll does not include the 60 people killed in Bago overnight and on Saturday.
UN rights officials say the military is increasingly using a variety of heavy weapons including fragmented grenades and rocket launchers, heavy machine guns and snipers.
The military claims it responded commensurate with what it said were the violent protesters.
Meanwhile, 19 people have been sentenced to death for allegedly killing a teammate of a military captain, military-owned TV station Myawaddy said Friday, the first sentences were announced. in public since the coup.
The report said the murder occurred on March 27 in the North Okkalapa district of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Martial law was enacted in the district, allowing martial law to be sentenced by courts.