UN Finally Reacts To Myanmar Coup And Tries To Pass An Arms Embargo

In response to this year’s violent military coup, the UN has called for the suspension of arms sales to Myanmar.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the military junta that overthrew the elected government in February 2021.

Also, the UN called for the release of political prisoners, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, and an end to violence against peaceful protesters.

Even though the resolution is not legally binding, it has political significance.

As UN special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener told the General Assembly, “the risk of a large-scale civil war is real.” “Time is of the essence. The opportunity to reverse the military takeover is dwindling.”

Belarus was the only country to vote against it, with 119 countries supporting it.

Another 36 countries abstained, including Russia and China – Myanmar’s two largest arms suppliers.

Abstainers argued the crisis was an internal matter for Myanmar, while others argued the resolution did not address a crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim population four years ago that forced almost a million people to flee their homes.

EU ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, said the resolution “delegitimizes the military junta, condemns its abuse and violence against its own people, and demonstrates its isolation from the world.

Myanmar’s military has brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters, activists, and journalists since the coup.

According to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), security forces have killed more than 860 people and detained nearly 5,000 to date.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch urged the UN General Assembly to pass a resolution calling for an arms embargo, stating that “while not legally binding on states, such a resolution would have a significant political impact.”

Governments need to recognize that any arms sold to Myanmar’s military will likely be used to commit abuses against the population. “Arms embargoes can help prevent such crimes.

Myanmar in profile
Burma, also known as Myanmar, became independent from Britain in 1948. It’s been under military rule for most of its modern history. In 2009, however, the restrictions began to ease, and in 2015, a new government was installed led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Myanmar army responded to attacks by Rohingya militants in 2017 with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN called an “ethnic cleansing textbook example.”
Suu Kyi, 75, has been under house arrest since the coup and hasn’t been seen or heard from much outside of short court appearances.

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