“Time for Statements passed”, NGOs warns UN regarding Myanmar

Amnesty International and more than 200 other non-governmental organisations have called for a global arms embargo on Myanmar given the continuing violent crackdown by the military on protesters following the coup there in February.

“It is time for the UN Security Council to use its unique powers to impose a comprehensive global arms embargo to try and end the military’s killing spree,” Lawrence Moss, senior UN Advocate for Amnesty International, said on Wednesday.

Mere condemnation by the international community has so far did not affect, he said.

The groups called on the United Kingdom, the Security Council’s designated drafter of Myanmar texts, to “immediately open negotiations at the Security Council on a draft resolution authorising an arms embargo”.

“No government should sell a single bullet to the junta under these circumstances,” the group added. “Imposing a global arms embargo on Myanmar is the minimum necessary step the Security Council should take in response to the military’s escalating violence.”

The country has been in turmoil since the military deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, triggering a mass uprising of daily protests and a nationwide boycott from civil servants.

The appeal echoes a February 24 declaration by more than 100 non-governmental organisations, which urged the Security Council to act swiftly to halt the flow of weapons to the military government.

The Security Council has issued several statements since the coup, calling on the military to restore democracy and halt the excessive use of force against protesters.

But the group of NGOs said that “time for statements has passed”. “The UN Security Council has met on Myanmar at least five times, but most of those meetings have been behind closed doors and the situation is only appearing to get worse.”

however, Aljazeera has reported that the Security Council divided over Myanmar, with China against imposing sanctions, it is unclear whether a resolution will be issued.

It is also said, many diplomats on the council share the same concerns with the group of NGOs … others believe soft pressure should continue.

So far, nearly 770 people have been killed in deadly crackdowns, according to a local monitoring group and more than 4,500 people have been imprisoned. The military government has reported a far lower death toll which it blames on “rioters”.

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