Special rapporteur urges UNSC to ban weapons exports to Myanmar junta News
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Special rapporteur urges UNSC to ban weapons exports to Myanmar junta

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, Tuesday issued a report to the Human Rights Council identifying states who have supplied weapons to the Myanmar junta, which have been used against civilians since the military coup last year.

The report documents the transfer of weapons to the Myanmar military from 2018. The world had been alerted to the military’s ongoing genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority and its war crimes against civilians. It states that arms transfers after 2018 were done with the full knowledge that the weapons are likely to be used against civilians, and names two UNSC permanent member countries, China and Russia, who continue to provide fighter jets, armored vehicles, etc. with promises of further arms supply.

The Special Rapporteur stated:

While perceived by junta leaders as a strength, this large military is also a vulnerability as it requires significant resources to equip and sustain. If the revenues necessary to maintain such a military are reduced, the junta’s capacity to assault and terrorize the people of Myanmar will diminish.

He appealed to the weapons exporting states to immediately suspend the sale of weapons. He also urged the UNSC to convene an emergency session to debate and vote on a resolution banning arms transfers to the junta.

States are obligated under international humanitarian law, customary international law, and the Arms Trade Treaty to prevent the flow of weapons into Myanmar. Last year, the UN General Assembly had adopted a resolution to this effect; however, the success of the resolution remains limited.