UN Security Council condemns Myanmar military junta News
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UN Security Council condemns Myanmar military junta

The UN Security Council Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the military junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The resolution, which passed with 12 yes votes and three abstentions, expressed grave concern about the military junta’s state of emergency, condemned its execution of pro-democracy activists and demanded the release of political prisoners along with the end of violence.

The international community welcomed the resolution, saying it sends a message to a regime whose violence has led to regional instability. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated:

This is an important step by the Security Council to address the crisis and end the Burma military regime’s escalating repression and violence against civilians. It sends a strong message from the international community that the regime must end its violence across the country, release arbitrarily detained prisoners, allow unhindered humanitarian access, protect members of minority groups, and respect the will and democratic aspirations of the people of Burma.

Though members of the international community widely applauded the resolution, some have expressed concern that it does not go far enough. They argue that strong language is not enough to curtail human rights abuses and that concrete actions like sanctions are necessary to restore peace. UN Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Tom Andrews called for a much stronger confrontation with the military junta, saying:

The systematic gross human rights violations — amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity — being perpetrated daily on the people of Myanmar by an illegal military junta requires strong, coordinated action by UN Member States. The demands put forward in the resolution — including ‘an immediate end to all forms of violence,’ the release of political prisoners, the need for unimpeded humanitarian access, and the need to respect the rights of women and children — are critically important but what is missing are consequences for the failure to meet them and the imposition of sanctions and accountability for crimes the military has committed to date.

Wednesday’s resolution is the first Security Council resolution on Myanmar since 1948 and comes two years after a military coup ousted Myanmar’s democratically-elected government. Since the coup, the people of Myanmar have been subject to increasing violence and oppression, including genocide against the Rohingya people. JURIST correspondents continue to report on the ongoing crisis, with one correspondent writing earlier this month that “more and more suppressions are starting to take place in the daily lives of city dwellers.”