UN envoy to Myanmar calls for no-fly zone as many protesters are killed | Military News

Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations called for a no-fly zone and sanctions as the international community puts more pressure on the military government to end deadly crackdown and restore democracy , and as the death toll continues to rise and dozens more are reported. killed early Saturday.

The United States and European nations pleaded for action at a Friday UN Security Council meeting where a Southeast Asia summit on the crisis was taking shape, but military leaders remained defiant and refused entry to a UN special envoy.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who passionately rejected the February 1 coup and dismissed military claims that he no longer represented Myanmar, told the Security Council that there had been “ a lack of adequate and strong action ”despite hundreds of deaths, including children. .

“Your collective and strong action is needed immediately,” Kyaw Moe Tun said in virtual remarks as he sat in front of the Myanmar and UN flags.

“I firmly believe that the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, will not allow these atrocities to continue in Myanmar.”

The ambassador called for a no-fly zone to “prevent further bloodshed caused by military airstrikes on civilian areas”.

He also called for an international arms embargo and the freezing of bank accounts associated with soldiers and their families.

All foreign direct investment should also be suspended until the restoration of the democratically elected government, the ambassador said.

The diplomat’s call came amid reports of more deadly crackdowns in the country, with at least 60 civilians killed on Friday evening and Saturday morning during protests in Bago’s division outside the larger Yangon city.

According to Radio Free Asia, civilians were shot dead with live ammunition as security forces began to dismantle a barricade erected by protesters. Several people were also reportedly arrested by the police without an arrest warrant.

Beijing’s veto power

China and Russia exercise veto power in the Security Council and generally oppose international sanctions, although Beijing – the main ally of Myanmar’s military – has expressed growing concern over its neighbor’s instability.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations, said the military “must feel the cost associated with its horrific actions” after ignoring the previous conviction.

“Is the Council going to quibble over the language in another statement or are we going to act to save the lives of the Burmese people?” she said, using Myanmar’s old name, Burma.

Estonia, a non-permanent member of the Council, called for work on a resolution that would include sanctions and an arms embargo.

Diplomacy intensifies

With the rise in violence and the flight of refugees beyond Myanmar’s borders, regional powers have also stepped up efforts to find a solution.

A long-standing Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Myanmar will take place on April 20, Nathalie Broadhurst, France’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council.

Protesters take part in protest against military coup in town of Mogok, north of Mandalay, despite threat of violent crackdown by security forces [Handout Photo via AFP]

Diplomats said the meeting was to be held in person in Jakarta, the headquarters of ASEAN, but that there were divisions within the 10-nation bloc.

“At one end there is Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, which are on ‘pull back, there is nothing to see, it’s a matter of domestic politics’,” said a diplomat , while Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are open to a more active role for ASEAN.

Another diplomatic effort was met with immediate opposition from the military government, which refused to let in the UN special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, who is on tour in Asian countries.

“We didn’t allow that. We also do not intend to allow it at the moment, ”spokesman Zaw Min Tun told AFP news agency.

Burgener had sought face-to-face meetings with the military, as well as civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since the coup.

In another sign of low-key but growing diplomatic awareness, China has been reported to have opened contacts with the CRPH, a group representing the ousted civilian government.

A spokesperson for the Beijing Foreign Ministry said China was in contact with “all sides” as part of efforts to restore stability.

Hundreds killed

At least 618 civilians were killed in the army’s crackdown on protests and nearly 3,000 were arrested, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners on Friday.

The death toll does not include the roughly 60 people killed in Bago overnight and Saturday.

UN rights officials have said the military is increasingly using heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled and cluster grenades, heavy machine guns and snipers.

The military insisted it was responding in proportion to what it said were violent protesters.

Meanwhile, 19 people have been sentenced to death for allegedly killing an associate of an army captain, military broadcaster Myawaddy reported on Friday, the first such sentences publicly announced since the coup. State.

The report says the murder took place on March 27 in the North Okkalapa district of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Martial law has been declared in the district, allowing courts martial to pass sentences.

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