World Security Council fails to agree statement condemning Myanmar coup
Coup prompts outcry from Myanmar as West ponders how to respond
Coup prompts outcry from Myanmar as West ponders how to respondThe sudden turn of events in the early hours of Monday derailed years of efforts to establish democracy in the poverty-stricken country and raised more questions over the prospect of returning a million Rohingya refugees.
The UN Security Council has failed to agree on a joint statement condemning Monday’s coup in Myanmar, after a closed-door meeting in response to the power grab and detention of the civilian government including the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but diplomats said discussions would continue.
The 15-member council was considering a UK-drafted statement that the United Nations’ envoy on Myanmar said should “collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy” in the country.
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Myanmar's military overthrew the elected government on Monday. The country's military predicated the coup on baseless allegations of voter fraud. Experts noted the parallels to former President Trump, stating he's provided "rhetorical ammunition" for despots worldwide. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Christine Schraner Burgener briefed the council after the Myanmar military detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other top politicians in a series of early morning raids on Monday, and handed power to armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing. It promised to hold new elections and imposed a state of emergency for one year.
“I strongly condemn the recent steps taken by the military and urge all of you to collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar,” Schraner Burgener told the council, according to her prepared remarks.
“Let us be clear, the recent outcome of the election was a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD),” she said. “The military’s proposal to hold elections again should be discouraged.”
Myanmar Woman Inadvertently Recorded Coup D'état in Workout Video That's Gone Viral
The viral video juxtaposes a morning cardio workout with a country in crisis.The military, also known as the Tatmadaw, has disputed November's election results, claiming there was fraud in the election. No proof of the alleged fraud has been put forward.
The Security Council is negotiating a possible statement, drafted by Britain, that would condemn the coup, call for the military to respect the rule of law and human rights and immediately release those unlawfully detained, diplomats said. Such statements have to be agreed by consensus.
“China and Russia have asked for more time,” one diplomat told the AFP news agency following the behind-closed-doors video conference meeting that lasted just over two hours.
“A statement is still under discussion,” confirmed another diplomat, also on condition of anonymity.
The text, drafted by Britain, would also demand that the one-year state of emergency be repealed and “for all sides to adhere to democratic norms.” There was no mention of sanctions, according to AFP.
Human rights groups condemned the failure of the council to take swift action.
“No one should be surprised that the world’s body for maintaining international peace and security failed to issue a statement condemning a brazen military coup,” Akila Radhakrishnan, the president of the Global Justice Center said in a statement urging world leaders to take action including selected sanctions, arms embargoes and economic divestment to “disempower” the military.
Mitch McConnell Hopes U.S. Imposes 'Significant Costs' on Military in Myanmar Coup
"The new administration deserves credit for approaching this situation in a way that's bipartisan and coordinated with Congress," the Republican leader said."The world is watching. I hope and expect the United States will quickly make the obvious legal determination that this is a military coup and impose significant costs on the military for its attack on democracy," the Kentucky Republican said in remarks on the Senate floor.
“The time has passed for failed strategies promoting ‘stability’ and quiet diplomacy over accountability and justice,” she said. “The military has destabilized the country irreparably. It’s now on the international community to stem the tide of military violence and impunity before it’s too late.”
For the statement to be adopted, it requires the support of China, Myanmar’s main supporter at the UN and a permanent member of the Security Council with the power of veto. China has not condemned the coup, while state media characterised Monday’s events as a “cabinet reshuffle”.
China, with Russia’s backing, shielded Myanmar from any significant council action after a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine State led to more than 740,000 mostly Muslim Rohingya fleeing into Bangladesh, where they remain. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Western states accused the Myanmar military of ethnic cleansing, which it denied.
The country is currently being investigated for genocide at the International Court of Justice over its treatment of the Rohingya in a case brought by The Gambia.
Analysis: Why is Myanmar’s military so powerful?
The military has been the most powerful institution in Myanmar since the country’s independence from Britain in 1948. General Aung San, the architect of Myanmar’s independence and the father of detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, founded the Burma National Army with help from Japan in the early 1940s. General Aung San was assassinated in 1947, but his legacy lived on in the military, and the Tatmadaw continued to enjoy strong public support in the years to come as the institution that liberated the nation from colonial oppression.
A diplomat with China’s UN mission said after a Council meeting on Tuesday that they were “shocked” that reporters had already seen the draft statement, adding that it would “make the process of seeking consensus even more difficult.”
“We are of the view that any action by the Council should contribute to political and social stability of Myanmar and its peace and reconciliation, avoiding escalating the tension or further complicating the situation,” the diplomat said.
Russia’s UN mission is seeking instructions from Moscow on the draft statement, said Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy, adding that the situation in Myanmar was “complex and volatile.”
The United Nations also raised fears on Monday that the coup will only worsen the plight of some 600,000 Rohingya who still live in the country.
“At this point in time, we must ensure the protection of people of Myanmar and their fundamental rights. We must do everything to prevent violence from breaking out,” Schraner Burgener said.
World must ensure Myanmar coup fails - UN chief .
The UN's secretary general calls the takeover "unacceptable" and pledges international pressure.The reversal of elections is "unacceptable", he said, and coup leaders must be made to understand this is no way to rule the country.