UN Security Council: Impose Arms Embargo on Myanmar

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should urgently impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar in response to the army coup and to discourage the junta from committing additional abuses, 137 nongovernmental teams from 31 international locations said today in an open letter to council members. Governments that allow arms transfers to Myanmar – together with China, India, Israel, North Korea, the Philippines, Russia, and Ukraine – ought to instantly cease the provision of any weapons, munitions, and associated gear.

For the reason that February 1, 2021 coup, the Myanmar army has detained civilian leaders, nullified the November 2020 election outcomes, and put in a junta, the State Administration Council, beneath a manufactured “state of emergency.” Within the ensuing weeks, Myanmar safety forces have used excessive and at times lethal force in opposition to demonstrators; arbitrarily detained activists, college students, and civil servants; and imposed rolling web shutdowns that put lives in danger.

“Given the mass atrocities in opposition to the Rohingya, a long time of warfare crimes, and the overthrow of the elected authorities, the least the UN Safety Council can do is impose a world arms embargo on Myanmar,” stated Kenneth Roth, government director of Human Rights Watch. “Supplying any gear to the army permits additional abuses and bolsters the junta’s capability to repress Myanmar’s folks.”

The teams’ name reinforces UN Secretary-Normal António Guterres’s vow to “do the whole lot we will to mobilize all the important thing actors and worldwide group to place sufficient stress on Myanmar to ensure that this coup fails.” The UN particular rapporteur on Myanmar has called for a world arms embargo, whereas he and the deputy excessive commissioner for human rights have voiced support for focused UN sanctions.

Safety Council members ought to draft a decision that bars the direct and oblique provide, sale, or switch to the junta of all weapons, munitions, and different military-related geartogether with dual-use items akin to automobiles and communications and surveillance gearin addition to barring the availability of coaching, intelligence, and different army help, the teams stated. This must be accompanied by a strong monitoring and enforcement mechanism, together with shut scrutiny of gross sales to 3rd events which may be prone to resell such objects to Myanmar.

Such gross sales violate worldwide humanitarian and human rights regulation, which prohibit the switch of weapons to a state the place there’s a clear threat of their getting used to commit or facilitate critical violations.

The Safety Council also needs to impose targeted sanctions, world journey bans, and asset freezes on the management of the junta and military-owned conglomerates.

Tens of millions of individuals have taken part in anti-coup protests throughout the nation, calling for the conclusion of their proper to democratically elect their leaders. On February 16, protesters exterior UN places of work in Yangon referred to as for elevated worldwide assist. “We’re completely satisfied the UN points statements of condemnation, however we perceive they’re highly effective and may do extra,” Thurein, a 21-year-old scholar, told Frontier Myanmar.

The junta has deployed safety forces, together with the notoriously abusive Light Infantry Divisions, to crack down on demonstrators with teargas, water cannons, rubber bullets, and stay ammunition, killing at the very least three folks. Such violence perpetuates the safety forces’ longstanding historical past of abuses in opposition to peaceable critics, in addition to in opposition to the Rohingya and other ethnic minority groups. The commander-in-chief, Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, and several other junta officers are straight implicated in crimes in opposition to humanity and warfare crimes in Rakhine, Kachin, Shan, and Chin States.

Till the Safety Council acts, particular person UN member states ought to undertake measures on the nationwide and regional ranges to dam gross sales and different transfers of weapons and materiel to Myanmar, with the purpose of extending an arms embargo to as near a world scale as potentialInternational locations with present arms embargoes on Myanmar, together with america, Canada, Australia, the UK, and European Union member international locationsought to urge governments all over the world to institute bilateral embargoes within the curiosity of constructing a broad coalition to oppose the circulation of weapons to Myanmar. Governments also needs to strengthen monitoring and enforcement processes for present embargoes, whereas making certain the Myanmar army is barred from procuring dual-use items and applied sciences.

For many years, the Safety Council has did not take ample steps to reply to widespread violations of worldwide human rights and humanitarian regulation in Myanmar. China and Russia have repeatedly vetoed or threatened to veto resolutions, blocking collective action. Regardless of this disunity, council members put out a collective statement in early February calling for the discharge of all these arbitrarily detained and the safety of the nation’s democratic establishments. Members ought to construct on that newfound consensus by urging China and Russia to assist an arms embargo decision that will floor a world effort to defend the folks of Myanmar from a return to autocratic rule, the teams stated.

Reducing off the army’s entry to arms, {hardware}, know-how, and coaching would inform Myanmar’s junta and people who revenue off it that there are actual penalties for his or her crimes,” Roth stated. “It might additionally sign to the thousands and thousands of individuals marching within the streets, risking the whole lot for democracy and freedom, that they don’t seem to be alone on this wrestle.”

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