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UN Security Council fails to agree on a statement condemning Myanmar coup

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Naypyitaw: The United Nation Security Council failed to agree on a joint statement condemning military coup in Myanmar on February 1, after the two hour long emergency meeting failed to secure China’s support, a veto-holding permanent member of the council.

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Following the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other top politicians in a series of early morning raids by military, after which armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing ascended to power, an emergency virtual meeting was held by 15-member council where the diplomats said discussions on a statement would continue.

The council was considering a UK-drafted statement that the United Nations’ envoy on Myanmar told diplomats should “collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy” in the emergency imposed country.

“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,” Christine Schraner Burgener told the council.

The military, however, said its coup was constitutional and promised to hold new elections, alleging last November’s poll fraudulent. Meanwhile, state of emergency will remain in force in Myanmar for one year.

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“Let us be clear, the recent outcome of the election was a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD),” Schraner Burgenershe said. “The military’s proposal to hold elections again should be discouraged.”

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is trying to negotiate a possible statement, drafted by Britain, that would not only condemn the coup, but will also call for the military to respect the rule of law and human rights and immediately release those unlawfully detained, diplomats said.

“China and Russia have asked for more time,” one diplomat told the media following the behind-closed-doors video conference meeting that lasted just over two hours.

“A statement is still under discussion,” confirmed another diplomat on the condition of anonymity.

The statement, drafted by Britain, would also demand that the state of emergency be repealed and “for all sides to adhere to democratic norms.”

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Human rights groups also 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, adding, “The time has passed for failed strategies promoting ‘stability’ and quiet diplomacy over accountability and justice.”

“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,” she further added.

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