Former UN chief presses for ‘robust motion’ on Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Former U.N. Secretary-Normal Ban Ki-moon urged the world physique and Southeast Asian international locations Monday to take swift and robust motion to cease the lethal crackdown that has adopted the navy coup in Myanmar, saying he had tried unsuccessfully to make a diplomatic go to himself.

Ban exhorted the U.N. Safety Council to behave instantly to halt the violence and shield civilians, “utilizing a variety of instruments on the council’s disposal.” His remarks got here weeks after the group toned down a press release on Myanmar by altering a draft that recommended sanctions is perhaps thought of.

Chiding that worldwide teams’ commitments to avoiding interference in home affairs is not any excuse for “inaction within the face of significant human rights abuses,” Ban stated the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations — which is holding a summit on Myanmar this month — ought to a minimum of comply with ship a high-level delegation to Myanmar. He additionally pressed present Secretary Normal Antonio Guterres to have interaction immediately with the nation’s navy.

“The United Nations and its regional companions now have a fleeting window to cooperate by means of robust motion to halt the continuing atrocities in Myanmar and forestall an additional escalation of violence,” Ban stated at a digital Safety Council assembly concerning the U.N.’s work with numerous regional organizations world wide.

Since Myanmar’s navy seized energy in February, safety forces have killed over 700 protesters and bystanders, in accordance with the Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners, which screens casualties and arrests. The group says greater than 3,100 folks have been detained; amongst them are ousted civilian chief Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

The violent clampdown continued Monday as authorities forces confronted demonstrators who sought to have a good time final week’s formation of a shadow authorities by opponents of the junta.

The coup reversed a sluggish motion towards democracy in recent times in Myanmar, the place 5 many years of strict navy rule had led to worldwide isolation and sanctions. The generals finally loosened their grip, culminating in Aung San Suu Kyi’s rise to management in 2015 elections. The worldwide group responded by lifting most sanctions and pouring funding into the nation.


Whereas secretary-general from 2007 to 2016, Ban went to Myanmar to press the nation’s then-ruling generals to let an unimpeded inflow of international help and consultants attain survivors of 2008’s Cyclone Nargis, which killed an estimated 134,000 folks. He additionally urged the navy to embrace democracy.

He stated Monday that he lately requested to make one other go to, aiming to fulfill with all of the events concerned to attempt to de-escalate their battle and foster dialogue. Authorities instructed him such a go to “won’t be handy at this second,” he stated.

A message was despatched Monday to Myanmar’s U.N. mission searching for touch upon Ban’s remarks and the Safety Council’s dialogue.

The council has strongly condemned the violence in opposition to peaceable protesters and has referred to as for a reversal of the coup, the speedy launch of presidency leaders and “utmost restraint” by the navy. However a draft of an April 1 assertion was softened — partly by eradicating a phrase saying the council may “take into account additional steps,” which may imply sanctions — due to objections from China, Myanmar’s neighbor and good friend.

Chinese language Overseas Minister Wang Yi instructed the council Monday that it ought to look to the Southeast Asian nations group — ASEAN, for brief — on Myanmar.


“Supporting ASEAN’s constructive participation in Myanmar’s home reconciliation course of in an ASEAN manner and de-escalating pressure in Myanmar serves the pursuits of the folks of Myanmar and the worldwide group,” stated Wang, who has sounded related notes earlier than.

A number of different council members additionally stated they have been keenly awaiting the end result of the ASEAN summit.

ASEAN needs to see “all events involved search a peaceable resolution and pursue constructive dialogue, reconciliation and a return to normalcy in accordance with the desire and pursuits of the folks of Myanmar” and is able to assist, stated Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, the second international minister of present ASEAN chair Brunei.

Guterres referred to as ASEAN’s function “essential” and referred to as for “a strong worldwide response grounded on a unified regional effort.”

As for the U.N.’s half, he famous that his Myanmar envoy is within the area and able to discuss with the navy and others.


Related Press author Edith M. Lederer contributed.


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