UN Security Council Deadlocked on Myanmar

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UN Security Council members at the UN headquarters in New York. — File photo

Inability to reach consensus on joint statement comes as envoy warns hopes ‘waning’ for council action

Michael Gabriel Hernandez  

WASHINGTON — The UN Security Council was unable to come to terms on Friday on a joint statement on the Myanmar military’s increasingly bloody crackdown on pro-democracy dissidents.

A closed meeting of the body charged with ensuring international peace and stability concluded without a statement despite calls from the US and other member for a united front to address the crisis.

Russia and China — both permanent members with veto power — have previously voiced opinions in support of non-interference, describing the increasingly dire situation as an internal affair.

Christine Schraner Burgener, the UN’s special envoy for Myanmar, called on member states to act during the closed session, warning that the hopes of the country’s people are “waning.”

“I have heard directly the desperate pleas- from mothers, students and the elderly- I receive every day around 2,000 messages, for international action to reverse a clear assault on the will of the people of Myanmar and democratic principles,” she told the council. “Your unity is needed more than ever.”

The UK, which had requested Friday’s session, said shortly after the meeting that it is important for the council “to speak in one voice,” and said it would “consider further action through the Security Council in the coming days.”

Myanmar’s army seized power on Feb. 1, ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and ending the country’s brief experiment with democratic rule.

Massive anti-coup protests across the country have led to a violent crackdown by the military, with over 60 people killed and more than 1,000 arrested. — Anadolu Agency

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