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Myanmar: UN Condemns After Over 100 Protesters Killed In Deadliest Day Since Coup

UN special rapporteur Tom Andrews has described the use of weapons of war by Myanmar’s military as “cowardly”, calling on the world to “respond in kind”.

Myanmar military kills over hundred protesters, UN calls for emergency meet

The international community on Saturday strongly condemned the recent killing of peaceful protesters by Myanmar’s armed forces. According to reports, more than 100 people were killed across various cities in Myanmar, one of the bloodiest days of protests since the February 1 coup. The United Nations special rapporteur Tom Andrews has described the use of weapons of war by Myanmar’s military as “cowardly”, calling on the world to “respond in kind”. 

Andrews condemned the “massacre of men, women, and young children” by Myanmar’s junta. Andrews said if the UN Security Council cannot act then an international emergency summit on Myanmar should be organised immediately to take “coordinated action” against the military. “Security forces should be denied access to weapons or dual-use technology that can be weaponized and deployed against the people of Myanmar,” Andrews said. 

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent his “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims, adding “courageous people of Burma reject the military’s reign of terror”. Blinken said the recent violence shows the junta will “sacrifice the lives of the people to serve a few”. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab pledged to work with London's international partners to end the violence in Myanmar. 

What happened on Feb 1?

The military accused the government of engaging in illegal activities, including election fraud and corruption. However, experts suggest that the military orchestrated the coup because it feared that Suu Kyi’s government would reduce the number of seats reserved for the Army in the national parliament after winning the 2020 election with a landslide. Suu Kyi had earlier promised to slowly end the reservation for the military, which takes 25% of the total seats in the parliament. 

Coup's motive?

The military accused the government of engaging in illegal activities, including election fraud and corruption. However, experts suggest that the military orchestrated the coup because it feared that Suu Kyi’s government would reduce the number of seats reserved for the Army in the national parliament after winning the 2020 election with a landslide. Suu Kyi had earlier promised to slowly end the reservation for the military, which takes 25% of the total seats in the parliament. 

Aftermath of coup

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the military, demanding the restoration of democracy in Myanmar. After security forces failed to bring the widespread protests under control, the junta ordered the use of force against peaceful demonstrators, killing more than a hundred people since February and arresting over a thousand others. The military has also detained several human rights activists, pro-democracy advocates, journalists, and politicians since the coup occurred earlier last month. 

(Image Credit: AP)

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