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Over 200 NGOs urge UN to immediately impose arms embargo on Myanmar

'No government should sell a single bullet to the junta under these circumstances,' says coalition of civil society groups

Michael Hernandez   | 05.05.2021
Over 200 NGOs urge UN to immediately impose arms embargo on Myanmar

WASHINGTON

More than 200 non-governmental organizations urged the UN Security Council on Wednesday to immediately institute an arms embargo on Myanmar for the junta's ongoing bloody repression of pro-democracy activists.

Amnesty International and hundreds of other groups said in a public appeal that the military's "mass killing of largely peaceful protestors" warrants a comprehensive ban on international weapons sales to the Tamtadaw and its security forces.

Lawrence Moss, the senior UN advocate for Amnesty International said the council’s hitherto “mere condemnations” have had “no effect” on the situation on the ground.

“It is time for the UN Security Council to use its unique powers to impose a comprehensive global arms embargo in order to try and end the military’s killing spree,” Moss said in a statement accompanying.

The violence has claimed the lives of 769 people, according to the Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitor. It also counted 3,696 people who have been jailed, and 1,458 others who were charged but have yet to be detained.

Amnesty International examined dozens of videos from Myanmar, determining in March that military forces were employing increasingly brutal tactics to crack down on demonstrations following the Feb. 1 coup that saw the elected government removed from power. Many of the killings amounted to “extrajudicial executions,” said the group.

The joint appeal on Wednesday called on the UK, a permanent Council member who is also the Council’s designated drafter of Myanmar-related texts, to introduce a draft text without delay authorizing an arms embargo.

The UK, US and other like-minded nations have so far prioritized formulating consensus statements that have failed to positively affect change in Myanmar as the junta’s crackdown intensifies.

“No government should sell a single bullet to the junta under these circumstances,” the groups said in their appeal.

“Imposing a global arms embargo on Myanmar is the minimum necessary step the Security Council should take in response to the military’s escalating violence. Arms and materiel provided to Myanmar’s security forces are likely to be used by the security forces to commit abuses in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law,” they added.

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