UN General Assembly votes to end arms sales to Myanmar

Resolution condemns junta's power grab, and urges military to release political prisoners

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 18.06.2021
UN General Assembly votes to end arms sales to Myanmar Soldiers walk near an armored personnel carrier while people protest against the military coup, outside the Central Bank of Myanmar, in Yangon, Myanmar on February 15, 2021. ( Stringer - Anadolu Agency )


The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Friday to call for an immediate halt of arms sales to Myanmar amid the military's ongoing bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. 

The 119-1 vote saw only the eastern European nation of Belarus voting in opposition with 36 nations abstaining.

The resolution condemns the junta's power grab, and urges the military -- known as the Tatmadaw -- to release political prisoners swept up during four-and-a-half months of anti-coup protests and condemns violence against demonstrators.

Addressing the General Assembly ahead of the vote, President Volkan Bozkir implored member states to vote in favor of the resolution, saying "when it comes to Myanmar we must act as nations united."

"I trust that you as guardians of the Charter of the United Nations will join me in this call for peace," he said.

In all, 870 people have been killed and 4,983 others detained by Myanmar's security forces since the military overthrew the elected civilian government on Feb. 1, according to data collected by Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitor.

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