The British Foreign Office is ‘in discussion’ with UN Security Council members regarding the escalating crisis in North-Western Burma, according to a Foreign Office Minister today. Amanda Milling MP, Minister of State for Asia, made the statement in answer to written questions in the British Parliament today.
“We are very pleased to see this kind of international leadership by the British government,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The British government is right to be taking this threat seriously and sounding out UN Security Council members about a meeting”.
Questions regarding whether the British government was seeking a UN Security Council discussion regarding the North-Western Burma situation were asked by Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Secretary of State for Asia, and by Lyn Brown MP, following a media release from Burma Campaign UK on 20th October warning of a possible large scale military offensive, and calling for a UN Security Council meeting. The media release from Burma Campaign UK is available here.
Amanda Milling MP stated in response to both questions:
“The UK is deeply concerned about the situation in Chin and Sagaing States, particularly the significant troop movements by the Myanmar Armed Forces and reports of multiple civilian casualties. Current clashes have created mass displacement, with thousands of people now fleeing across the Indian border into Manipur and Mizoram state. This not only exacerbates the crisis in Myanmar but causes further regional instability. On 15 October the British Embassy in Yangon released a statement urging the military to end their campaign of violence and flagging our concern for communities, their livelihoods, property and places of worship. We are monitoring developments closely and are in discussion with our international partners in the UN Security Council.”
The questions and answers are available here:
In response to Stephen Kinnock MP:
In response to Lyn Brown MP:
Since Burma Campaign UK made the urgent call for a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday 20th October, more organisations and individuals have been sounding the alarm, including Chin civil society organisations and the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Tom Andrews.
The statement from Chin Civil Society Organisations in available here:
United Nations Security Council: Convene an Emergency Meeting to Address The Impending Crisis in Chin State and Northwestern Burma/Myanmar
United Nations media release regarding the Special Rapporteur’s presentation to the UN General Assembly is available here:
Myanmar: UN expert fears spike in atrocities amid reports of troops massing in north
“It is vital that UN Security Council members agree to a meeting and send the strongest possible warning to the Burmese military that there will be serious consequences if the military continue to escalate attacks against civilians in North-Western Burma,” said Anna Roberts.