Thursday, December 22, 2022
The United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) adoption of its first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years is a step in the right direction but failed to include substantive measures long called for by Myanmar activists and civil society groups to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to impose a global arms embargo, and targeted sanctions to cut revenue to the junta, said the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) today.
The UNSC resolution adopted on 21 December condemns the military’s execution of pro-democracy activists, urges the military to “immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners” and demands an “immediate end to all forms of violence throughout the country.” The resolution also includes references to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Five Point Consensus and highlights the need for addressing the root causes of the Rohingya crisis. The resolution was passed with 12 yes votes and 3 abstentions – China, Russia, and India. The resolution does not include measures necessary to stem the military’s atrocity crimes including an arms embargo, sanctions, and a referral to the ICC.
Since its attempted military coup in February 2021, the junta has demonstrated its total distain and non-compliance of the ASEAN’s failed Five Point Consensus. It has failed to implement the provisional measures to prevent ongoing genocide as ordered by the International Court of Justice. In the absence of concrete international action, junta-perpetrated violence has continued to escalate. During the first half of 2022, the junta committed more incidents of violence against civilians than any other ‘state’ armed force globally, according to ACLED. The junta have killed over 2,600 people and arbitrarily arrested over 16,000, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. The human rights situation of the Rohingya and Muslim minorities has continued to deteriorate, with these groups facing tightened restrictions on their fundamental freedoms and increasingly at risk of being subjected to further atrocity crimes.
“The longer the international community waits to act, the more emboldened the junta will become as it escalates its crimes against humanity and war crimes. The people of Myanmar deserve decisive action by the Council which will yield substantive changes on the ground, not more empty rhetoric,” said Kyaw Win, Executive Director of the BHRN.
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