MYANMAR, KOMPAS.com – China, Russia and Serbia have continued to supply weapons the Myanmar junta has used to attack civilians since last year’s coup.
This was revealed by a United Nations (UN) human rights expert on Tuesday (22/2/2022).
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, urged the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to debate and vote on a resolution to at least ban the transfer of weapons known to be used by the Myanmar military to attack and kill Myanmar civilians.
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Andrews released a long-awaited report on Tuesday detailing where the junta gets its weapons, highlighting that the two permanent members of the Security Council themselves, who hold veto power over its decisions, remain among the main suppliers.
“Despite evidence of the military junta’s atrocities committed with impunity since launching last year’s coup, UN Security Council members Russia and China continue to provide Myanmar’s military junta with large numbers of fighter jets, armored vehicles, and in Russia’s case, promises of further weapons,” it said. Andrews in a statement, quoted AFP, Tuesday.
“During the same period, Serbia has allowed rockets and artillery to be exported to the Myanmar military,” said Andrews, who is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council but did not speak on behalf of the world body.
Crime against humanity
In his report, Andrews stated that the arms transfers by the three countries took place in full awareness that they would be used to attack civilians, in a possible violation of international law.
According to the United Nations, Myanmar is in turmoil, its economy is paralyzed, and more than 1,500 civilians have been killed in a military crackdown since the coup in February 2021.
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Since the February 1, 2021 coup, at least 12,000 people have been detained, including the de facto head of the civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi, while more than 440,000 people have been forcibly displaced.
Andrews repeated in his report that there was strong evidence the junta had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual assault and torture.
“The human rights situation in Myanmar is dire and deteriorating,” he said.
The report provides an overview of the countries that have allowed arms shipments to Myanmar since 2018, when military attacks against the Rohingya ethnic minority were widely documented and after a UN fact-finding mission urged an arms embargo.
Israel, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Belarus and Ukraine are also on the list, although only China, Russia and Serbia have continued their transfers since the military coup.
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