27 March 2021 - Peace and Security
The UN chief condemned in the strongest terms, the killing of dozens of civilians, including children and young people, by security forces in Myanmar on Saturday.
Unsplash/Zinko Hein - Young man lights a candle during a night vigil in Yangon, Myanmar.
In a statement issued by Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, Secretary-General António Guterres said, “the continuing military crackdown…is unacceptable and demands a firm, unified and resolute international response”.
As Myanmar’s military celebrated Armed Forces Day with a parade in the country’s capital, Naypyitaw, soldiers and police suppressed protesters during what has resulted in the highest daily death toll since demonstrations began last month.
“The military celebrated Armed Forces Day by committing mass murder against the people it should be defending”, tweeted Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.
He added that the Civil Disobedience Movement is responding with “powerful weapons of peace” and called for the world “to respond in kind with and for the people of Myanmar”.
A situation spiralling downward
On 1 February, following a general election in which Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won by a landslide, the military seized control of the country and declared a year-long state of emergency.
As Ms. Suu Kyi remains in detention at an unknown location, protesters have taken to the streets.
In addition to imposing curfews and other restrictions, security forces have used water cannon, rubber bullets and live ammunition to try to disperse the demonstrators, according to news reports.
‘Urgent solution’ needed
“It is critical to find an urgent solution to this crisis”, underscored the Secretary-General.
He reiterated an imperative appeal to the military to refrain from violence and repression and upheld that “those responsible for the serious human rights violations committed in Myanmar must be held accountable”.