Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN on Friday urged “strong action” against the junta as reports emerged of scores killed in the military’s latest crackdown.
The country has been in turmoil since the military on Feb. 1 ousted Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, with protesters refusing to submit to the junta regime and continuing to demand a return to democracy.
During a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, Burmese Ambassador to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun pushed for more concrete action — proposing a no-fly zone, an arms embargo and more targeted sanctions against members of the military and their families.
“Your collective, strong action is needed immediately,” Kyaw Moe Tun told the meeting.
“Time is of the essence for us,” he said. “Please, please take action.”
An independent analyst with the International Crisis Group told the council that Myanmar was “at the brink of state failure.”
“The vast majority of the population does not want military rule and will do whatever it takes to prevent that outcome. Yet the military seems determined to impose its will,” Richard Horsey said. “Its actions may be creating a situation where the country becomes ungovernable. That should be of grave concern to the region and to the broader international community.”
At least 618 civilians have been killed in the military’s crackdown on protests, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group.
News emerged yesterday morning of more violence in the city of Bago, 65km northeast of Yangon — the site of a day-long crackdown that forced residents into hiding in nearby villages.
Footage verified by Agence France-Presse shot early on Friday showed protesters hiding behind sandbag barricades wielding homemade rifles, as explosions could be heard in the background.
A resident told reporters that the military crackdown killed at least 40 protesters and authorities refused to let rescue workers remove the bodies.
“They piled up all the dead bodies, loaded them into their army truck and drove it away,” he said, adding that authorities then proceeded to arrest people around the community.
Local media reports have put the death toll for Bago’s crackdown at far higher.
The junta had branded the victims of anti-coup unrest “violent terrorist people.”
Despite the daily bloodshed, protesters have continued to take to the streets, with dawn strikes sprouting across the country yesterday.
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