China supplies arms to Myanmar’s military junta to kill civilians

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the elected government in a coup on February 1, presides an army parade on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, March 27, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Geneva [Switzerland]: Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur, in his report to the UN Human Rights Council recently identified countries, including China, which have supplied weapons used against civilians since Myanmar’s military coup.

The independent expert appealed to weapons-exporting nations to suspend their arms sales and urged to convene an emergency session of the Security Council to debate and vote on a resolution banning those arms transfers that Myanmar’s military uses against civilians.

“It should be incontrovertible that weapons used to kill civilians should no longer be transferred to Myanmar. These transfers truly shock the conscience,” Andrews said, adding that “stopping the junta’s atrocity crimes begins with blocking their access to weapons. The more the world delays, the more innocent people, including children, will die in Myanmar.”

The Special Rapporteur identified China, Russia and Serbia as the member states that have, since the coup, been supplying the junta with weapons of the sort that are being used to attack civilians. “The people of Myanmar are imploring the UN to act,” he said.

“They deserve an up-or-down vote on a Security Council resolution that will stop the sale of weapons being used to kill them. Too many families are finding themselves in the cross-hairs of weapons of war that the Member States are supplying. This must end,” he said.

The report, titled Enabling Atrocities: UN Member States’ Arms Transfers to the Myanmar Military, also names States who have authorized the transfer of weapons since 2018 when Myanmar military atrocity crimes against the Rohingya ethnic minority were widely documented and a UN Fact-Finding Mission called for an immediate arms embargo.

It includes the types and, where known, the amounts of weapons that have been transferred to the Myanmar military.

Despite the evidence of the military junta’s atrocity crimes being committed with impunity since launching a coup last year, UN Security Council members Russia and China continue to provide the Myanmar military junta with numerous fighter jets, armoured vehicles, and in the case of Russia, the promise of further arms.

Last June the General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the Member States to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar.

“This was welcomed by the people of Myanmar, civil society organizations, and international human rights advocacy groups,” Andrews said. “The failure of the resolution to have any discernible impact on the crisis and the capacity of the junta to launch attacks on civilians, however, has led to anger and despair.”

Andrews urged the UNSC to take action these actions. “I appeal to Member States of the UN Security Council who are appalled by the killing of Myanmar civilians to put forward a resolution to stop it,” he said.

The report also called for coordinated action by the Member States to cut the junta’s access to revenue, just as the people of Myanmar are doing through widespread boycotts on goods linked to the military.

“Without legitimacy and against broad opposition among the people of Myanmar, the military junta operates as if it is a hostile military power. Military force is, therefore, its only means of attempting to exert control,” Andrews said. (ANI)


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