Rights groups call for UN arms embargo on Myanmar

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More than 100 human rights organisations are calling for a global arms embargo on Myanmar in response to the military coup and detention of the country’s elected leaders that sparked ongoing protests.

Military chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power on Feb. 1 and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

In an open letter published Wednesday, signatories including Human Rights Watch, Global Witness and the Institute for Asian Democracy urged the United Nations Security Council and UN members to impose a coordinated, global arms embargo.

“Any sale or transfer of military-related equipment to Myanmar could provide the means to further repress the people of Myanmar in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law,” the letter reads.

“For decades, the Security Council’s response to crimes by the Myanmar security forces has been inadequate, emboldening the military to continue committing abuses without fear of serious consequences.

“The current crisis demands a change in course,” it added.

Campaigners against the coup called a general strike on Monday as enormous crowds flooded towns and cities across the country despite threats of violence from the new regime.

Two people were killed in the second-largest city of Mandalay on Saturday as police and soldiers attacked protesters gathered to protect striking shipyard workers when police tried to arrest them.

On Friday a 20-year-old woman passed away after being shot in the head by police at a rally in Naypyitaw the week before. (dpa/NAN)

Ismail Abdulaziz

Deputy Editor in Chief,
Solutions Journalism, Website & Multimedia
Abuja.

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