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Friday, February 3, 2023

UN Rights Office Urges Immediate Halt to Arms Sales to Myanmar 

It recommended U.N. members to impose bans on arms sales to prevent the military's business network from gaining access to foreign currency

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MYANMAR: Countries should be more vigilant in authorizing arms and military revenues from reaching a military junta in Myanmar that rules through force, fear and aggression, the United Nations Human Rights office said on Friday.

Myanmar, a country torn by war, fear and bloodshed, has been in turmoil since a military coup last year, with the military actively battling a pro-democracy resistance movement. Clashes between the two factions have escalated so frighteningly that several thousands of supporters have been arrested. 

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The junta government is battling to control an economy that has been harmed by both local and international turmoil in addition to the political conflict that is happening in the nation.

The U.N. has condemned the military Junta’s mass killings and inhumane methods of ‘ethnic cleansing’ towards its minority Muslim Rohingya community, which amount to crimes against humanity. It says it is fighting “terrorists” determined to harm the country.

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In Friday’s report, the U.N. office explicitly expressed its disapproval of the junta government and called for greater military isolation from the political arena. It also acknowledged that the government had failed to govern the country ethically, meaningfully or sustainably, or resolve a “profound financial sector crisis“.

It suggested that in order to stop the military’s business network from obtaining access to foreign funds, U.N. members implement targeted sanctions and restrictions on the sale of certain types of weapons.

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“The international community should take all steps within its power to support the people of Myanmar and to answer calls for the military’s financial isolation,” it said.

“Prompt, coordinated action should be considered to minimize pre-emptive evasive actions.”

Wide-ranging sanctions have been imposed on Myanmar by its western allies, including the United States, Britain, Canada, and the European Union, although commerce with its neighbours has continued, and a number of nations continue to provide the Junta with defence equipment.

Although China maintains a strict anti-hostility stance on the Myanmar front, Russia has entertained good amicable ties with the Junta and even received the junta chief on three occasions since the coup.

According to the report, Russia gave Myanmar fighter jets and armoured vehicles. China had sent fighter and cargo aircraft, Serbia had sent artillery and rockets, and India had sent a remote air defence station.

Independent U.N. experts on Myanmar, Mary Lawlor and Tom Andrews, made a separate request for assistance for those who are documenting military atrocities in Myanmar and urged for an end to what they called “apparent international indifference.”

Also Read: Russia, Myanmar, Belarus Excluded from Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral

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