‘If I’m to choose between my freedom of speech and my job, I’d choose the first.’

UN Security Council members China and Russia, as well as Serbia have continued supplying Myanmar’s junta with weapons used to attack civilians since last year’s coup, a UN rights expert said yesterday.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights situation in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, urged the Security Council to convene an emergency session “to debate and vote on a resolution to, at a minimum, ban those arms transfers that the Myanmar military are known to use to attack and kill Myanmar civilians.”

“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,” Andrews said in a statement.

Myanmar has been in chaos, its economy paralysed, and more than 1,500 civilians have been killed in a military crackdown since the putsch in February 2021, according to the UN.

The report provides an overview of countries that have authorised the transfer of weapons to Myanmar since 2018, when the military’s attacks on the Rohingya ethnic minority were widely documented and after a UN fact-finding mission had urged an arms embargo.

Israel, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Belarus and Ukraine also figure on that list, although only China, Russia and Serbia have continued their transfers since the coup.

 

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