Russia and China block UN statement on Myanmar crisis

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – China and Russia blocked the UN Security Council from issuing a statement on Friday expressing concern over the violence and dire humanitarian situation in Myanmar and “limited progress” in addressing the situation. implementation of a regional plan to restore peace in the strife-torn Southeast Asian nation, diplomats said Friday evening.

The council was briefed virtually behind closed doors on Friday afternoon by Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, the Special Envoy for Myanmar for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Special Envoy of UN for Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer on efforts to resolve the crisis in the country since 12 February. Military coup of 1st 2021.

When the military overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, they claimed with little evidence that the general election her party won in November 2020 in a landslide was marred by widespread fraud. The coup almost immediately sparked widespread street protests which security forces attempted to crush, and continued widespread resistance to the military takeover resulted in what some UN experts have described as a civil war that calls into question the military’s ability to govern.

The draft British-drafted press release, obtained by The Associated Press, underscored ASEAN’s pivotal role “in facilitating a peaceful solution to the crisis” and reiterated council members’ calls for continued dialogue “with all parties concerned” for the benefit of the people of Burma.

“However, they expressed concern over the limited progress on the five-point consensus over a year since it was agreed, and called for concrete actions to effectively and fully implement the consensus,” indicates the proposed release.

Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private, said China and Russia objected to parts of the text.

China’s UN mission said it was proposing “slow” rather than “limited” progress on the five-point consensus, saying in a statement that the formulation “is factual but less condescending”.

China said it was also proposing other wordings that had not been accepted, and “the penholder” – Britain – “just quit” the negotiation, which it called ” very unfortunate,” claiming there was only a slight difference that was “not impossible.” surpass.”

The ASEAN Group of 10 nations released the five-point consensus on the Myanmar crisis at the end of April 2021. It called for an immediate cessation of violence, dialogue between all parties concerned, mediation of the process of dialogue by an ASEAN special envoy, the provision of humanitarian aid through ASEAN channels, and a visit to Myanmar by the special envoy to meet with all parties concerned.

Myanmar is a member of ASEAN, but did not want to implement the plan.

The violence continues, there has been no dialogue with the opposition, and while Cambodia’s Sokhonn visited Myanmar in March, he did not meet Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison and faces other charges that her supporters and human rights groups say are an attempt to discredit her and legitimize the military takeover.

ASEAN officials met in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, earlier this month as part of a new effort to organize humanitarian aid to Myanmar, a goal that critics say falls short. to tackle the causes of the crisis in this military-ruled country.

The proposed Security Council statement would have highlighted the important role of UN envoy Heyzer and encouraged close coordination with the ASEAN envoy.

In the stalled statement, the Security Council also reportedly reiterated the need to address the root causes of the crisis in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state and create conditions for the return of Rohingya refugees. More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the military launched an operation to drive them out of the country following attacks by a rebel group.

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