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EU, 22 countries call on Myanmar’s junta to end violence, rights abuses

EU, 22 countries call on Myanmar’s junta to end violence, rights abuses
Prolonged conflict has seen thousands of civilian casualties, over 17M people in need, 1.5M people displaced, says joint statement

By Agnes Szucs and Md. Kamruzzaman

BRUSSELS / DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – On the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar, the EU and 22 countries on Wednesday urged the junta regime to end violence and human rights violations.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and foreign ministers from 22 countries issued a joint statement on the second anniversary of the military takeover in the Buddhist-majority East Asian nation.

“Since the coup, the military regime has violently cracked down on any form of opposition, including peaceful protests,” the top diplomats wrote, adding that “credible reports indicate that thousands of civilians, including children, have been jailed, tortured and killed.”

They also underlined that “mounting” evidence shows that the regime targets civilians by “air strikes, bombardments” and “mass burning of villages and places of worship” also take place.

“Reports of torture and sexual violence by the security forces are widespread. The prolonged conflict has seen thousands of civilian casualties, over 17 million people in need, and 1.5 million people displaced from their homes,” the statement further said.

The statement urged the military regime to end human rights abuses and violence immediately, and to “create space for meaningful and inclusive dialogue” to return the country to its “democratic path.”

On Feb. 1, 2021, the military junta in Myanmar dethroned its once ally Aung San Suu Kyi’s government after her National League for Democracy party won national elections in November 2020.

According to a recent UN report, at least 2,890 people lost their lives at the hands of the military and those working with them, while 767 were initially taken into custody since the military took power.

The joint statement called on the military regime to effectively and fully implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus which includes an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar, constructive dialogue among all parties, the appointment of a special ASEAN envoy to facilitate dialogue, and the provision of humanitarian assistance.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation.

The top diplomats also called on the Myanmar military government to immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The statement urged the international community to cease the sale and transfer of arms and equipment and support all efforts to hold those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.

The countries whose foreign ministers signed the joint statement are Albania, Armenia, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Micronesia, Georgia, Ghana, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, South Korea, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the UK, and the US.

source: News Feed
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