The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar called on Russia and China to stop supplying arms to Myanmar’s military junta.
“The people of Myanmar are imploring the UN to act,” said Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur to Myanmar.
He called for an “up-or-down vote on a Security Council resolution that will stop the sale of weapons being used to kill them.”
On Tuesday, February 22, he urged the UN Security Council to take strong actions to stop countries, including China and Russia, from supplying arms to the junta.
“Too many families are finding themselves in the cross-hairs of weapons of war that member states are supplying. This must end,” he said in a report to the Human Rights Council.
The report titled “Enabling Atrocities: UN Member States’ Arms Transfers to the Myanmar Military,” includes the types and amounts of weapons that have been transferred to the Myanmar military.
Despite the evidence of the military junta’s atrocities, Andrews said UN Security Council members Russia, China, and Serbia continue to provide the Myanmar military junta with numerous fighter jets, armored vehicles, rockets, and other weapons that are being used to attack civilians.
“The more the world delays, the more innocent people, including children, will die in Myanmar,” said Andrews.
“In its attacks against civilians over the years, the Myanmar military has consistently used aerial bombardment from combat helicopters, fighter jets, and artillery, as well as ground armored vehicles,” read the report.
Andrews said the UN General Assembly resolution last June calling on member states to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar had no teeth.
“The failure of the resolution to have any discernable impact on the crisis and the capacity of the junta to launch attacks on civilians, however, has led to anger and despair,” he said.
The UN official appealed to members of the Security Council “who are appalled by the killing of Myanmar civilians to put forward a resolution to stop it.”
He said that without legitimacy among the people of Myanmar, the military junta uses military force as the means to exert control.
Andrews called for coordinated action by member states “to freeze remaining revenue streams, financial flows, and assets to the junta,” and to boycott goods linked to the military, such as timber, gemstones, jade, pearl, rare earths and other products.
According to the latest estimates by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the conflict in Myanmar is projected to have driven almost half the country’s 54 million people into poverty, wiping out the impressive gains made since 2005.
It is now estimated that 14 out of 15 states and regions are within the critical threshold for acute malnutrition.
The UN estimates 25 million are in poverty, with 14.4 million in need of humanitarian aid in some form or other in 2022.
The number includes 6.9 million men, 7.5 million women, and 5 million children.
The UN office said US$826 million are needed to reach 6.2 million of the 14.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance this year. – with a report from Vatican News