China and Russia still supply arms to military in Burma, UN expert denounces

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Two member countries of the UN Security Council, Russia and China, in addition to Serbia, continue to supply weapons to the Burmese military junta that uses them to attack civilians since the coup d’état, a human rights expert from the UN.

The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Tom Andrews, urged the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the adoption of a resolution that prohibits these shipments of weapons that the Burmese military uses to attack and kill civilians.

The UN independent expert published a long-awaited report detailing the origin of the weapons used by the Burmese military, highlighting the role of these two member countries of the Security Council, which have the right to veto any resolution.

“Despite the evidence of the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Burmese junta with total impunity (…) the (permanent) members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia, continue to supply it with fighter and armored aircraft,” Andrews denounced. .

In addition, the UN expert said that during this same period “Serbia authorized the export of rockets and artillery to Burma.”

Andrews, is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, but in his statements he does not speak on behalf of this body.

In the report, the rapporteur maintains that these three countries sent the weapons “with full knowledge that they would be used to attack civilians, which probably constitutes a violation of international law.”

Since the coup in February 2021, Burma has been in chaos, its economy has been paralyzed and more than 1,500 civilians have been killed by the military’s repression, according to the UN.

The military has detained nearly 12,000 people, including the country’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and more than 440,000 have been forcibly displaced.

Andrews reiterated in this report that there is “strong evidence that the military junta has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity,” including murder, sexual violence, and torture.

“The human rights situation in Burma is dire and deteriorating,” he said.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution last June urging countries to stop arms shipments to Burma, but Andrews said this “has had no discernible impact on the crisis and the junta’s ability to launch attacks.” against civilians.”

In addition, the expert pointed out that none of the members of the Security Council voted against the resolution, but this entity did not consider voting so that this text is binding for the member states.

“It is imperative that member states and the Security Council act urgently to stop arms sales to the military junta. Human lives and the credibility of the Security Council are at stake,” he said.

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