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Myanmar’s UN envoy reveals purported massacre by the junta

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, taken on February 28, 2021, protesters are seen holding posters with the image of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup, in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. (By AFP)

Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Kyaw Moe Tun, who has refused to leave his post despite being fired after a coup in February, has revealed a purported massacre by the military regime.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said that 40 bodies had been discovered in different villages in the Sagaing area of northwestern Myanmar with signs of torture by junta soldiers.

The junta has denied the allegation, and it has not been possible to independently verify the claim because communication networks have been cut in the Sagaing region.

“We cannot let the military keep on doing this kind of atrocity in Myanmar,” Kyaw Moe Tun told reporters, adding, “It is time for the UN, especially the UN Security Council, to take action.”

In his letter, Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN reiterated his call for a global arms embargo and “urgent humanitarian intervention” by the international community.

Kyaw Moe Tun has rejected the coup and has maintained his allegiance to former leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted administration. He was fired by the junta in February, a day after he flashed a gesture widely used by pro-democracy demonstrators at the UN General Assembly following an impassioned speech calling for the return to civilian rule. The UN still considers him as the rightful envoy of the Southeast Asian country.

Myanmar’s military ruler, Min Aung Hlaing, has promised to hold elections in two years’ time, extending the state of emergency that was imposed after the civilian government was overthrown in the military coup six months ago.

The UN, China, and the United States, along with Myanmar’s opposition, have condemned the announcement, calling it a delaying tactic to prevent the country’s return to democratic rule.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday appointed an envoy to Myanmar after a months-long delay in diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in the country through dialog between the junta and its opponents. That appointment is part of a five-point consensus that ASEAN struck with the junta leader in April.

Myanmar has been gripped by turmoil since the military ousted Suu Kyi in the coup and detained her and several other senior figures from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) Party on February 1.

Since then, Myanmar’s military has been struggling to impose order. Hundreds of thousands of people have held numerous protests against the coup, demanding the release of Suu Kyi and the other detainees.

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