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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution calling for an end to violence in Myanmar and the release of political prisoners, including ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in its first resolution passed on the Southeast Asian country since its independence, CNN reported Thursday.
UNSC Resolution 2669 on Myanmar expressed “deep concern at the ongoing state of emergency imposed by the military.”
The UK submitted the resolution, which was approved with 12 votes in favor, none opposed, and three abstentions from China, India, and Russia.
It comes nearly two years after Myanmar’s military staged a coup that removed the democratically elected government and arrested its leaders.
Since then, the junta has curbed civil rights and freedoms, while thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand the return of the civilian government. In response, junta officials have launched a bloody crackdown against protesters, imprisoning thousands and reintroducing state executions.
Courts have also arrested and jailed civilian leaders, including Suu Kyi who has been sentenced to 26 years in prison. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was convicted on a slew of charges, including corruption and accusations of election fraud during the 2020 polls that saw her National League for Democracy defeat the military-backed party.
British and US diplomats to the UN welcomed the resolution but acknowledged that it only represents “a step toward ending the bloodshed.”
Meanwhile, human rights groups were divided on the resolution: While some suggested that the resolution will bring more scrutiny of the military government, others said it lacked “a mechanism for regular reporting on the situation in Myanmar.”