UN Security Council condemns violence against protesters in Myanmar: report

UN Security Council condemns violence against protesters in Myanmar: report
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The U.N. Security Council reportedly approved a presidential statement Wednesday that calls for Myanmar's military to restore power to civilian leaders and condemns the subsequent violence against anti-coup protesters.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the statement, a step below a resolution, and spoke with three council diplomats who said it had been approved by all 15 members of the Security Council including China ,which neighbors Myanmar.

The statement, which is expected to be released later Wednesday, reportedly calls for the immediate release of leaders such as State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint who were detained in the coup last month. It also voices support for Myanmar’s democratic transition and “stresses the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and uphold the rule of law.”

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Protests have broken out all across Myanmar in response to the coup. The country's security forces have responded with violence, according to reports. More than 50 protesters have been killed in the protests so far.

This presidential statement on Myanmar, reportedly the first released since 2017, also addresses "existing challenges in Rakhine state.” The military has been accused of murder and rape of the Rohingya Muslim minority community in the northern state, causing 700,000 Rohingyas to flee the country to Bangladesh.

The statement also calls for “constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar,” according to the AP.

The news service notes that this statement is weaker than a previous draft that had been circulated by the United Kingdom and threatened sanctions against the country “should the situation deteriorate further.”

The council diplomats told the AP that China, Russia and India, which neighbors Myanmar as well, objected to parts of the earlier draft.