UN Security Council joins in condemnation of execution of 4 activists by junta in Myanmar

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The UN Security Council condemned the The Myanmar military’s execution of four democratic activists over the weekend, however, failed to call for new sanctions against the junta as the country’s forces continue attacks in the country’s Sagaing region.

A pronunciation issued by the council’s 15 members on Wednesday, echoed one issued Monday by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) condemning the killings of the activists, despite numerous calls for their death sentences to be reconsidered.

Myanmar’s military, which overthrew the elected government in a February 2021 coup, said Monday it had executed the activists for aiding terrorist acts as part of the civilian opposition and resistance to the regime.

The Security Council’s response “notes ASEAN’s call for the utmost restraint, patience and efforts to prevent the situation from escalating, and for all parties concerned to refrain from taking measures that would further exacerbate the crisis.” worsen.”

The statement also called for the full implementation of the five-point consensus agreed in April 2021 to end post-coup violence in Myanmar and put the country back on the path to democracy. And it called for the immediate release of the deposed leaders, President Win Myint and state adviser Aung San Suu Kyi.

Security Council members also called for “an immediate cessation of attacks on infrastructure, health and education facilities, for full respect for human rights and the rule of law, and for full, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need.”

But Justice for Myanmar, a group of activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar, criticized the UN Council’s response as inadequate.

“No sanctions, no reference to the International Criminal Court + members #China, #India & #Russia continue to arm the Myanmar military. Time for the UN Security Council to put an end to its shameful passivity!” the group tweeted.

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The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the High Representative of the European Union also condemned the executions.

“These executions, the first in Myanmar in more than 30 years, and the lack of fair trials demonstrate the junta’s disregard for the unwavering democratic aspirations of the people of Myanmar,” they said in a statement. pronunciation issued on Thursday.

“We continue to condemn the military coup in Myanmar in the strongest terms and express our deep concern about the political, economic, social, humanitarian and human rights situation in the country,” they said.

Thousands flee homes in Sagaing

UN and G7 criticism came when at least 10 civilians, including two teenagers, were killed in Sagaing’s Khin-U community and more than 10,000 others from 17 villages fled their homes amid clearing operations by junta forces launched last week. started, local sources told RFA Thursday.

The Sagaing region of northwestern Myanmar has the largest number of participants in the anti-junta civil disobedience movement, a strike by professionals such as doctors and teachers to resist military rule, and the strongest armed resistance to the junta.

Among the dead in Khin-U Municipality are Khant Nyein, 13, from Myin Daung village; National League for Democracy township organizer Aung Naing Win, 35, of Shin Min Dway village; Aung Hman, 66, of In Daing Gyi village; Htay, 52, of Myin Daung village; Si, 89, and Ohn Thee, 35, from the village of Letpanhla; and Pho Khoo, 18 from Laung Shey village, the sources said.

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RFA does not yet know the identity of the others who fell.

A resident of the township, who found the charred body of Aung Naing Win, said the military brutally murdered ordinary civilians.

“The military has attacked villages in the area in four columns in the past ten days,” he said, adding that soldiers set fire to about 50 houses and usually slit the throats of those killed.

The elderly woman named Si died on Wednesday when her house in the village of Letpanhla was set on fire, another local said.

“The woman died in a fire that burned 11 houses,” said locals, who declined to be identified for security reasons. “They set fire to the house knowing she was inside.”

Another resident of the township said more than 10,000 people from 17 villages were forced to leave their homes and about 50 homes were destroyed by fire as a result of military raids in the area.

“There are about 12 villages in the area, and there must be about 12,000 to 13,000 people [who have fled their homes]the person said, adding that residents usually ran to nearby communities about two or three miles away.

A resident of Moung Kyauk Taw village, who declined to be named for security reasons, said he saw soldiers set fire to the village and destroy more than 20 homes.

“It was not an accidental fire. It was arson. We have witnesses,” the person said, adding that he and others saw soldiers enter the community and three or four of them set fire to the houses.

“We have lost everything and we have no place to live. We can’t buy palm leaves [for roofing], and we have no money. We now live under bullock carts,” he said.

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The locals said they did not know which battalion belonged to the soldiers who raided the villages.

RFA failed to allow Maj. Gene. Did not reach Zaw Min Tun or Sagaing Military Council spokesman Aye Hlaing for comment.

Myo Aung, an official from the township’s Letpanhla village, said the actions of the Myanmar junta were “cruel and inhumane”.

Rural areas are having a hard time

The latest killings came despite claims by the shadow government of National Unity (NUG) that government agencies under its leadership account for about 80% of the population.the rural areas of the region in 36 townships where the military has been unable to exert its influence.

“People’s police forces have also been set up to ensure the rule of law in areas where government services have started operating,” said NGG spokesman Kyaw Zaw.

Public administration officials said the NGG is handing over its policies and agenda to public administration groups at the township level and to the township armed forces, who must act accordingly.

Residents of the largely agricultural region have suffered the most from military retaliation, often setting fires to villages that have displaced thousands of people.

Most of Sagaing’s 34 townships and more than 5,900 villages have been affected by fighting between armed forces and members of the anti-junta People’s Defense Forces (PDF).

Sagaing Military Council spokesman Aye Hlaing denied that PDFs had taken control of the region, adding that the regime’s regional prime minister has visited each municipality on inspection tours.

Translated by Khin Maung Nyane for RFA Burmese. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.