The US special envoy warns that “a bloodbath is imminent” in Myanmar if the Security Council does not act


A special envoy from the United States warned the 15-nation Security Council on Wednesday that “a bloodbath is imminent” in Myanmar if it is not used to curb violence against protesters, according to a copy of their remarks received on CBS News.

“When we look back ten years from now, how will history judge this inaction?” The Special Representative of Secretary General Christine Schraner Burgener asked the diplomats. “I hope, while there is still time, you can act to avoid the worst outcome by overcoming caution and disagreements.”

Violence in Myanmar, sparked by a coup by the nation’s democratically elected leader on February 1, intensified over the weekend when Activists say more than 100 people were killed by the security forces of the military junta on the bloodiest day of the conflict between protesters and the junta.

Schraner Burgener said in her remarks that more than 520 people have been killed since the beginning of the violence and condemned the “widespread and systemic attacks by the armed forces on the civilian population”.

“Already vulnerable groups in need of humanitarian aid, including ethnic minorities and the Rohingya people, will suffer the most, but the whole country is inevitably on the verge of turning into a failed state,” she said.

“I will remain open to the dialogue and continue to signal this, but if we just wait for when [the military leaders] If you are ready to speak, the soil situation will only worsen. A bloodbath is imminent, “added Schraner Burgener.

Family members cry in front of a man after he was shot dead while cracking down on coup leaders in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 27, 2021.

Stringer / Reuters

The Biden government announced Monday that it would cease trading with Myanmar until a democratically elected government was reinstated. But, as CBS News previously reported, the generals who now rule the country seem unwavering – likely due to continued support from China and Russia.

She urged the Security Council, which includes China and Russia, to give “a firm, united and decisive response,” adding: “This council must consider potentially significant measures that will reverse the course of events in Myanmar can.”

United States Ambassador to the United States, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Wednesday that the Biden administration “must consider how we can do more in this area” if the decision to suspend trade does not curb violence against civilians would.

“I can’t define this for you right now, but we’re not going to put it aside,” she said.

The Security Council issued a unanimous statement on March 10 condemning the violence. But as the death toll rose, US and UK officials had hoped for an explanation of the next steps.

Protesters are taking part in a “silent strike” that will close shops and stores and urge people to stay in their homes to close entire cities in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 24, 2021 after Myanmar security forces were shot dead a 7 year old girl in Mandalay City.

Stringer / Anadolu Agency / Getty

With the Council’s closed consultations resuming Wednesday, the prospect of an explanation seemed less likely. While the council met virtually, China’s US Ambassador Zhang Jun issued a statement deciphering the idea of ​​”unilateral pressure” on the conflict.

“The international community, based on respect for the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Myanmar, should intensify diplomatic efforts and encourage the parties to reduce disparities in order to find a way out,” said the ambassador. “Unilateral pressure and demands for sanctions or other coercive measures will only worsen tensions and confrontations and further complicate the situation, which is by no means constructive.”

Despite what China said, calls to action have increased. Myanmar’s Special Envoy to the United States of America demanded “immediate action” to impose an arms embargo on Wednesday and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court “to investigate and prosecute the atrocities committed by the military”.

“The cruelty of the military is too severe and many [Ethnic Armed Organizations] EAOs take clear positions of the opposition and increase the possibility of civil war on an unprecedented scale, “said Schraner Burgener.

“”[The people of Myanmar] deserve to know why the security forces in Myanmar are allowed to continue to commit extrajudicial murders, why snipers shoot unarmed demonstrators, why they can arbitrarily detain people, torture them and kidnap the bodies of those killed, “added Schraner Burgener.” How do we explain to the parents who lost their children to indiscriminate shootings, that these actions can continue? “

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