Protests continue in Myanmar after UN envoy urges action

Protesters react as they are engulfed by tear gas fired by police, and as other demonstrators let off fire extinguishers, during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on March 6, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Security forces in Myanmar again used force on Saturday to disperse anti-coup protesters, a day after the UN special envoy urged the Security Council to take action to quell junta violence that this week left about 50 peaceful demonstrators dead and scores injured.

Fresh protests were reported on Saturday morning in the biggest city of Yangon, where stun grenades and tear gas were used against protesters. On Wednesday, 18 people were reported killed there.

Protests were also reported in Myitkyina, the capital of the northern state of Kachin, Myeik, in the country’s far south where police fired tear gas at students, and Dawei in the southeast where tear gas was also used. Other places included Kyaikto, in the eastern state of Mon, Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state in eastern Myanmar, and Myingyan, a city where one protester was killed on Wednesday.

The escalation of violence has put pressure on the world community to act to restrain the junta, which seized power on February 1 by ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar, which for five decades had languished under military rule.

UN special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said in her briefing to Friday’s closed Security Council meeting that council unity and “robust” action are critical “in pushing for a stop to the violence and the restoration of Myanmar’s democratic institutions.” “We must denounce the actions by the military,” she said.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 4:39:40 PM |

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