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Myanmar UN envoy urges no-fly zone

International desk || shiningbd

Published: 07:21, 10 April 2021  
Myanmar UN envoy urges no-fly zone

A screengrab from Hantarwadi Media video footage shows a protester setting off fireworks from behind a makeshift barricade in Bago on Friday [Handout photo via AFP]

Myanmar’s own ambassador to the United Nations has called for a no-fly zone and sanctions, as the international community puts more pressure on the military government to end a deadly crackdown and restore democracy, and as the death toll continues to rise with dozens more reported killed early on Saturday.

The United States and European nations pleaded for action at a meeting on Friday of the UN Security Council where a Southeast Asian summit on the crisis was taking shape, but the military leadership remained defiant and refused entry to a UN special envoy.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who has passionately rejected the February 1 coup and brushed aside the military’s claims that he no longer represents Myanmar, told the Security Council that there has been a “lack of adequate and strong action” despite hundreds of deaths, including children.

“Your collective, strong action is needed immediately,” said Kyaw Moe Tun, in virtual remarks as he sat before the Myanmar and UN flags.

“I strongly believe that the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, will not let these atrocities keep going on in Myanmar.”

The ambassador called for a no-fly zone to “avoid further bloodshed caused by the military air strikes on civilian areas”.

He also asked for an international arms embargo and the freezing of bank accounts associated with members of the military and their families.

All foreign direct investment should also be suspended until the restoration of the democratically elected government, the ambassador said.

The diplomat’s call came as reports emerged of more deadly crackdowns in the country, with at least 60 civilians killed on Friday night and into Saturday morning during protests in the Bago division outside of the largest city of Yangon.

According to Radio Free Asia, civilians were reportedly shot at using live ammunition as security forces started dismantling a barricade set up by the protesters. Several people were also reportedly taken by police without arrest warrants.