EU calls for arms embargo against Myanmar after massacre

Status: December 30, 2021 3:14 p.m.

Government forces in Myanmar killed more than 35 civilians, including women and children, on Christmas Eve. Now the EU is calling for an international arms embargo. The UN Security Council condemned the massacre.

Following the recent act of violence by the military in Myanmar, the European Union is pushing for an international arms embargo against the Southeast Asian country. “In view of the escalating violence in Myanmar, increased international preventive measures, including an arms embargo, are necessary,” said EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell.

Government forces killed at least 35 civilians in Kayah state on December 24, including four children and two employees of Save the Children.

The “appalling act of violence by the military regime” underscores the urgent need to bring those responsible to justice, said Borell. The EU is also ready to impose further sanctions. After the military coup on February 1, the EU imposed sanctions on the military, its leaders and institutions. Government funding has been halted and aid that could be viewed as legitimizing the new military government has been frozen.

Criticism of UN Security Council members

In a tweet from the Federal Foreign Office, the federal government also condemned the most recent attacks on the civilian population. The UN Security Council demands the immediate cessation of all violence. They support the people of Myanmar, the democratic transition of the country and the sovereignty and unity of Myanmar.

The Justice for Myanmar (JFM) network rejected the UN Security Council’s declaration as meaningless as long as member countries were delivering weapons to Myanmar. The latest examples are a French Eurocopter, a Chinese Y-12 aircraft and Russian Yak-130 fighter jets, tweeted JFM.

Russia is considered to be the most important arms supplier to Myanmar. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had assured junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing during his official visit to Myanmar in June that Russia would strengthen military cooperation with Myanmar.

The military speaks of “terrorists”

The military claimed to have killed an unspecified number of “armed terrorists” from the opposition forces in a village after their convoy of vehicles did not stop for a military check. Fighting between rebels and the army occurs again and again in the state of Kayah.

According to the human rights organization Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma (AAPPB), more than 1,300 demonstrators have been shot dead by security forces and 8,200 people arrested since the military coup on February 1. The United Nations estimates the number of internally displaced persons in the country at more than 220,000. The army prevents aid organizations from accessing the refugee camps.

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