The UN Security Council did not threaten yet again with sanctions against Myanmar on Thursday. However, the council has again “strongly condemned the violence of the Myanmar army.” The fifteen members of the council write this in their third unanimous statement.
Members would also have made multiple versions of the statement announcing possible sanctions, but these would have been watered down by China.
“Members of the Security Council have expressed deep concern about the rapidly deteriorating situation and have ‘strongly condemned the violence against peaceful protesters and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including women and children,” the statement said. The conviction again contains no UN sanctions threats, but it is yet another admonition from the council against the coup plotters.
In earlier versions of the statement, in the hands of the AFP news agency, Western countries would have added a “willingness to consider further steps”, referring the countries to possible international sanctions. However, according to diplomats, that language was blocked by China, Myanmar’s most important ally. The country has also urged that a passage referring to “the murder” of hundreds of civilians be adapted to “the death of” civilians.
According to the diplomats, Russia would also have blocked the text several times because the country wanted to add a sentence condemning the death of members of security forces.
The UN Security Council met on Thursday at the request of Britain to discuss the situation in Myanmar. Things have remained very unrest in the Asian country since the military coup in February. At least 530 people have been killed by the junta so far. More than 2,700 people are also said to have been arrested.
UN special envoy to the Southeast Asian country, Christine Schraner Burgener, warned on Wednesday that a massacre is imminent if the United Nations does not intervene. She urged the UN Security Council to use all available means to prevent a catastrophe in “the heart of Asia”: “A massacre is imminent.” The Swiss diplomat fears civil war.
The UN Security Council has already met several times to discuss the violence in Myanmar and also condemned the actions of the army.