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UN head 'strongly condemns' military detention of Myanmar leaders

  • 01, Feb 2021
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has "strongly" condemned the military detention of Myanmar's leaders in a coup, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the detention of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other political leaders on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar's new parliament," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

"These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar."

The spokesman said November's elections had provided Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy with a strong mandate, "reflecting the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform".

The statement called on the military to "respect the will of the people" and "adhere to democratic norms, with any differences to be resolved through peaceful dialogue".

"All leaders must act in the greater interest of Myanmar's democratic reform, engaging in meaningful dialogue, refraining from violence and fully respecting human rights and fundamental freedom," the statement said.

The UN Security Council had planned to hold a meeting Thursday on Myanmar with the UN's special envoy to the country, Christine Schraner Burgener, according to diplomats.

The session could now be advanced to early in the week due to Monday's developments, a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

US, Australia demand Suu Kyi release

The United States urged Myanmar's military to release detained officials, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and warned of a response from Washington over the apparent coup.

"The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar's democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

We "urge the military and all other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and to release those detained today," she added.

Australia also demanded Myanmar's army immediately release de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected leaders, warning the military was "once again seeking to seize control" of the country.

"We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully," foreign minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

Sources : The New Indian Express