Myanmar Crisis Challenges Regional Stability: UN Special Envoy

    Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 04 March 2021 10:46 WIB
    Myanmar Crisis Challenges Regional Stability: UN Special Envoy
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    Jakarta: United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said on Wednesday that the situation in the country challenges the stability of the region.

    "I had discussions with the army, and I warned them that member states and the Security Council might take huge strong measures and the answer was 'we are used to sanctions and we survived the sanctions time in the past.' When I also warned they will go in an isolation, the answer was 'we have to learn to walk with only few friends.' So, I think we have really to – the member states have to take very strong measures," she told a virtual press conference.

    "But my role will be also to continue the dialogue also with the army because I think we can only stop this in a dialogue; and if not we know that in the past, the army have always text book and have always determined to go the roadmap they choose unfortunately," she stated.

    Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her National League for Democracy (NLD) leadership, who won a November election in a landslide, which the military said was fraudulent

    With the death of 38 people, Wednesday marked the bloodiest day since the start of the coup on February 1. 

    "So, this is in my view a clear textbook which does work now. And I think that the army is very surprised that it doesn't work because in the past – in 1988 and 2007 and 8 – it worked. But today, we have young people who lived in freedom for 10 years. They have social media, and they well organized and very determined. They don't want to go back in a dictatorship and in isolation," she explained.

    According to the UN envoy, she remained in contact with the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), which represents the elected parliamentarians, and with all regional stakeholders, including leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  

    Stressing that every tool available was now needed to end the situation, she spelled out that the unity of the international community was essential. 

    "It hits the stability of the region because if we know that the ethnic armed organizations are determined not to allow this coup to continue - they also stated that they suspended the dialogue with the Tatmadaw – and if those sides will use violence, then we have a situation of a real war in Myanmar which is in nobody's interest, not for the people in Myanmar but also not for the region," she concluded.


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