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United Nations Security Council backs ‘will of the people’ in Myanmar one year after coup

FILE PHOTO: A soldier steps out of a military vehicle outside Myanmar's Central Bank during a protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

The United Nations Security Council expressed grave concern on Wednesday about Myanmar’s military-imposed state of emergency, and called for dialogue to settle the situation in accordance with “the will and interests of the people.”

The 15-member council called for the release of all those currently arbitrarily incarcerated, including Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, in a statement issued by consensus on the anniversary of the February 1 coup.

According to estimates from the United Nations human rights office, the coup in Myanmar sparked strikes and protests that resulted in over 1,500 civilians being killed in crackdowns and around 11,800 being arbitrarily detained.

The Security Council demanded a halt to all violence in the country and the protection of people.

“The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at further recent violence in the country and expressed alarm at the large numbers of internally displaced persons. They condemned attacks on infrastructure, including health and education facilities,” it said.

The council’s appeal “for the pursuance of dialogue with all parties concerned, and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar” was also reiterated in the statement.

Myanmar’s military is now facing violent opposition from ethnic minority rebels and militias associated with a shadow government.

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