UN Security Council Again Fails the People of Burma – More Concern… But No Action

Despite ongoing Burma military attacks resulting in civilian deaths, destruction of hundreds of houses, churches, schools and villages, the UN Security Council while acknowledging the nationwide violence went no further than to issue a press release that its members “expressed deep concern at further recent violence across Myanmar.”

The UNSC statement released on Friday, 10 November, was a cause for disappointment for 521 local, regional and international civil society organizations.

Salai Za Uk, from the Chin Human Rights Organization in a statement released by the CSO alliance said.
“While the UN Security Council was meeting to discuss the situation in Myanmar, the military burned down more houses in Thantlang.”

On the 30th October, the Burma Army escalated its attacks on Thantlang Town when it fired incendiary rockets into residential areas destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of civilians.”
Salai Za Uk said as the UN Security Council failed to make a decision and to take action against the military, it continued its wanton destruction in Chin State unchecked.

“They [Burma Army] have burned, destroyed and vandalized at least 22 churches and religious buildings in Chin State since August.”

The statement by the CSO alliance pointed out the UN Security Council’s lack of action could be explained as some of its members profited from selling arms to Burma’s military.

“UN Security Council members, including India and Russia, have transferred and sold arms and dual-use goods to the Myanmar military junta since the attempted coup, while China is a major arms supplier and conducts business with military conglomerates.”

An independent group of former UN investigators and international human rights experts now working as the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar’s (SAC-M)] warned in a statement released in October 2021 “UN on the brink of another failure in Myanmar.”

The SAC-M statement criticized the UN Secretary General for ‘a lack of leadership’ and “paralysis within the Security Council have added another eight months to years of failure in Myanmar.”

Ms Yanghee Lee, a former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in Myanmar and a founding member of SAC-M said.

“The sheer level of violence being inflicted on the population by Min Aung Hlaing [commander-in-chief) is a clear indication that he does not have a grip on anything. The junta is the source of the violence, and to deduce otherwise is a serious misinterpretation.”

Salai Za Uk said the UN Security Council’s ineffective leadership had eroded trust in the organization’s ability to do its job effectively and intervene to stop the Burma military’s attacks on civilians.

“How many more lives must be taken and how many more townships destroyed before the situation warrants more than a statement by the world body.”

Naw Htoo Htoo, Program Director of the Karen Human Right Group (KHRG) said in an interview with Karen News that the UN Security Council’s failure to act is nothing new.

“We have been advocating for strong UN Security Council actions against the Burma military for decades, long before the recent military coup in February 2021 and we have been constantly disappointed over their lack of action.”

Naw Htoo Htoo said the UNSC failure allows the Burma military to continue to buy arms.

“We are losing faith in the UN Security Council as a world body that is mandated or supposed to commit to peace and stability around the world. They know well through extensive advocacy missions about what the military does against the people, civilians and they need to listen to the people of Burma.”

Naw Htoo Htoo told Karen News the UNSC failure to act has given the military the opportunity to continue its violence against civilians as usual.

“The longer the UNSC stalls in its action against the military junta, the more access to weapons the military has to use against the people of Burma, who continue to live in terror in their everyday lives.”

Naw Htoo Htoo criticized countries for continuing to sell weapons to Burma’s military, despite the ongoing burning of townships and displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

“Russia and now even India are providing arms as usual, while China continue to be a major arms supplier. Whatever happens on the ground, it’s like nothing to do with them. They don’t care what happens to the people of Burma. They only care about their business profit.”

Naw Htoo Htoo said the UNSC’s ‘concerns’ were worthless to the people of Burma.

The word “concern” has no value. They never go further than this “concern” position. We’ve seen their failure to take action, not only now but with human right violations in ethnic areas, including the genocidal attacks on Rohingya. The UNSC failure to take strong action allows the Burma military impunity. The UN needs to be urgently reviewed.”

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