UN condemns detention of Myanmar political leaders

UN condemns detention of Myanmar political leaders

Moses Kuwema 

 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the detention of Myanmar political leaders as a ‘serious blow to democratic reforms’, and has called for peaceful dialogue.

Myanmar's military, on Monday seized power after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders.

Troops are patrolling the streets and a night-time curfew is in force, with a one-year state of emergency declared.

US President Joe Biden raised the threat of new sanctions, with the UN and UK also condemning the coup.

The army alleges the recent landslide election win by Ms Suu Kyi's party was marred by fraud. She urged supporters to "protest against the coup".

In a letter written in preparation for her impending detention, she said the military's actions would put the country back under a dictatorship.

The military has already announced replacements for a number of ministers.

In a statement Monday, Secretary-General Guterres strongly condemned 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.  

He expressed his grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military.  

Secretary-General Guterres said the developments represented a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.

"The 8 November 2020 general elections provide a strong mandate to the National League for Democracy, reflecting the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform," he said.  

The Secretary-General Guterres urged the military leadership to respect the will of the people of Myanmar and adhere to democratic norms, with any differences to be resolved through peaceful dialogue. 

He said all leaders must act in the greater interest of Myanmar’s democratic reform, by engaging in meaningful dialogue, refraining from violence and fully respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Secretary-General reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United Nations to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.