05/18/2021, 12.33
MYANMAR
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More than 800 killed by the military since coup

by Francis Khoo Thwe

Some 4,120 people are in prison, 20 on death row. The fiercest clashes are in Chin State. The UN General Assembly postponed a vote on weapons embargo against the country. The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have imposed new sanctions. Washington has imposed sanctions against 13 top junta officials.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – The death toll from the military crackdown against protests in Myanmar has reached 802 civilians. This follows the ouster in February of the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

In its latest update yesterday, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported six deaths in Chin State as well as Yangon and Mandalay districts.

It also noted that the number of dead is probably much higher if the missing are factored in. Overall, 4,120 people are currently held in prison, including 20 sentenced to death.

Currently, the most intense clashes are in Mindat, a town in Chin State, about 100 km from the Indian border. Security units operating in the area are facing tough resistance from the Chinland Defence Force, a newly formed local militia. According to The Irrawaddy, local militiamen killed 20 Myanmar soldiers yesterday.

Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly postponed a vote calling for an immediate ban on the sale and transfer of all weapons and ammunition to Myanmar. The resolution was scheduled to be debated today.

According to several observers, the delay is probably due to pressure from China and Russia, which are determined to undermine any proposed embargo against the regime of General Min Aung Hlaing that might come before the Security Council.

According to media reports, the UN General Assembly resolution also contained a request to the Myanmar military to end the state of emergency, stop the violence against peaceful demonstrators, and respect the results of the November elections, which saw a landslide victory by Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party.

Meanwhile, the United States, Canada and United Kingdom yesterday imposed fresh sanctions against the military junta.

Washington's punitive measures touch 16 people, 13 of whom are senior members of the military regime, including five ministers, central bank governor U Than Nyein, and U Thein Soe, chairman of the military-appointed Union Election Commission.

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