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UN Security Council to discuss Myanmar coup
New York, February 2, 2021
UN Security Council (UNSC) members will be briefed on Tuesday on the situation in Myanmar where the military has staged a coup after detaining top government officials, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as the declaration of a year-long state of emergency.
The members will be briefed by Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener in a closed video-conference (VTC), according to an official UNSC statement.
The UK, which takes over the rotating Security Council presidency for the month of February, has circulated a draft press statement that may be issued following the meeting if members are able to agree on it, it added.
"We had it on the program of work originally for discussion later this week. In discussion with council members, we have agreed now that we will move it up to discussion tomorrow, given the developments in Myanmar over the weekend," the UK's Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said in a statement
"We want to address the long-term threat to peace and security, of course working closely with Myanmar's Asian and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbours."
The last Security Council discussion on Myanmar was in September 2020, before the disputed general elections in the country.
Besides Suu Kyi, the military, known as the Tatmadaw, on Monday detained President U Win Myint, regional and state ministers, as well as some central executive committee members of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
The coup was staged following escalated tensions between the government and the army that erupted due to the outcome of the November 2020 parliamentary polls, the first to be held since the end of the Army's rule in 2011.
Monday's actions reversed a 10-year period of democratic transition following 50 years of military rule.
The events took place the same day the new parliament was to convene for the first time following the November 8, 2020, elections, where the NLD obtained more than 80 per cent of the democratically contested seats and increased its parliamentary majority.
Parliament was expected to endorse these results.
Since the election results, the Tatmadaw had called for an investigation into voting lists, alleging fraud and discrepancies.
The Election Commission rejected the allegations of election fraud on January 29.
Tensions had risen in recent weeks as the Tatmadaw continued to contest the election results and had threatened of staging a coup.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the detention of the civilian leaders and expressed his grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military, calling this "a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar".
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that she was alarmed by reports that 45 people have been detained and urged their immediate release.