UN envoy calls for release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other Burmese leaders

During virtual meeting with senior general, diplomat reiterates secretary-general’s strong condemnation of the military coup

The army has detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders   Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The UN secretary-general’s special envoy on Myanmar has called on the army generals – who seized power in a bloodless coup on February 1 – to release the country’s civilian leadership.

Christine Schraner Burgener spoke overnight with deputy commander-in-chief vice-general Soe Win in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for secretary-general Antonio Guterres, said at the daily press briefing on Friday.

It was the first contact between the UN and Myanmar army since the generals seized power.

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During a virtual meeting with the general, Burgener reiterated Guterres’ strong condemnation of the military’s action, which disrupted the democratic reforms taking place in the country, Dujarric said.

Dujarric emphasised the need to advance progress on key areas, including the safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya refugees, the peace process, accountability and particularly engaging with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the ongoing case.

Also Read: Decoding Myanmar coup: Shattered dream of a commander and some fear

The 15-nation Security Council issued a press statement on Thursday on the situation in Myanmar three days after the military seized power. Council members expressed deep concern at the declaration of the state of emergency imposed by the military and the arbitrary detention of members of the government, including state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and president Win Myint and others.

Burgener has spoken to various representatives of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), including the bloc’s secretary-general, to ensure that everyone is working with the same goal.

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