UNSC condemns Myanmar massacre as EU backs arms embargo
UNSC condemns Myanmar massacre as EU backs arms embargo

The killings took place on Christmas Eve in eastern Kayah state

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday condemned last week’s massacre in Myanmar of more than 30 people, including two Save the Children staff, that was blamed on junta troops as the European Union called on Thursday for an international arms embargo on junta and for toughening its own sanctions.

A Myanmar insurgent group said it has buried the remains who were killed and had their bodies set ablaze.

The killings took place on Christmas Eve in eastern Kayah state, where pro-democracy rebels have been fighting the military, which took over the government from the democratically elected administration in February.

The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said “the appalling act of violence perpetrated by the military regime” on civilians and humanitarian workers underlined the “urgent need” to hold the junta accountable.

“The EU also stands ready to impose further sanctions against the military regime,” he added.

His call for an international arms embargo echoed one Tuesday from the United States.

Western nations have long restricted weapons to Myanmar’s military, which even during the pre-coup democratic transition faced allegations of crimes against humanity for a bloody campaign against the Rohingya minority.

The UN General Assembly voted in June to prevent arms shipments into Myanmar, but the measure was symbolic as it was not taken up by the more powerful Security Council.

China and Russia, which hold veto power on the Security Council – as well as India – are the major arms providers to Myanmar.

In a separate statement released Wednesday evening, Security Council members “stressed the need to ensure accountability for this act.”

They also called “for the immediate cessation of all violence and emphasized the importance of respect for human rights and of ensuring safety of civilians.”

The Security Council also “stressed the need for safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need, and for the full protection, safety and security of humanitarian and medical personnel.”

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