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China, Russia, Serbia supplying weapons to Myanmar junta: UN special rapporteur

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A UN Special Rapporteur has identified China, Russia and Serbia as member states who have been supplying Myanmar junta with weapons of the sort that are being used to attack civilians since the military coup on February 1 last year.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, issued a report to the UN Human Rights Council today that identifies states, including China and Russia -- two permanent members of the UN Security Council -- who have supplied weapons used against civilians since Myanmar's military coup.

Despite the evidence of the junta's atrocity, Russia and China continue to provide Myanmar with numerous fighter jets, armored vehicles, and in the case of Russia, the promise of further arms, he said.

"During this same period, Serbia has authorized rockets and artillery for export to the Myanmar military," Andrews added.

The independent expert appealed to weapons exporting nations to immediately suspend their weapons sales and urged the convening of an emergency Security Council session to debate and vote on a resolution to, at minimum, ban those arms transfers that the Myanmar military are known to use to attack and kill civilians.

"It should be incontrovertible that weapons used to kill civilians should no longer be transferred to Myanmar. These transfers truly shock the conscience," Andrews said in a statement.

"Stopping the junta's atrocity begins with blocking their access to weapons. The more the world delays, the more innocent people, including children, will die in Myanmar."

"The people of Myanmar are imploring the UN to act," he said.

"They deserve an up-or-down vote on a Security Council resolution that will stop the sale of weapons being used to kill them. Too many families are finding themselves in the cross-hairs of weapons of war that Member States are supplying. This must end."

The report, titled "Enabling Atrocities: UN Member States' Arms Transfers to the Myanmar Military", also names states who have authorised the transfer of weapons since 2018 when Myanmar military's atrocities against the Rohingyas were widely documented.

Last June the General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for member states to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar.

"This was welcomed by the people of Myanmar, civil society organizations, and international human rights advocacy groups," Andrews said.

He said the failure of the resolution to have any discernable impact on the crisis and the capacity of the junta to launch attacks on civilians, however, has led to anger and despair.

"It is imperative that member states and the Security Council act urgently to stop weapons sales to the military junta. Human lives, and Security Council credibility, are on the line.

"While not a single member of the Security Council voted against the General Assembly resolution, the Security Council has not considered, let alone voted, on a resolution that could make the resolution binding on Member States," he said.

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