Photo: PPST

DMG Newsroom
3 April 2021, Sittwe

Myanmar’s military governing body, the State Administration Council, must be held accountable for killing more than 500 people nationwide as security forces have unleashed lethal crackdowns on anti-regime protesters since the February 1 coup, said Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) leader General Yawd Serk. 

The PPST was formed by the 10 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signatories, a group of ethnic armed organisations that was actively engaged in peace negotiations with the previous elected government prior to the military takeover.  

In his opening address to a virtual meeting of the PPST that convened on Saturday, Gen. Yawd Serk said Myanmar’s military leaders must be held accountable for the deaths, which have included children and women.  

The general asked the military to honour the unilateral ceasefire that it recently declared to be in effect through the end of April, and to stop killing peaceful protesters. 

The PPST has also condemned the military regime for recent airstrikes on Karen villages in areas controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) in eastern Myanmar. Scores of Karen villagers were killed and injured, and thousands more have been displaced by the Tatmadaw’s aerial assault on Karen villages in Papun District late last month.  

The PPST said it would review the NCA and discuss future plans with striking civil servants and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, a body made up mostly of National League for Democracy (NLD) MPs-elect who were victorious at the ballot box in the November general election, but were denied seats in Parliament when the military staged its coup. 

The PPST also said it firmly stands by those who are calling for abolishing the 2008 Constitution, restoring democracy, establishing a federal union and releasing all political detainees. 

The PPST urged the United Nations to act with urgency to help resolve Myanmar’s crisis, appealing to the international community to act decisively, with one voice, to prevent further violence in the country. 

Among the hundreds of people killed across Myanmar at the hands of security forces since February 1, dozens of children have been slain. World Vision has called for an immediate end to violence against minors. 

UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener has urged the UN Security Council to consider “potentially significant action” to reverse the coup and restore democracy, reportedly telling the council that Myanmar “is on the verge of spiraling into a failed state.”

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