Myanmar envoy appeals to UN to stop coup28 February 2021
Myanmar's UN envoy urged the United Nations to use "any means necessary" to stop a military coup there, making a surprise appeal on behalf of the ousted government as police cracked down on anti-junta protesters.
The Southeast Asian country has been in crisis since the army seized power on 1 February and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party had won in a landslide.
Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi's whereabouts, as the independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.
The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to Myanmar's streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.
More protests were planned for Saturday, including a march in the main city of Yangon by members of ethnic minorities. But police were out in force early, detaining several people as they began to congregate, witnesses said.
Myanmar's Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun told the UN General Assembly he was speaking on behalf of Suu Kyi's government and appealed to the body "to use any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people".
"We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people ... and to restore the democracy," he told the 193-member group, receiving applause as he finished.
Kyaw Moe Tun appeared emotional as he read the statement on behalf of a group of elected politicians that he said represented the legitimate government.
Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced "our cause will prevail".
Reuters was not immediately able to contact the army for comment.
Opponents of the coup hailed Kyaw Moe Tun as a hero and flooded social media with messages of thanks.