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EU Condemns Crackdown on Myanmar Protesters

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EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned the Myanmar security forces’ response to the Saturday anti-government protests that more than 100 people dead.

“I am following the worrying events in Myanmar. The escalation of violence with more than 100 civilian killings perpetrated by the military against its own people on its ‘Armed Forces Day’ is unacceptable. Far from celebrating, the Myanmar military has made yesterday a day of horror and of shame,” Borrell said in a statement on Sunday.

Borrell called for an end to violence in Myanmar, and said that the EU is making efforts to start a political process in the country.

“We will continue to use the EU’s mechanisms, including sanctions, to target the perpetrators of this violence, and those responsible for turning back the clock on Myanmar’s path of democracy and peace,” Borrell added.

This statement comes after 114 civilians were killed across Myanmar on Saturday as the military junta continued to crackdown on peaceful protests.

As Myanmar’s military celebrated Armed Forces Day with a parade in the country’s capital, Naypyitaw, soldiers and police suppressed protesters during what resulted in the highest daily death toll since demonstrations began last month.

United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and his counterparts from various countries have also condemned the deadly use of force by the Myanmar Armed Forces against unarmed protesters.

Chief of Defence from various countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the US condemned the bloodshed in Myanmar by the armed forces and associated security services.

Responding to the deadly attacks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement had said, “The continuing military crackdown…is unacceptable and demands a firm, unified and resolute international response”.

“The military celebrated Armed Forces Day by committing mass murder against the people it should be defending”, tweeted Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

On February 1, following a general election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won by a landslide, the military seized control of the country and declared a year-long state of emergency.

As Suu Kyi remains in detention at an unknown location, protesters have taken to the streets.In addition to imposing curfews and other restrictions, security forces have used water cannon, rubber bullets and live ammunition to try to disperse the demonstrators, according to news reports.

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