The United States wants to put more pressure on the Burmese junta

“There is general recognition that the regime needs to feel more pressure,” Derek Chollet, adviser to the US State Department, told AFP.

He notably pointed to the bombardment of a school which killed at least 11 children a few days ago, as well as the execution in July of four political prisoners by the junta which took power in February 2021.

This adviser has, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, discussed this week with other governments and with representatives of the “government of national unity” composed of members of the party of the detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He also spoke remotely with armed groups of ethnic minorities.

He discussed with other countries a possible resolution in the Security Council but the efforts are at “an early stage”.

“We think it is important to try,” he added, noting however that we had to be “realistic” in the face of the veto power of Russia and China, allies of the Burmese military.

The Security Council held a closed meeting on Burma last week.

Derek Chollet on the other hand insisted to other governments that “we should not lend any credibility” to the elections the junta is planning for August 2023. “I told them that we see no chance of these elections being free and just”.

Earlier in the day, Thomas Andrews, United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, had estimated that Burma was preparing “rigged” elections, denouncing “fraud”.

After a decade of democracy, Burma descended into bloody conflict after the military overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a February 2021 coup.

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