European Parliament urges action on Myanmar and Yemen
Members of the European Parliament have called for civilian rule to be restored in Myanmar following the military coup of 1 February, and for a boost in humanitarian aid to Yemen.
MEPs condemned the coup in Myanmar while calling on its leaders to immediately restore the civilian government, which was elected in November, end the state of emergency and release all those arrested illegally.
They noted that “despite her failure to adequately condemn the human rights violations against Burmese minorities, Aung San Suu Kyi continues to be the symbol of the Burmese people when it comes to democratic aspirations and ambitions for a more just and democratic future”.
Parliamentarians also called for the drafting and implementation of a new constitution that would enshrine the rights of all ethnic groups in the country, notably the Rohingya, who have faced huge persecution in recent years.
In 2018, the European Union imposed sanctions against the Tatmadaw military and officials, which were recently extended. MEPs welcomed this move while urging the European Council to extend them to the entire leadership of the Myanmar military.
MEPs voted 667 for and one against the resolution, which also had 27 abstentions.
On the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Yemen, which has been fuelled by war between a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels since 2015, MEPs condemned the ongoing hostilities. They noted the situation had “degenerated into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world”.
Parliamentarians noted that there was no military solution to the conflict, which it said should instead be resolved with a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned negotiation process.
MEPs noted the seriousness of the situation in Yemen, where 80% of the population – more than 24 million people – require humanitarian support. Some 50,000 currently live-in famine-like conditions – a figure that is expected to triple by mid-2021. MEPs urged all those involved in the conflict to stop using the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and to impose measures targeting those violating international law.
They welcomed the EU pledge to triple humanitarian aid to Yemen while urging the European Commission and member states to lead a global effort to increase the amount of humanitarian aid provided.