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Boris Johnson ‘horrified’ by escalation of violence in Myanmar

Last month the UK imposed asset freezes and travel bans on three generals in Myanmar’s military regime in response to human rights violations.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Aaron Chown/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Aaron Chown/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Aaron Chown/PA)

Boris Johnson has said he is “horrified” by intensified clashes and the killing of pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar.

The Prime Minister called for the restoration of democracy after at least 38 people died on Wednesday in “the bloodiest day” since the coup began last month.

The death toll was the highest since the February 1 takeover, when the military ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

More than 50 civilians, mostly peaceful protesters, are confirmed to have been killed by police and soldiers since then.

Following the latest violence, Mr Johnson wrote on Twitter: “I’m horrified by the escalation of violence in Myanmar and the killing of pro-democracy protesters.

“We stand with the people of Myanmar in calling for an immediate end to military repression, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and others, and the restoration of democracy.”

Demonstrators returned to the streets of Yangon, the country’s largest city, on Thursday, but police appeared to use force to disperse the crowds again.

The UN special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, described Wednesday as “the bloodiest day” since the coup as she confirmed that 38 people had been killed.

The UN Security Council has scheduled closed-door consultations on Friday on calls to reverse the coup – including from UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres — and stop the escalating military crackdown.

Any kind of co-ordinated action at the UN will be difficult as two permanent members of the Security Council, China and Russia, are likely to veto it. Some countries have already imposed or are considering their own sanctions.

Last month the UK imposed asset freezes and travel bans on three generals in Myanmar’s military regime in response to human rights violations.

Alongside the sanctions, the Government has put in place further safeguards to prevent UK aid money indirectly supporting the military government following this month’s coup.

New measures are also being taken to stop UK businesses working with Myanmar’s military.

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