Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari today met with the South-East Asian nation’s top general on the last day of his mission in response to the deteriorating situation there amid reports of the use of force and of the arrest and beating of demonstrators.
The meeting with Senior General Than Shwe in Naypyitaw, the capital, “to discuss the current situation in Myanmar” lasted over one hour, a UN news release from Geneva said.
It came as the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva opened a special session on Myanmar amid denunciations of the “the brutal crack-down” by the authorities and calls for decisive international action to prevent a repeat of the massacres that marked a pro-democracy uprising nearly two decades ago.
Mr. Gambari, who also met with other members of the senior leadership, later returned to Yangon, the main city, where he met with leading democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the second time. He has now left Myanmar to return to New York to report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the outcome of his mission.
When he announced the mission last week, Mr. Ban called on the authorities “to exercise utmost restraint toward the peaceful demonstrations taking place, as such action can only undermine the prospects for peace, prosperity and stability in Myanmar.”
He urged the country’s senior leadership to cooperate fully with the mission “in order to take advantage of the willingness of the United Nations to assist in the process of national reconciliation through dialogue.”