Dialogue between "all sides" in Myanmar must be quickly carried out in order to avert further bloodshed and civil unrest, the recently-seated president of the UN Security Council said Thursday.
Speaking after formally assuming the council presidency for the month of April, Vietnam's UN envoy Dang Dinh Quy condemned the use of violence perpetrated against pro-democracy demonstrators by the junta, further calling "on all sides to sit down and talk, to seek any possibility to sit down and talk."
Challenged by a reporter about whether there are two equal sides that need to negotiate an end to the brutal bloodletting, Dang said "at the time being, we think that the only way is to engage with everyone."
"If we make any side inside Myanmar feel that they are not engaged, or they feel that they are isolated, it could be worse. So your question is right, but what is the alternative?" he asked. "It is very hard to say about other alternatives.”
At least 543 people have been killed in the ongoing crackdown on protesters following the military's Feb. 1 power grab, according to an independent non-profit organization founded by former Myanmar political prisoners living in exile.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' special envoy on Myanmar warned on Wednesday that the country is on the precipice of all-out civil war as armed ethnic groups have progressively been "taking clear stances of opposition" to the military's "cruelty."
Christine Schraner Burgener warned the Security Council that a "bloodbath is imminent."
"The most serious international crimes and violations of international law appear to be happening in plain sight. I fear this trend will become bloodier as the Commander-in-Chief seems determined to solidify his unlawful grip on power by force," she said. "This council must consider potentially significant action that can reverse the course of events in Myanmar."
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