Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador vows to fight after junta fired him
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Myanmar’s United Nations envoy in New York vowed to fight on Saturday after the junta fired him for urging countries to use “any means necessary” to reverse a Feb. 1 coup that ousted the nation’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
“I decided to fight back as long as I can,” Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters on Saturday.
Myanmar state television announced on Saturday that Kyaw Moe Tun had been fired for betraying the country.
However, the United Nations does not officially recognise the junta as Myanmar’s new government as it has received no official notification of any change, said a U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, and so Kyaw Moe Tun remains Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador, for now.
“We have not received any communication concerning changes to the representation of Myanmar at the United Nations in New York,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, warned the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Friday that no country should recognize or legitimize the Myanmar junta.
If the Myanmar junta, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, tries to seek international recognition by installing a new U.N. envoy it could set off a fight at the world body that could culminate with a vote at the General Assembly.
The U.N. has previously had to address competing claims for representation at the world body.
In September 2011, the General Assembly approved a Libyan request to accredit envoys of the country’s interim government. The move came after the United States, Russia, China and European nations had all recognized the new authorities.
Kyaw Moe Tun told the United Nations on Friday that he was speaking for Suu Kyi’s government and appealed for help to overturn “the illegal and unconstitutional military coup.” Such an address – at odds with those in power in a country – is rare.
Elected lawmakers ousted in the coup have formed a committee and Kyaw Moe Tun said that is the “legitimate and duly elected government of Myanmar and must be recognized by the international community as such.”
Guterres has pledged to mobilize international pressure “to make sure that this coup fails.” The Security Council has voiced concern over the state of emergency, but stopped short of condemning the coup due to opposition by Russia and China.