MYANMAR OFFICIAL DENIES ETHNIC CLEANSING IN RAKHINE AMID CALLS FOR ACTION IN UN SECURITY COUNCIL

UNITED NATIONS, — Myanmar National Security Adviser Thaung Tun on Friday denied reports of ethnic cleansing in the country’s Rakhine State at an open meeting of the UN Security Council on the Rakhine issue, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Thaung Tun said the reports were “subjective and emotionally charged accounts” and denied any ethnic cleansing.

“We recognise that there is a serious situation that needs to be addressed, but we also need to recognise that the recent round of violence was triggered by the attack launched by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA),” Thaung Tun said.

ARSA extremist terrorists reportedly launched fresh attacks on police outposts in Rakhine on Aug 25, displacing residents from a number of areas in Maungtaw district to border areas with Bangladesh for refuge.

“The government of Myanmar will work to insure that the fight against terrorists will not distract us from our commitment to bring peace, stability and development in Rakhine State,” he said.

“It is striving to restore normalcy. There have been no armed clashes and clearance operations since Sept 5.”

“There has been no ethnic cleansing and no genocide in Myanmar,” Thaung Tun said, adding that the vast majority of those who fled did so out of fear and fear was instilled in their hearts by the terrorists.

“It is imperative that the international community join hands with us to insure that democracy takes firm root and that we will succeed in carrying out our responsibility to establish peace, stability and development in Rakhine and the whole of Myanmar,” he said, urging the Security Council to refrain from taking measures that exacerbate rather than alleviate the situation in northern Rakhine State.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres briefed the council on the situation in Rakhine, saying that the reality on the ground demands action to protect people, alleviate suffering, prevent further instability, address the roots of the situation and forge, at long last, a durable solution.

Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, on Thursday called for patience with the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

China condemns the recent violent attacks in Rakhine State and supports Myanmar’s effort to keep its domestic situation stable.

“We sincerely hope that order will prevail again as soon as possible so that no more harm will come to the innocent civilians, and so that social stability, unity among ethnic groups and economic development in Myanmar will be sustained,” Wu said.

He asked the international community to view the difficulties and challenges confronting the Myanmar government “through objective optics,” exercise patience, and provide support and help.

The Security Council open meeting was requested by Egypt, France, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK