UN SECURITY COUNCIL SEEKS HALT TO VIOLENCE IN MYANMAR’S RAKHINE STATE

UNITED NATIONS– The UN Security Council (UNSC) said Friday that it seeks to end the violence in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine State, to push for humanitarian access to victims and for the return of more than half a million refugees to their homes.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre, the president of the Security Council, came from a closed-door briefing by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to tell of consensus among members to seek the three goals, but said there was no immediate call for a Security Council resolution.

“The situation in Myanmar is extremely serious: 525,000 people displaced, hundreds of villages wiped out, systematic violations of human rights,” Delattre told reporters outside the council’s chambers. “This is ethnic cleansing happening before our eyes.”

In late September, Myanmar National Security Adviser Thaung Tun said at a UNSC meeting that “there has been no ethnic cleansing and no genocide in Myanmar,” adding that the vast majority of those who fled did so out of fear instilled in their hearts by terrorists.

Rohingyas have been fleeing their villages in northern Rakhine State of Myanmar since Aug. 25, when a rebel militia attacked police posts and security forces and vigilantes retaliated against civilians.

Delattre also voiced a need to “increase pressure on the Myanmar authorities” so that their first announcement translates into strong action, and called for “strengthening of the dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh” where the Rohingyas fled.

Last month, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi announced the government’s pledge to implement the recommendations by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by Annan, saying that those recommendations will help bring a speedy improvement to the situation in the state within the shortest time frame.

China called for patience with the situation in the Rakhine State, condemned the recent violent attacks and supports Myanmar’s effort to keep its domestic situation stable.

On Friday, Delattre said another immediate objective sought by members of the council was to support the recommendations of the international commission headed by Annan, referring to those recommendations as “a clear roadmap to tackle the deep causes of the crisis in Rakhine State.”

Annan warned that obtaining the three objectives would not be easy.

He told reporters after the meeting that the Advisory Commission recommended the Rohingyas not be put in resettlement camps. “They should be allowed to go about their villages and helped to rebuild and reconstruct,” he said.

The commission has many long-term recommendations, and above all is the one “on the question of citizenship and verification which has been a real problem for the Muslim community (of Rohingyas),” said Annan.

Annan said Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi had accepted the commission’s report and set up an inter-ministerial committee to work on the implementation.

“The international community is beginning to put pressure on the military for them to be responsible in their attitude to what they call security clearance,” he said.

“We should remember that Myanmar is going through a very difficult transition after over five decades of military rule. It is a tough situation to manage. We need to work with both sides (the military and government).”

“I indicated to the council today that there is a duality in the leadership of the Myanmar government structure which makes it difficult to get a coherent and coordinated implementation of these recommendations, but we need to press ahead and work with both sides and make sure that as a government they work together,” said Annan.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK