UK calls for UN meet­ing on Myan­mar vi­o­lence

The Miracle - - National & Int - Source: Al-Jazeera

The UK on Tues­day urged the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to con­vene to dis­cuss re­ports of mass civil­ian ca­su­al­ties af­ter raids by Myan­mar se­cu­rity forces against Ro­hingya fight­ers. “UK re­quests #UNSC meet­ing on sit­u­a­tion in Burma to­mor­row. Need to ad­dress long-term is­sues in #Rakhine, urge re­straint by all par­ties,” Matthew Ry­croft, UK am­bas­sador to the UN, wrote on Twitter. The meet­ing is ex­pected to take place on Wed­nes­day. UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res on Mon­day urged Myan­mar to grant ac­cess to hu­man­i­tar­ian agen­cies. “The sec­re­tary-gen­eral is deeply con­cerned at the re­ports of civil­ians be­ing killed dur­ing se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions in Myan­mar’s Rakhine state,” Guter­res’ of­fice said. Deadly at­tacks on bor­der posts broke out on Fri­day that killed one sol­dier, 10 po­lice of­fi­cers, an im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cial and 77 al­leged fight­ers of the Arakan Ro­hingya Sal­va­tion Army (ARSA), the Of­fice of State Coun­sel­lor Aung San Suu Kyi said in a state­ment. Me­dia re­ports emerged later that said se­cu­rity forces used dis­pro­por­tion­ate force and dis­placed thou­sands of Ro­hingya Mus­lim vil­lagers, de­stroy­ing homes with mor­tars and ma­chine guns. Satel­lite data ac­cessed by a rights body and re­leased on Tues­day showed wide­spread fires burn­ing in at least 10 ar­eas in Myan­mar’s Rakhine state. Res­i­dents and ac­tivists have ac­cused sol­diers of shoot­ing in­dis­crim­i­nately at un­armed Ro­hingya men, women and chil­dren and car­ry­ing out ar­son at­tacks. Bangladesh bor­der guards told Reuters they had sent about 550 Ro­hingya back across the Naf river that sep­a­rates the two coun­tries since Mon­day, de­spite an ap­peal by Guter­res for Dhaka to al­low Ro­hingya to seek safety. Bor­der pa­trols were also try­ing to block peo­ple from cross­ing the fron­tier. Bangladesh is al­ready host to more than 400,000 Ro­hingya refugees who have fled Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity Myan­mar since the early 1990s. Dhaka has asked the UN to pres­sure Myan­mar over its treat­ment of the Mus­lim mi­nor­ity, in­sist­ing it can­not ac­cept any more. Still, more than 8,700 have reg­is­tered in Bangladesh since Fri­day, the UN said. The top UN hu­man rights of­fi­cial, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hus­sein, called on Myan­mar on Tues­day to en­sure its se­cu­rity forces re­frained from us­ing dis­pro­por­tion­ate force, adding that the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship had a duty to pro­tect all civil­ians “with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion”. “This turn of events is de­plorable. It was pre­dicted and could have been pre­vented,” he said. Myan­mar’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Thaung Tun said at a news con­fer­ence that Myan­mar had come un­der at­tack and had the full right to de­fend it­self. He added that “se­cu­rity per­son­nel have been in­structed to make sure that in­no­cent civil­ians are not harmed”. The re­gion has seen sim­mer­ing ten­sions be­tween its Bud­dhist and Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions since com­mu­nal vi­o­lence broke out in 2012. A UN re­port found hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, in­clud­ing crimes against hu­man­ity against Ro­hingya by se­cu­rity forces. The UN con­sid­ers Ro­hingya one of the world’s most per­se­cuted mi­nori­ties. The global body doc­u­mented mass gang rapes, killings - in­clud­ing of in­fants and chil­dren - bru­tal beat­ings and dis­ap­pear­ances.

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