UN fact-find­ing mis­sion ap­proved

New Straits Times - - World -

GENEVA: The United Na­tions­backed Hu­man Rights Coun­cil yes­ter­day ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion by con­sen­sus to “dis­patch ur­gently ” an in­ter­na­tional factfind­ing mis­sion to Myan­mar to probe al­leged abuses by mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity forces, par­tic­u­larly against the Ro­hingya.

In a move bound to put pres­sure on State Coun­sel­lor Aung San Suu Kyi’s gov­ern­ment, the 47-mem­ber body threw its weight be­hind ex­ist­ing ef­forts to in­ves­ti­gate al­leged rights abuses such as tor­ture, rape, ar­bi­trary killings and forced dis­place­ment of the Ro­hingya in Rakhine state.

Zaw Htay, a pres­i­den­tial spokesman, said Myan­mar “can­not ac­cept” the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

“What the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil did to us is to­tally not fair and not right un­der in­ter­na­tional prac­tices,” Htay said by phone, cit­ing a do­mes­tic in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “They should have waited and watched the cor­re­spon­dent coun­try’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and the re­sult com­ing out from that,” and only then of­fer pos­si­ble crit­i­cism of its work, he added.

Last week, a com­mis­sion chaired by for­mer UN sec­re­tary­gen­eral Kofi An­nan, cre­ated at the be­hest of Suu Kyi, pre­sented rec­om­men­da­tions to the gov­ern­ment about long-term so­lu­tions to ten­sions in Rakhine state.

The rec­om­men­da­tions in­cluded al­low­ing jour­nal­ists free ac­cess to the western part of the coun­try.

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