US pres­sures Myan­mar to ac­cept UN rights probe

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

US Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley on Mon­day ramped up pres­sure on the Myan­mar gov­ern­ment to ac­cept a UN fact-find­ing mis­sion tasked with in­ves­ti­gat­ing hu­man rights abuses against Ro­hingya Mus­lims.

Yan­gon of­fi­cials said last week that they would deny visas to the three-per­son team man­dated by the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil to in­ves­ti­gate abuses re­port­edly com­mit­ted by se­cu­rity forces in Rakhine state.

“It is im­por­tant that the Burmese gov­ern­ment al­low this fact-find­ing mis­sion to do its job,” Ha­ley said in a state­ment.

“The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity can­not over­look what is hap­pen­ing in Burma – we must stand to­gether and call on the gov­ern­ment to fully co­op­er­ate with this fact-find­ing mis­sion.”

Myan­mar’s de facto leader and No­bel prize win­ning democ­racy ac­tivist Aung San Suu Kyi has re­jected the UN fact-find­ing mis­sion, ar­gu­ing that the gov­ern­ment is car­ry­ing out its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion.The north of Rakhine state has been un­der lock­down since Oc­to­ber, when the mil­i­tary launched a cam­paign to hunt down Ro­hingya mil­i­tants who staged deadly at­tacks on po­lice posts.More than 90,000 Ro­hingya have been forced to flee their homes since last Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to UN es­ti­mates.A UN re­port in Fe­bru­ary said the cam­paign against the Ro­hingya, who are de­nied cit­i­zen­ship and other rights in Myan­mar, “very likely” amounted to war crimes.

Ha­ley said the vi­o­lence in Rakhine con­tin­ues to claim lives and that there were con­tin­u­ing al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual vi­o­lence tar­get­ing women and chil­dren.

In May, the Geneva-based rights coun­cil ap­pointed Indira Jais­ing of In­dia, Rad­hika Coomaraswamy of Sri Lanka and Christo­pher Do­minic Si­doti of Aus­tralia to serve as the three mem­bers of the fact-find­ing mis­sion.

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