UN ‘sup­pressed’ Myan­mar re­port

The Guardian Weekly - - International news - Emanuel Stoakes Oliver Holmes

The UN com­mis­sioned and then “sup­pressed” a re­port that crit­i­cised its strat­egy in Myan­mar and warned it was ill-pre­pared to deal with the im­pend­ing Ro­hingya cri­sis, sources have told the Guardian.

The re­view, sub­mit­ted in May, of­fered a crit­i­cal anal­y­sis of the UN’s ap­proach and said there should be “no si­lence on hu­man rights”. The re­port, a copy of which has been ob­tained by the Guardian, pre­dicted a “se­ri­ous de­te­ri­o­ra­tion” in the months fol­low­ing its sub­mis­sion and urged the UN to un­der­take “con­tin­gency plan­ning”.

“It is rec­om­mended that, as a mat­ter of ur­gency, UN head­quar­ters iden­ti­fies ways to im­prove over­all co­her­ence in the UN’s sys­tem ap­proach,” wrote in­de­pen­dent an­a­lyst Richard Horsey, the re­port’s au­thor.

Se­cu­rity forces would be “heavy­handed and in­dis­crim­i­nate” in deal­ing with the Ro­hingya, said Horsey – a pre­dic­tion that rang true when Ro­hingya mil­i­tants at­tacked dozens of out­posts on 25 Au­gust, prompt­ing a mas­sive mil­i­tary crack­down.

Phil Robert­son, deputy Asia di­rec­tor at Hu­man Rights Watch, said: “The UN is go­ing to have to ac­knowl­edge their sig­nif­i­cant share of blame in let­ting this sit­u­a­tion de­scend this far, this fast.”

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