UN names new coordinator for Myanmar

Knut Ostby. Photo: UN Timor-Leste

The United Nations on Tuesday named a new interim relief coordinator in Myanmar as the government continues to block demands that humanitarian workers be allowed to reach Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine state.

Knut Ostby of Norway, who has worked for the United Nations in 17 countries including East Timor and Iran, will serve as the UN coordinator from November 1.

Since late August, more than 600,000 Rohingya have fled an army campaign in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Myanmar authorities say the military operation is aimed at rooting out Rohingya terrorists who staged attacks on police posts in late August.

The United Nations is urging Myanmar authorities to end the military campaign, grant permission to aid workers to reach those in need in Rakhine and allow the return of the Rohingya from Bangladesh.

Britain and France have presented a draft resolution to the Security Council that lists those demands and calls for the appointment of a UN special advisor on Myanmar.

Diplomats however say China is resisting calls for the top UN body to step up pressure on the government.


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