UN pushes Myanmar to hold accountable those behind attacks

11 May 2018
UN pushes Myanmar to hold accountable those behind attacks
Members of a United Nations (UN) Security Council team arrive at Sittwe airport in Rakhine State, Myanmar, 01 May 2018. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA-EFE

The UN Security Council on Wednesday called on Myanmar to speed up efforts to ensure the safe return of the Rohingya and to hold accountable perpetrators of attacks against the Muslim minority.
The statement followed a fact-finding mission by the council's ambassadors to Myanmar and Bangladesh from April 28 to May 1 to get a firsthand look at the crisis from the forced exodus of 700,000 Rohingya form Myanmar.
China, a strong supporter of Myanmar's former ruling junta, had initially opposed language that stressed the importance of transparent investigations of human rights violations but it dropped its resistance during negotiations.
Council members said that "in light of the importance of undertaking transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations, urge the government of Myanmar to fulfil, based on respect for the rule of law, its stated commitment to holding accountable perpetrators of violence."
The council also urged Myanmar to "step up its efforts to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees" to their homes in Rakhine state.
Myanmar has come under international scrutiny since a military campaign launched in August 2017 drove more than 700,000 Rohingya from Rakhine to overcrowded camps in Bangladesh.
Myanmar maintains that the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out terrorists and has rejected accusations from the United Nations, Britain, France and the United States of "ethnic cleansing."
The British-drafted text, backed by France and the United States, said council members were "struck by the scale of the humanitarian crisis and remain gravely concerned by the current situation."
The council will discuss its mission to Myanmar on Monday.