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24 October 2017

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10/04/2017 MYANMAR

Diplomats visit Rakhine, condemn violence, support Aung San Suu Kyi

The delegation calls for full media and humanitarian access to conflict areas and an investigation by UN experts on human rights violations by the military. They call for the urgent implementation of Kofi Annan's report.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Diplomats who visited northern Rakhine at the invitation of the Myanmar government issued a statement following their trip. In it, they said “We reiterate our condemnation of the ARSA attacks of 25 August and our deep concern about violence and mass displacement since.” ARSA is the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

The delegation, which included ambassadors from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Indonesia and several other European nation, on Monday visited many villages in the districts of Maungdaw and Rathedaung (pictured), where violence broke out on 25 August.

The diplomats stressed the need for an investigation by UN experts about human rights violations attributed to the Myanmar military. They also backed the stand taken by Myanmar’s democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"We welcome the commitment of the State Counsellor to address human rights violations in accordance with strict norms of justice and call again on the Myanmar authorities to fully investigate allegations of human rights violations and bring prosecutions against those responsible.”

Similarly, “We welcome the State Counsellor's statement that the security forces have been instructed to adhere strictly to a code of conduct, to exercise all due restraint and to take full measures to avoid collateral damage and the harming of innocent civilians."

Since fighting broke out, the international community has exerted strong pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn the military-led campaign, with some calling for her to be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize she received in 1991. Islamic nations and various Western powers have criticised the democratic leader for her silence as well as her lack of moral leadership and compassion.

By inviting the Myanmar government to ensure that information media and humanitarian organisations have full access to areas of conflict, the delegation of diplomats insists on the urgent need to implement the suggestions made by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "We support the full implementation of the [latter’s] report," the ambassadors say in their statement.

Authorised by Aung San Suu Kyi, the commission looked at the situation and proposed solutions to the divisions that have inflamed the western state of Myanmar.

The report calls for action to promote social progress, investment and the provision of basic services in the state.

Its main points include the verification of the Rohingya's nationality, the issuance of national registration cards, the reduction of tensions, and the commitment to reconciliation through bilateral talks between communities.






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