Sweden, UK Call For Urgent UN Security Council Meeting
Sep 15 2017
However he pointed out that democracy is still very fragile in Myanmar and stigmatising the Nobel laureate - Aung San Suu Kyi has faced a global wave of criticism for not standing up for the Rohingya - will not solve anything.
An estimated 380,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled Myanmar and reached Bangladesh after a crackdown by Myanmarese security forces in response to an attack on a military outpost by Rohingya militants on August 25.
More than 310,000 people have fled across the border into Bangladesh in less than three weeks with many more trapped on the border amid accusations of landmines being planted to stop their escape. Many of them perished during the migration.
The Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing to Bangladesh by boat and the country is dealing with a huge influx of refugees in the last few days. This has generated wave of protests across the world. The crisis snowballed with the Myanmar army pressing ahead with counter-terror operations in restive regions.
"This is the first time in nine years that the Security Council has agreed on this particular issue, on Myanmar", British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft told reporters at the UN headquarters in NY.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday described reports of Myanmar's security forces attacking civilians as "completely unacceptable". "That showed the magnitude of the situation". Sixteen non-Muslims were killed and almost 30,000 have also been displaced, fleeing to larger towns. In fact, given that the Rohingya crisis is playing out between two minor countries in Southeast Asia, the situation serves as a low-stakes, strategic opportunity for many world leaders to satisfy their domestic bases and tout their credentials to other Muslim heads of state. Between 2012 and 2015, more than 112,000 made a unsafe escape to Malaysia by boats across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
"It's a first step, but the council needs to escalate this to the level that a crisis that bears the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing deserves", Human Rights Watch's UN Director Louis Charbonneau said after Wednesday's council statement.
Saying that branding Rohingya as terrorists was both unfair and discriminatory, it asked the court to direct the government to treat the community with some dignity, not to displace the community, which had undergone years of persecution in their own native land of Myanmar. He wants the government of Myanmar to implement, with concrete action, recommendations made by an independent advisory commission led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, including speeding up the citizen verification process to ensure that human rights are recognized for all groups. Following 2015 elections won by her party, Suu Kyi became its de facto leader.