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UNSC hears condemnation of Myanmar; attacks on Hindus also raised
Posted:Sep 29, 2017
 
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By Arul Louis
 
Myanmar's treatment of Rohingyas leading to the refugee crisis was widely condemned by members of the UN Security Council where the attacks on Hindus and the dangers of terrorism were also raised.
 
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that in Myanmar “the situation has spiraled into the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare.”
 
However, he conceded role of the Rohingya rebels in the crisis, condemning its attacks on the Myanmar security forces. “The current crisis has steadily deteriorated since the August 25 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on the Myanmar security forces,” he said. “I repeat my condemnation of those attacks.”
 
ARSA is a separatist organisation that wants to create an Islamic state out of Rakhine state and is led by Ata Ullah, a Pakistan-born ethnic Rohingya who has lived in Saudi Arabia.
 
The Security Council heard from all its 15 members and also Myanmar and Bangladesh, but did not take any action or pass resolutions.
 
Guterres said that the Myamar military should immediately stop its operations, allow humanitarian aid to reach the affected people and allow the Rohingyas to return home.
 
About 500,000 people have taken refuge in Bangladesh and of them 94 percent were Rohingyas, he added.
 
United States Permanent Representative Nikki Haley accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing. “We cannot be afraid to call the actions of the Burmese authorities what they appear to be: a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority,” she said.
 
Most of the other Security Council members echoed her strong condemnation of the Myanmar government and Guterres's demands.
 
Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said that according to reports, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army was guilty of killing civilians and had forced Hindus flee to Bangladesh.
 
Zambrana, a delegate of Bolivia, called for investigation of all actions that exacerbated tensions and incited violence, noting that besides the Rohingyas there were other victims including Hindus.
 
Bangladesh Permanent Representative Masud Bin Momen said that reports of “Muslims killing Hindus” should be seen as the Myanmar government's failure to protect its people.
 
He added that allegations and counter-allegations of of atrocities must be fully investigated by the Security Council.
 
Myanmar's National Security Adviser U Thaung Tun alleged that a large number of Hindu villagers have been massacred and buried in mass graves.
 
Haley also said that she condemned “reported violence against other minority communities in Rakhine State” as well as the August 25 attacks on security posts. “But what has happened since dwarfs these attacks in its disproportionate, indiscriminate violence,” she added.
 
U Thaung said that the root of the crisis was terrorism and not religion and “terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.”
 
He invited Guterres to visit Myanmar and said that diplomats and media will visit Rakhine next week.
 
Myanmar was ready to hold talks with Bangladesh on arranging the return of refugees, he said. “Our stated willingness to discuss the issue of repatriation gives the lie to the assertion that there is a policy of ethnic cleansing on our part.”
 
 
 
 
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