Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Tillerson calls for an end to 'horrors' in Myanmar

Rohingyas attract global focus Emma Thompson urges Aung San Suu Kyi to restore peace in Burma
Howard Terry | 16 September, 2017, 00:58

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has called the crisis a "defining moment" for Myanmar and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The Rohingya are a minority ethnic group located in Myanmar's western Rakhine state and are considered to be a variation of the Sunni religion.

"I think it is important that the global community speak out in support of what we all know the expectation is for the treatment of people regardless of their ethnicity", he added.

"We appreciate the hard and complex situation that Aung San Suu Kyi finds herself in", Tillerson said, alluding to the power sharing agreement that gives military leaders vast influence over the country's affairs, "and I think it is important that the global community speak out in support of what we all know the expectation is towards the treatment of people, regardless of their ethnicity".

"Violence in Myanmar has created a humanitarian catastrophe".

"In my view, publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is not constructive" and could slow the progress toward a representative government, McConnell said.

An estimated 380,000 Rohingya refugees have fled the violence in Myanmar and are now seeking refuge in Bangladesh, UN Secretary General António Guterres said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Wednesday called on Myanmar to halt military action and atrocities against the Rohingya in Rakhine state, saying the ongoing violence by security forces against the Muslim minority was "completely unacceptable and catastrophic".

We are glad that the United States has moved beyond "voicing" its concern on the persecution of the Rohingyas by Myanmar to something relatively more substantive. Observers say the violence is being carried out by the Burmese military. The government must recant its position on the status of the Rohingyas, who must be accorded the full citizenship rights.

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