• Monday, Aug 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:18 pm

Kofi Annan downplays claims of Myanmar genocide

  • Published at 02:21 pm December 7th, 2016
  • Last updated at 07:57 pm December 7th, 2016
Kofi Annan downplays claims of Myanmar genocide
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he would not describe the violence being committed against Myanmar's Rohingya minority as "genocide." "I think there are tensions, there has been fighting, but I wouldn't put it the way some have done," he told the BBC after a trip to Rakhine state. Humanitarian groups now say that 21,900 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh in less than two months. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Sunday said genocide was taking place. The army launched a crackdown in northern Rakhine after co-ordinated militant attacks left nine border policemen dead on October 9. Rohingya groups have alleged serious rights abuses, including rapes, shootings and house burnings, and say they are being targeted indiscriminately. The government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, strongly denies the allegations. Annan was asked in August by Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to head a commission looking into tensions in Rakhine state, where the Muslim Rohingyas live alongside the mostly Buddhist Rakhine people, who are the state's dominant ethnic group. "You can feel both communities are afraid. There is fear, there is mistrust. The fear has heightened but we need to find a way of breaking that down and beginning to encourage the communities to connect," he told the BBC. He said that observers should be "very, very careful" in using the word genocide. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Laureate who endured years of house arrest under Myanmar's military junta, has faced international criticism for failing to help the Rohingya. The Rohingya people trace their ancestry in the area back generations, but are not recognised as citizens and tens of thousands live in camps where travel is restricted. But Annan said Suu Kyi's government, which won a historic election last November, should be given "a bit of time, space and patience." The Rohingya have been making perilous crossings over the Naf river to seek refuge in Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of the group already live. The new figure of 21,900 people having fled - based on statistics collected by various groups and provided to the BBC by the International Organization for Migration - is more than double that given by the UN refugee agency last week. Bangladesh has stepped up security on the border in response to the migrant flows, and has been criticised by Amnesty International for pushing hundreds of Rohingyas back across the border.
50
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail