• Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:53 am

Myanmar, EU at odds over Rohingya rights mission

  • Published at 04:19 pm May 3rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 04:22 pm May 3rd, 2017
Myanmar, EU at odds over Rohingya rights mission

The European Union took a visible stance against the de facto leader of Myanmar on Tuesday, Aung San Suu Kyi, by publicly supporting an international mission to look into alleged human rights abuses by the country's security forces against Rohingya.

The EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini, speaking at a news conference with Suu Kyi, said an agreed resolution of the UN Human Rights Council would help clear up uncertainty about allegations of killings, torture and rape against Rohingyas.

On the basis of that resolution, the top United Nations human rights body will send an international fact-finding mission to Myanmar despite Suu Kyi's reservations.

[arve url="https://youtu.be/H-Ms0dPCFLI"/]

"The fact-finding mission is focusing on establishing the truth about the past," Mogherini said, noting a rare area of disagreement between the 28-nation EU and Myanmar. "We believe that this can contribute to establishing the facts."

The UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution, which was brought by the European Union and supported by countries including the United States, without a vote in March. China and India distanced themselves from the UN resolution.

Asked about the move, Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, said: "We are disassociating ourselves from the resolution because we don't think the resolution is in keeping with what is actually happening on the ground."

Suu Kyi, and also Myanmar’s civilian government’s foreign minister, said she would only accept recommendations from a separate advisory commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan. Any other input would "divide" communities, she added, without giving further details.

The violent persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and their efforts to flee the Southeast Asian country, often falling victim to predatory human-trafficking networks, has become an international concern.

A UN report issued last month, based on interviews with 220 Rohingya among 75,000 who have fled to Bangladesh since October, said that Myanmar's security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya in a campaign that "very likely" amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Activists have welcomed what they called a "landmark decision" by the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, and have called on the Myanmar government to cooperate.

Suu Kyi assumed power in 2016 following a landslide election win after Myanmar's former military leaders initiated a political transition. The country had been an international pariah for decades under the military junta.

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