United Nations (PTI): The United States (US) has called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to support the government of Myanmar in safeguarding the “rights and dignity” of all communities in the country.
On August 30, the UN Security Council held consultations on the events that have unfolded in Myanmar.
Following deadly attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), militants at security posts on August 25 and reports of Myanmar’s security forces’ subsequent response, the escalation in tensions has resulted in thousands reportedly fleeing their homes.
There have also been reports of innocent civilians being killed and injured amid the ongoing violence and of villages being burned down.
At least 18,500 Rohingya had crossed into Bangladesh since fighting erupted in Myanmar’s neighbouring Rakhine state The International Organisation for Migration said.
“The US supports democracy for the Myanmarese people, and we condemn attacks by militant groups in Rakhine State,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement yesterday.
The Indian-origin US ambassador to the UN said that as Myanmar’s “security forces act to prevent further violence”, “they have a responsibility to adhere to international humanitarian law, which includes refraining from attacking innocent civilians and humanitarian workers and ensuring assistance reaches those in need”.
“We call on all members of the Security Council to support the Myanmarese government in ensuring the rights and dignity of all communities in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar,” Haley said.
Meanwhile, a UN human rights expert has expressed concern at the deteriorating situation in Rakhine State, affecting not just the Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim populations but also other communities.
“I am concerned that these events will derail efforts to address the root causes of the systematic discrimination and recurrent violence in Rakhine State,” she added.
Lee went on to remind the authorities of their human rights obligations to give equal protection to people from all communities, whether from attacks by extremists or excessive action from the security forces.
Echoing findings in the final report by the Rakhine Advisory Commission led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Lee said that if human rights concerns are not properly addressed and if people remain politically and economically marginalised, then northern Rakhine may provide fertile ground for radicalisation, with people becoming increasingly vulnerable to recruitment by extremists.
Haley said the US has welcomed Myanmar’s endorsement of the Annan Commission’s recommendations and supports the government’s efforts to implement them as quickly as possible.