Rohingya Muslims

China resists Britain’s push for UN statement in probe on Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis

Britain last week circulated a statement stressing ‘credible and transparent investigations’; China on Monday put forward an amended statement that dropped all mention of probes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 3:10am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 6:45am

China is resisting a British push at the UN Security Council for a statement calling on Myanmar to try those responsible for attacks on the Rohingya, according to a draft seen on Tuesday.

Back from a visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh last week, the UN Security Council is holding negotiations on a statement that would spell out how to address the crisis from the forced exodus of 700,000 Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar.

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Britain last week circulated a text that stressed the importance of “credible and transparent investigations” of human rights violations and urged Myanmar to hold those responsible for the violence to account.

China, a supporter of Myanmar’s former ruling junta, on Monday put forward an amended statement that dropped all mention of investigations or accountability.

Myanmar has come under international scrutiny since a military campaign launched in August drove more than 700,000 Rohingya from their homes in northern Rakhine state.

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China’s draft statement stresses “the need to address the root causes of the issue” and calls for investment in Rakhine state to “achieve stability through development”.

Diplomats said Britain, backed by France and the United States, had rejected the proposed changes by China and negotiations were continuing.

The 15 ambassadors last week met traumatised refugees living in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh and toured burned-out villages in Rakhine state.

The council adopted a statement in November that called on Myanmar to rein in its military, but there has been no resolution, a stronger measure that China would likely block as one of the veto-wielding permanent members.

Myanmar has said the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out extremists and has rejected accusations from the United Nations, Britain, France and the United States of “ethnic cleansing”.

The council has urged Myanmar to allow the safe return of the Rohingya and take steps to end decades of discrimination that the Muslim minority has suffered in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.