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United Nations

Seven members of UN Security Council asks Secretary-General Guterres for briefing on Myanmar

Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to be taken up

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 7:08am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 7:16am

Seven members of the United Nations Security Council, including the United States and Britain, on Friday asked UN chief Antonio Guterres to publicly brief the 15-member body next week on the violence in Myanmar that he has described as ethnic cleansing.

Sweden, the United States, Britain, France, Egypt, Senegal, and Kazakhstan want Ethiopia, president of the council for September, to arrange the briefing for next week, according to the request.

More than 422,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants triggered a military crackdown.

US President Donald Trump wants the United Nations Security Council to take “strong and swift action” to end the violence, vice-president Mike Pence said on Wednesday.

The council has met twice behind closed doors since the Rohingya crisis began and last week issued an informal statement to the press condemning the situation and urging Myanmar authorities to end the violence.

Myanmar’s problems go far deeper than the Rohingya crisis

Diplomats say the Security Council could consider adopting a formal statement if the situation does not improve, but China and Russia are unlikely to agree to stronger action that would require the adoption of a resolution they could veto.

A UN Security Council resolution would need nine votes in favour and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France.

Myanmar said earlier this month it was negotiating with veto powers China and Russia to ensure Myanmar would be protected from any Security Council action.