Myanmar rejects UN call for rights probe

Myanmar rejects UN call for rights probe

A Rohingya girl carries a baby inside a refugee camp in Sitwe, Rakhine state of Myanmar. (Reuters Photo)
A Rohingya girl carries a baby inside a refugee camp in Sitwe, Rakhine state of Myanmar. (Reuters Photo)

YANGON: Myanmar on Saturday rejected a United Nations resolution to send a fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority, saying it would do more harm than good.

The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council on Friday adopted the resolution, tabled by the European Union, to dispatch an independent, international fact-finding mission to investigate alleged recent human rights violations by security forces during their to recover arms from Muslim villagers in northern Rakhine State in recent months.

The Myanmar Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Saturday that while the government takes allegations of human rights abuses "seriously", the establishment of a fact-finding mission would do more to "inflame, rather than resolve" the issues at this time.

Myanmar has dissociated itself from the resolution as a whole, as the situation on the ground is "both complex and challenging" and the government is seriously trying to build stability and lasting solutions, according to the statement.

"The government of Myanmar is fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. It will be steadfast in its commitment to advancing human rights for the benefit of all people in Myanmar," the statement added.

Rakhine State, bordering Bangladesh, has been the focus of major conflicts and clashes, starting in 2012, between the majority Buddhist population and the growing Muslim minority population who call themselves Rohingya.

The plight of the Rohingya in Rakhine has gained unprecedented international attention in recent months, following military operations responding to coordinated attacks in October last year on border guard outposts that left nine security personnel dead.

Last month, following widespread reports of security forces committing atrocities against Rohingya villagers, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report saying crimes against humanity had potentially been committed.

Troops raided Rohingya villages in search of suspects, arresting hundreds, if not thousands, while tens of thousands of Rohingya villagers fled across the border into Bangladesh.

Hundreds of women have been reported to have been raped, among other abuses, but access to the area is severely restricted and reports are difficult to verify.

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