The scale of violence against the Rohingya community in Myanmar’s Rakhine state documented in a recent United Nations human rights report is a level of dehumanization and cruelty that is “revolting and unacceptable,” the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide said today, underlining the Government’s responsibility to ensure that populations are protected.
In a statement, Special Adviser Adama Dieng said the flash report issued last week by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) gave further credibility to allegations that security forces were committing serious human rights violations against civilians in northern Rakhine state from the very beginning of the recent escalation of violence, which was precipitated by attacks on border posts in early October 2016 and the ensuing operations by those forces.
30 January 2017 – A United Nations human rights expert today strongly condemned the brutal murder of a respected Muslim lawyer and constitutional law expert in Myanmar, who was also the legal adviser to the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD).
“I am shocked to the core by the senseless killing of a highly respected and knowledgeable individual, whom I have met during all of my visits to the country, including most recently just over a week ago,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said.
As Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar, I wish to underline that the United Nations remains seriously concerned by the developing situation in Northern Rakhine. The UN has called on the security forces to act in accordance with the rule of law and accepted international norms of conduct, and to exercise caution in avoiding disproportionate responses that could cause violence to civilians, loss of innocent lives, or damage the properties of the local population.
Statement by Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on the situation in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar
New York, 29 November 2016 – The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, expressed alarm at reports of the deteriorating security, human rights and humanitarian situation in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. Following attacks by armed assailants against border security posts in October 2016, the response of the military has reportedly been characterized by excessive use of force and other serious human rights violations against civilian population, particularly the Rohingya Muslim population, including allegations of extrajudicial executions, torture, rape and the destruction of religious property. “These allegations must be verified as a matter of urgency”, stated Adama Dieng. “If they are true, the lives of thousands of people are at risk. The reputation of Myanmar, its new Government and its military forces is also at stake in this matter.”
The Secretary-General’s thoughts are today with the people of Italy and Myanmar following the earthquakes that struck the two countries on 24 August.
While reports on the impact of the earthquakes are still coming in, it is evident that lives have been lost and infrastructure has been damaged. In Italy, it is reported that an estimated 120 people have been killed and over 360 injured. In Myanmar, initial reports indicate that a number of buildings, including schools, pagodas and houses have been damaged in Naypyitaw, Mandalay and Magway regions.
On behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the Governments of Italy and Myanmar and to everyone affected, particularly to the families and friends of those killed and injured.
The United Nations stand ready to offer its support should that be requested.
More than seven months after Cyclone Komen struck Myanmar, poor rural communities are still enduring increased levels of food insecurity, according to a UN report released today. In particular, people in the hardest-hit areas of Chin and Rakhine state – already vulnerable to begin with – are still suffering, which serves to highlight their vulnerability to withstand similar emergencies in the future. Continue reading →
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is now delivering rice, beans, cooking oil and salt to more than 400,000 people affected by flooding in Myanmar and “reachable only on foot, after floods and landslides destroyed roads across the country,” the agency said today. More than 1.7 million people in Myanmar have been affected Continue reading →
A top official of the UN refugee agency responsible for protection has called for more concerted support to resolve the plight of displaced people in Myanmar and those with undetermined citizenship. UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, made his remarks at the end of a five-day mission to Myanmar on Monday during which he visited Yangon and the capital Nay Pyi Taw, as well as Sittwe and Maungdaw in Rakhine state. Continue reading →
The UN refugee agency is extremely alarmed at reports suggesting that Indonesia and Malaysia may have pushed back boats carrying vulnerable people from Myanmar and Bangladesh. On Monday the Indonesian navy stated that it had escorted a boat out to sea, although it is not clear if this represents a change in the government’s policy. Yesterday Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency announced that it would not let foreign ships dock unless they are unseaworthy and sinking. Continue reading →
Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognized refugees on security grounds amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, inflicting serious psychological harm on them, a UN Committee has found after examining their cases. The Geneva-based Human Rights Committee said Australia should release the Continue reading →