UN Security Council presents united front against violence in Myanmar

World Today

The United Nations Security Council on Monday urged Myanmar to ensure no further use of excessive military force in Rakhine State, and condemned the violence that has driven more than 600,000 people into Bangladesh in the past ten weeks. 

But Myanmar rejected the Council position, saying it would further escalate tensions. 

CGTN’s Liling Tan has the details from New York. 

“The violence must stop, the human rights violations and abuses must cease, the excessive use of force by Myanmar security forces, especially against Rohingyas, must end.”

That was the message from a Security Council in an official statement issued this session that was a rare show of unity on an issue that has divided the council for some time. 

It is also the strongest statement on Myanmar from the Council, since the latest crisis erupted Aug. 25. 

It showed that member states shared concerns over the violence both by the militant group that sparked off the latest crisis, and by Myanmar forces that have reportedly used force and intimidation, killing and sexual violence, and burning of homes and property to drive out Rohingyas from Rakhine state. 

But the statement falls short of a binding resolution that France and the United Kingdom had been pushing for weeks, in large party because of concerns from China. 

Diplomats were cited saying that China felt that this was not the time for a resolution as an outcome, and following negotiations, the council agreed on this presidential statement instead.

But even then, Myanmar bristled at the language.

Myanmar ambassador Hau Do Suan strongly rejected the statement for singling out a U.N. member state based on accusations and what he said were falsely-claimed evidence, and that instead of helping the country’s efforts to resolve the issue, it would lead to further polarization and escalation of tensions. 

He also expressed disappointment that the Security Council refuses to recognize the August assault by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) as a terrorist attack. 

At last count, the U.N. estimates more than 607,000 people have fled the violence in Rakhine State to Bangladesh.