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Expert calls on UN to stop ‘promoting Myanmar’s lies’

Published by Anadolu Agency on June 16, 2018

Maung Zarni says 'UN needs to stop promoting Myanmar’s lies – such as bypassing the calls for ICC-led accountability'

ANKARA -- The United Nations should “stop promoting Myanmar lies,” an international expert wrote in an analytical piece for Anadolu Agency. 

Maung Zarni, coordinator for strategic affairs at the Free Rohingya Coalition, wrote: “In the face of Myanmar’s ongoing international crimes against Rohingyas as a people, inside Myanmar and in the refugee camps in Bangladesh -- all under Suu Kyi’s watch, and with her complicity -- UN needs to stop promoting Myanmar’s lies -- such as bypassing the calls for ICC-led accountability in order to support its ‘fragile democratic transition’.” 

"The UN must not allow Suu Kyi to form yet another whitewash ‘inquiry commission’ within Myanmar’s fundamentally dysfunctional criminal justice system equipped with neither conceptual tools for atrocity crimes nor judicial independence. 

“No political regime, civilian or military, that commissions international crimes against its own national minorities should be given the benefit of the doubt when its smooth-talking Oxford-educated politician says it is on the path towards incremental liberalization and constructive resolution of the crisis confronting a people whose existence she herself denies,” he added. 

‘Aung San Suu Kyi held accountable’

“Today, I want Aung San Suu Kyi held accountable for her wilful collusion with Myanmar military leaders in the latter’s crimes against the entire ethnic community,” Zarni added. 

“Suu Kyi’s crimes are no longer her studied silence or failure to extend her government’s primary responsibility to extend the benefit of ‘peace and security’ to the Rohingya people,” he wrote. 

Earlier this month, Zarni wrote in another analytical piece that Rohingya survivors of the Myanmar genocide are demanding a UN security force to guarantee their safe return to their homelands, terming the new agreement signed between Myanmar and the UN as inadequate. 

On June 6, the Myanmar government signed an agreement with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), allowing them to get involved in the much-delayed repatriation process.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 750,000 refugees, mostly children, and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to Amnesty International.

At least 9,400 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24 last year, according to Doctors Without Borders.

In a report published recently, the humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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