NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 13 – The members of the Security Council expressed today deep concern about the situation in Rakhine State. Acknowledging the initial attacks on Myanmar security forces on 25 August, they condemned the subsequent violence which has led to over 300, 000 people being displaced.
In a statement to the press which never mentions the Rohingya minority, the rotating President of the Council, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, conveyed his colleagues concern about reports of excessive violence during the security operations and called for immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de- escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, ensure the protection of civilians, restore normal socio-economic conditions, and resolve the refugee problem. The Council welcomed the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to provide assistance to refugees and welcomed UN and other international efforts to provide support.
The Council met in closed doors on the crisis in the Rakhine State after a request from the Un Secretary General Antonio Guterres after the announcement that Myanmar leader Aun San Suu Ky will not attend next week General Assembly. They welcomed the SG’s efforts to encourage calm in Rakhine and noted the commitments made by the Government of Myanmar to provide humanitarian assistance to all displaced
individuals without discrimination. During a press conference at UN Headquarters ahead of the high level segment of the GA, Guterres was asked to comment on the Un High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein’s characterization of the Rohingya crisis as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”: “I would answer your question with another question. When one-third of the Rohingya population had to flee the country, can you find a better word to describe it?”.
The discussions was held behind closed doors. The President of the Council said that he was hoping that the final text would go “a little further” adding that the Council continues to be seized on the issue. The Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini took the floor to express “Italy’s concern for the humanitarian situation in the region” and to stress the need that humanitarian aid reach the population in distress. (@OnuItalia)