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Oral statement on Burma

19 Sep 2017

Interactive Dialogue with the Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar

Topic: Human Rights in Myanmar

Organisation: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Speaker: Sini Maria Heikkila

Christian Solidarity Worldwide remains deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Myanmar, especially in Rakhine State.

An  escalating humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State has left thousands displaced and hundreds dead, with reports of the destruction of entire villages and thousands of homes in attacks by the Myanmar Army. Reports estimate that more than 400,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh. The UN Secretary-General has described the situation as “catastrophic” and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said it is “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

While CSW condemns the attacks on 30 police stations by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in August,  the military’s response has been wholly disproportionate and has led to the worst human rights and humanitarian crisis in Rakhine since 2012.  

Furthermore, the army has also intensified its assault on the predominantly Christian Kachin ethnic group, and on the Shan people, which has recently resulted in the displacement of thousands of people. More than one hundred thousand ethnic Kachin continue to live in IDP camps and face starvation because the Myanmar military has denied vital and life-saving humanitarian aid access.   

CSW calls on this Council to urgently act by passing a strong resolution on Myanmar calling for an end to civilian deaths and enabling immediate humanitarian access to all in need, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.  

CSW also urges the international community to consider targeted sanctions against Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, particularly a global arms embargo, and to suspend current training programmes with the Myanmar Army. 

CSW urges the government of Myanmar to operate in line with its obligations under international human rights law and to fully cooperate with the Fact-Finding Mission established by this Council, allowing its investigators to have unrestricted access to all areas in the country. 

CSW additionally urges the government of Myanmar to collaborate with the UN Special Procedures – especially the Special Rapporteurs on Myanmar and Freedom of Religion or Belief, enabling them to have full unrestricted access to the country. 

Thank you Mr President.

Download the statement (pdf).



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