April 26, 2014
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned Burma of possible international consequences if they continue to “tolerate impunity” for human rights abuses against the Rohingya.
Speaking at a meeting of the Partnership Group on Myanmar in New York on 25th April, the Secretary General stated: “In the pursuit of the human rights agenda, any impression that the authorities tolerate impunity could generate negative pressures within the international community and among different parts of Myanmar’s population.”
The Secretary General yesterday also described the situation in Rakhine State as “alarming” and “completely unacceptable”. He stated that the government of Burma had a “solemn duty” to “ensure the safety and protection of all civilians in Myanmar, no matter what their religious or ethnic affiliation.”
The warning over impunity follows the recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, in which he stated that: “The pattern of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Rakhine State may constitute crimes against humanity as defined under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”
“Burma Campaign UK welcomes the warning from the UN Secretary General of potential international pressure if the Burmese government continues with its policy of impunity for those committing human rights violations against the Rohingya,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Given that the UN has already warned that violations against the Rohingya may violate international law, and there is ample evidence that the policies that lead to these violations come from the very top of government, it is unlikely any voluntary action will be taken to end impunity. The Secretary General should establish his own international inquiry as a practical step towards ending impunity.”
Burma Campaign UK is campaigning for an international investigation into human rights violations against the Rohingya. More information is available here.