U.N. Security Council calls on Myanmar to end military force, violence in Rakhine state

The United Nations Security Council called for Myanmar to end military force and violence in the Rakhine state, in a presidential statement released this week.

More than 600,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August. Photo by Abir Abdullah/EPA
More than 600,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August. Photo by Abir Abdullah/EPA

In a statement Monday, the U.N. Security Council condemned violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the Rakhine state and expressed concern over reports of human rights violations, including those that Myanmar security forces possibly carried out.

“The Security Council calls upon the Government of Myanmar to ensure no further excessive use of military force in Rakhine State, to restore civilian administration and apply the rule of law, and to take immediate steps in accordance with their obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including the human rights of women, children, and persons belonging to vulnerable groups,” the statement said.

The Security Council also asked Myanmar’s government to implement measures in line with a 2013 resolution from the international body to help “prevent and respond to incidents of sexual violence.” It also encouraged Myanmar to work with the U.N.’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The statement called on Myanmar, Bangladesh and humanitarian organizations to give more attention to the minority group’s girls and women and to ensure the availability of medical and psychosocial services to the survivors of sexual abuses.

The Council praised the efforts of the neighboring Bangladesh’s government to aid the Rohingyas as they flee Myanmar.

Since August, more than 600,000 Rohingya have left Myanmar for Bangladesh. The United Nations is encouraging Bangladesh to continue to provide “safety, shelter, and humanitarian assistance to those who have fled the violence” until those who fled can return voluntarily.

The Council also welcomed Myanmar’s newly created “Union Enterprise Mechanism” that will serve to provide humanitarian assistance, resettlement and development in Rakhine.

The statement noted that the Council wished to be briefed on the situation in Myanmar 30 days after the adoption of recommendations from the statement.

By Sara Shayanian