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U.S. urges U.N. to hold Myanmar military accountable for ‘ethnic cleaning’

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday described Myanmar denials of ethnic cleaning of Rohingya Muslims as “preposterous” because it referred to as on the U.N. Security Council to hold the military accountable and stress chief Aung San Suu Kyi “to acknowledge these horrific acts that are taking place in her country.”

“Powerful forces in the Burmese government have denied the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley informed the Security Council.

“To make sure no one contradicts their preposterous denials, they are preventing access to Rakhine to anyone or any organization that might bear witness to their atrocities, including the U.N. Security Council,” Haley mentioned.

Haley additionally referred to as for the discharge of Reuters information company reporters arrested for reporting on the bloodbath of Rohingya Muslims.

“We strongly call for their immediate and unconditional release,” she mentioned. In a reference to Myanmar’s motive for detaining the journalists, Haley added, “On top of it all, they have the gall to blame the media.”

The Reuters particular report, printed final week, lays out occasions main up to the killing of 10 Rohingya males from Inn Din village in Rakhine state who have been buried in a mass grave after being hacked to loss of life or shot by Buddhist neighbors and troopers.

French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre additionally informed the Security council bloodbath of Rohingya Muslims reported by Reuters might “constitute crimes against humanity.”

Myanmar has denied that ethnic cleaning has taken place.

Any push for U.N. Security Council motion is probably going to face resistance from council veto powers Russia and China, who each mentioned on Tuesday the scenario in Rakhine state was steady and beneath management.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at UN headquarters in New York, NY, U.S., January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

“Using labels and attempts to use contradictory and subjective reports of the media … to find out who’s guilty and condemn them only move us farther away from a solution,” Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy warned.

Nearly 690,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine state and crossed into southern Bangladesh since final August, when assaults on safety posts by insurgents triggered a military crackdown that the United Nations has mentioned might quantity to genocide.

“Conditions are not yet conducive to the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees,” U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi informed the Security Council.

FILE PHOTO: Ten Rohingya Muslim males with their fingers sure kneel as members of the Myanmar safety forces stand guard in Inn Din village September 2, 2017. Handout by way of REUTERS

CALLS FOR JOURNALISTS RELEASE

While Myanmar U.N. Ambassador Hau Do Suan mentioned that some diplomats had been in a position to journey to Rakhine state but in addition informed the U.N. Security Council not to go to throughout February as a result of it was “not the right time,” Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi mentioned this month.

Myanmar’s Hau Do Suan mentioned that an inquiry by the Myanmar military, often called the Tatmadaw, had discovered that 10 Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army militants had been arrested in Inn Din and executed and buried a day later.

“Actions are being taken against 16 individuals, including army and police officers and some villagers who had acted in violation of standard operating procedures and the rules of engagement. This action of the Tatmadaw is positive step forward in taking responsibility and deserves encouragement,” he mentioned.

With reference to Reuters journalists arrested for reporting on the Rohingya, Hau Do Suan mentioned Myanmar acknowledges freedom of the press and the journalists weren’t arrested in December for reporting a narrative, however have been accused of “illegally possessing confidential government documents.”

“Every citizen is bound by the existing law of the land. It is important that the actions of the journalists must also within the bound of the law,” he mentioned.

Britain, France, the United States, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan all referred to as for the discharge of the Reuters journalists through the Security Council assembly on Tuesday.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Clive McKeef

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