The UN Security Council has issued a presidential statement on Myanmar complimenting and criticising the country over its stance on the Rohingya crisis and it also gave the government a month to “get its act together”. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi of Italy, this month’s UNSC president, read out the 1,300-word statement at a formal session on Monday, the first such statement on Myanmar in 10 years, reports Xinhua news agency. It strongly condemned attacks against the Myanmar security forces carried out by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on August 25, then expressed “grave concern” over the government’s response, the alleged burning of villages and threats to villagers to flee, among others. The council said the government’s primary responsibility is the protection of Myanmar’s population, citizens or not.
It called for reform in Myanmar’s security and justice sectors and urged the government to work with Bangladesh and the UN to allow the voluntary return of refugees to their homes, on the basis of an October 24 memorandum of understanding between the two countries. The panel welcomed a “union enterprise mechanism” for humanitarian assistance, resettlement and development in Rakhine. It recommended the government ensure the mechanism supported such return and allow UN agencies full access, urging governments and all humanitarian partners to pay special attention to the needs of women, particularly survivors of sexual violence.
The council also welcomed the Myanmar government’s public support for recommendations by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and called for their full implementation.It urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to consider appointing a special advisor on Myanmar. Since the August attacks, over 604,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. Some fled by land, others in boats over an inlet of the Bay of Bengal. In the last two weeks, 4,000 refugees entered Bangladesh while four people drowned in a shipwreck while fleeing, officials said.