Myanmar's Suu Kyi rejects international observers in Rakhine state

Aung San Suu Kyi’s comments came during a visit to Brussels ahead of peace talks next month aimed at ending ethnic fighting in Myanmar.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi gives a news conference with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (not pictured) in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2017.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said she does not agree with an international fact-finding mission into violence in the Rakhine region.

Her comments came during a press conference in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

“We do not agree with it. We have disassociated ourselves from the resolution because we do not think it is within keeping with what is happening on the ground,” she said.

Suu Kyi added that while she doesn't support the fact-finding missions – her government has been working on recommendations from a report written by former UN head Kofi Annan.

“We have accepted Dr Annan’s recommendations totally because his commission went into the Rakhine state, studied the situation there and made his recommendations based on what he had seen on the ground,” she said.

“If we think the recommendations are in keeping with the real needs of the region, we would be happy to accept them, but those recommendations which will divide further those in the Rahkine, we will not accept.”

Myanmar will hold peace talks next month aimed at ending decades-long ethnic wars that have intensified since Suu Kyi's party took power a year ago, it was announced last week.

The Nobel peace laureate has made peace a priority of her new government, but she has made little progress in sealing a peace deal since the first round of the so-called "21st Century Panglong" talks were held last year.

TRT World’s Kevin Ozebek has more from Brussels.

The violent persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and their efforts to flee the Southeast Asian country, often falling victim to predatory human-trafficking networks, has become an international concern.

A UN report issued last month, based on interviews with 220 Rohingya among 75,000 who have fled to Bangladesh since October, said that Myanmar's security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya in a campaign that "very likely" amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Activists have welcomed what they called a "landmark decision" by the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, and have called on the Myanmar government to cooperate.

Suu Kyi assumed power in 2016 following a landslide election win after Myanmar's former military leaders initiated a political transition. The country had been an international pariah for decades under the military junta.

TRTWorld and agencies