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Iran Press TV

Kofi Annan urges Myanmar army to act within rule of law

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 6, 2016 6:39PM

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on Myanmar's army to act within the rule of law amid a heavy crackdown on the Rohingya Muslims in the northwestern state of Rakhine.

Annan, who is the head of a panel tasked with finding a solution to the ongoing violence in the Muslim-majority state of Rakhine, said on Tuesday that allegations of human rights abuses by Myanmar's forces had "deeply" concerned him.

"Wherever security operations might be necessary, civilians must be protected at all times and I urge the security services to act in full compliance with the rule of law," Annan told reporters in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital.

"There is no trade-off between security and civil liberties," he added.

The former UN chief made the remarks after meeting with Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and the current commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, on his second visit to the country.

Myanmar's soldiers have been accused of raping Rohingya women, burning homes and killing civilians since October.

On October 9, Myanmar's military launched a fresh wave of crackdown on the Muslims in the wake of an attack on the country's border guards that left nine policemen dead. The government blamed the Rohingya for the assault.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said that some 21,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks.

The United Nations has warned that human rights violations against the Rohingya in Rakhine could be tantamount to "crimes against humanity."

According to the UN, the Rohingya are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

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