Myanmar/ Burma – Situation of the Rohingya (18 October 2017)

The actions of the Burmese army targeted against the Rohingya populations, as indicated by new testimonies, are a matter of grave concern for France. This violence has forced more than 582,000 members of the Rohingya community to seek refuge in Bangladesh since August 25.

France strongly reiterates its call for the Burmese security forces to ensure the protection of the civilian populations without discrimination, in accordance with their responsibility, and to ensure the swift re-establishment of safe humanitarian access.

Together with its European partners, France decided on October 16 to maintain the European embargo on weapons, to suspend invitations to Burmese military officers and to continue discussions on new restrictive measures against the Burmese security forces. France also decided to suspend any bilateral cooperation with the Burmese army. We hosted a closed meeting on October 13 at the Security Council – of which France currently holds the presidency – under the auspices of Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine. This meeting made it possible to identify possible action to stop the violence, restore humanitarian access and facilitate the voluntary return of the refugees. In this respect, we support the commitment of Burma’s civilian government to facilitate this return, in collaboration with the UN, and encourage the swift implementation of the mechanism announced by Aung San Suu Kyi on October 12.

France is also taking action to ensure that the Human Rights Council sheds full light on these human rights violations and the abuse endured by the civilian populations. Its fact-finding mandate was extended to that end on September 29. We call on the Burmese authorities to cooperate with this mission and to authorize its access to Rakhine State.

On the humanitarian front, France has strengthened its assistance for the Rohingya populations, in Bangladesh and in Burma. This assistance will soon reach €3.2 million for 2017.

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