DIPLOMACY >Erdoğan calls on UN to put pressure on Myanmar government over Rohingya

ANKARA

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Turkey continued to push for rapid international action regarding the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority community in Myanmar, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan having a phone conversation with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the issue on Aug. 30.

Erdoğan stressed that international community should “put pressure on the Myanmar government,” presidential sources stated. 

He also emphasized the urgency of interventions from the U.N. and the international community to stop the crisis in Myanmar before it deepens further, saying the Myanmar government should act with “common sense.”

The Turkish president reportedly stressed that the use of disproportionate force by the Myanmar government on civilians was unacceptable, adding that Ankara is doing its best to provide humanitarian assistance and is ready to provide more help.

Turkey has also contacted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to address the issue, as well as countries like the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the presidential source noted. 

During the conversation, Guterres reportedly informed President Erdoğan about contacts he has made so far in a bid to end the humanitarian crisis.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has held phone conversations on the issue with the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Qatar.

Deadly attacks on border posts broke out on Aug. 25 killing one soldier, 10 police officers, an immigration official and 77 militants, Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in a statement.    

Media reports emerged later that said security forces used disproportionate force and displaced thousands of Rohingya Muslim villagers, destroying homes with mortars and machine guns.

The region has seen simmering tensions between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

A report by the United Nations found human rights violations, including crimes against humanity against the Rohingya by security forces. The U.N. considers the Rohingya the most persecuted minority in the world.

The global body documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and children — brutal beatings and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people were slain during a security crackdown last October.

August/30/2017

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