ASEAN urges Myanmar to give inquiry into Rakhine violence full powers

Ministers meeting informally on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly expressed grave concern over the violence


Reuters October 02, 2018
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and ASEAN foreign ministers pose for a group photo during the opening ceremony of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian foreign ministers urged Myanmar to give a commission of inquiry into the violence in Rakhine state full mandate to hold those who are responsible accountable, Singapore said on Tuesday.

The ministers, meeting informally on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week, expressed grave concern over the violence, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told parliament, calling it "man-made humanitarian disaster".

Over the last year, more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh following a military response to attacks on security posts by Rohingya insurgents.

The United Nations has called Myanmar's actions "ethnic cleansing", a charge Myanmar rejects, blaming Rohingya 'terrorists' for most accounts of atrocities.

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