European Council points to ‘disproportionate’ use of force by Myanmar’s army in Rohingya crisis
The European Council on Monday suspended contact with Myanmar’s military over its “disproportionate” use of force against Rohingya militants.
The resolution backs up earlier EU moves to restrict certain arms and equipment sales to the country’s military which has been accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
In a statement on Monday, the European Council said: “In the light of the disproportionate use of force carried out by the security forces, the EU and its Member States will suspend invitations to the Commander-in-chief of the Myanmar/Burma armed forces and other senior military officers and review all practical defense cooperation.”
The body also said it “may consider additional measures if the situation does not improve”.
Since Aug. 25, some 536,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine’s Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.
On Friday a UN human rights spokesman told Anadolu Agency Rohingya Muslim refugees wanted to see a peacekeeping force protecting them.
Rupert Colville said there was “an obvious need for the international community, whether it is the UN Security Council, an individual state or so on, to absolutely find a way out of this situation, and the only possible solution is that the Rohingya are allowed to go back home.”
He also said there should be a political and security response to violence in Myanmar: “In order to be safe, Rohingya refugees would like to see peacekeeping operation.”