Published: Thu, February 15, 2018

United Kingdom foreign minister meets Suu Kyi over plight of Rohingya

United Kingdom foreign minister meets Suu Kyi over plight of Rohingya

Almost 690,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine State and crossed into southern Bangladesh since August, when attacks on security posts by insurgents triggered a military crackdown that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide.

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), both based near Myanmar's border with Thailand, became the first signatories to the NCA under the current dispensation of the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy.

About 700,000 members of the Muslim minority have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence by Myanmar security forces that has been characterized by some human rights experts as ethnic cleansing.

Johnson spoke with the embattled Myanmar leader, whose reputation among the global community has plunged over her handling of the crisis, in Naypyidaw while on a four-day tour in Asia.

The latest action by the Burmese military and others came after Rohingya rebels attacked police stations and army posts last August.

Two armed ethnic groups signed a cease-fire in Myanmar yesterday in a move which the government hopes will revive a flagging peace process dogged by continuing fighting and widespread distrust of the army.

Reuters has published its detailed investigation into the alleged killing of ten Rohingya men that it claims resulted in the arrest of two of its journalists who worked on the article. He said he also stressed the "urgent need to create the right conditions for Rohingya refugees to return to their homes in Rakhine".

But the Nobel laureate has refused to change tack and is accused by critics of adopting a siege mentality.

A statement issued by Britain's Foreign Office after Johnson met with Aung San Suu Kyi said he had raised the case of the two journalists without providing details.

Despite the campaign, which the United Nations (UN) has said amounts to ethnic cleansing, the two governments agreed late a year ago to repatriate all the newly arrived refugees.

Many Rohingya do not feel safe returning to a country where they have faced violent persecution and decades of discrimination at the hands of a country that has denied them citizenship.

"Hundreds, hundreds of villages torched".

Johnson was scheduled to fly to Bangkok later on Sunday for a visit that is scheduled to include meetings with junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha and the Thai chairman of an advisory board on the Rohingya crisis.

Veteran US diplomat Bill Richardson dramatically stepped down from the board last month, saying he could not in "good conscience" sit on a panel he feared would only "whitewash" the causes of the Rohingya crisis.

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