Rohingya crisis: European MPs call on Myanmar to halt violence | News | DW | 14.09.2017
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Rohingya crisis: European MPs call on Myanmar to halt violence

European lawmakers have urged Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to "condemn unequivocally" the attacks on Rohingya Muslims. Pressure has been growing over the crisis that has seen about 400,000 people flee to Bangladesh.

The European Parliament on Thursday demanded the Myanmar military to end its crackdown on the Rohingya Muslims in the country's Rakhine state.

The parliamentary resolution called upon the military "to immediately cease the killings, harassment and rape of the Rohingya people, and the burning of their homes."

It also urged the European Union to make it clear that it was prepared to slap sanctions on Myanmar if it did not halt human rights abuses.

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The lawmakers urged Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to "condemn unequivocally all incitement to racial or religious hatred."

Suu Kyi has come under severe international criticism for not doing enough to halt the strife that has left scores of people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the past few days.

The MEPs reminded her that she was the recipient of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize, awarded to those "who defend human rights, safeguard the rights of minorities and respect international law."

The lawmakers questioned if the Sakharov Prize could be revoked in cases where laureates violate those criteria. Critics have already been calling for her to be stripped of her Nobel Prize, though security matters in Myanmar remain very much with the military.

Read more: Myanmar Rohingya - A history of forced exoduses

'Myanmar on notice'

Myanmar's government is being condemned globally for its military's disproportionate response to Rohingya insurgent attacks on security guards on August 25. Several villages have been torched and many homes destroyed as a result of the brutal counteroffensive.

"Myanmar has taken extreme action against the whole Rohingya community in response to the terrorist actions of a few individuals. They have gone well beyond an acceptable response," British MEP Amjad Bashir said. "We have put Myanmar on notice that unless the persecution and violence stops, we will take action."

Read more: Myanmar's Rohingya rebels - what you need to know

UN seeks 'massive' help

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council on Wednesday expressed concern about "excessive violence" used by the security forces and urged Myanmar to end violence in Rakhine, which Guterres said could be best described as ethnic cleansing.

The United Nations on Thursday appealed for "massive" help for the 400,000 refugees that have sought protection in Bangladesh.

"We urge the international community to step up humanitarian support and come up with help," Mohammed Abdiker, director of operations and emergencies for the International Organisation for Migration, told a news conference in the Bangladeshi capital. The need was "massive," he added.

The appeal comes a day after Guterres said the humanitarian situation was "catastrophic" and called on all countries to supply badly needed aid. 

ap/sms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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