SINGAPORE REUTERS Oct 2 2018- 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, who met informally on the sidelines of the U.N. 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, according to U.N. agencies, following a military response to attacks on security posts by Rohingya insurgents.
U.N. investigators issued a report in late August accusing Myanmar’s military of gang rapes and mass killings with “genocidal intent” in Rakhine and called for the country’s commander-in-chief and five generals to be prosecuted under international law. Myanmar has denied most of the allegations in the report, blaming Rohingya “terrorists” for most accounts of atrocities.
“We expressed our grave concern with these alleged acts of violence... This is a man-made humanitarian disaster and something which should not be happening in this day and age,” Balakrishnan said, referring to the meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar.