THE UN’s rights envoy to Myanmar yesterday raised “serious concerns” over the impartiality of a government investigation into allegations of deadly attacks on Rohingya Muslims in unrest-torn Rakhine state.
Tomas Ojea Quintana warned that tensions in Rakhine, following two major waves of unrest that left around 140,000 people displaced and sparked anti-Muslim violence in other parts of the country, could “jeopardise the whole (Myanmar political) transition process”.
He said domestic probes had so far failed to satisfactorily address claims of a recent eruption of violence in a remote part of the state, including “the brutal killing of men, women and children, sexual violence against women, and the looting and burning of properties.”
Myanmar, whose sweeping political reforms have been overshadowed by religious bloodshed, has strongly denied civilians were killed but authorities said a police officer was presumed dead after a clash in January.
The government has, however, ordered an inquiry into the incident by a committee that is currently in Rakhine state.
“We need to respect that investigation. At the same time I have serious concerns about the possibility for this investigation… to be impartial and independent,” Quintana said.
The Brunei Times
20 Feb 2014