Burmese leader skips UN meeting to focus on crisis
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/13/17, 10:36 am
Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi canceled plans to attend this week’s meeting of the UN General Assembly amid criticism for her response to ethnic violence in the country. Presidential office spokesman Zaw Htay said Kyi, who officially serves as state counselor and foreign minister, would skip the assembly to address the domestic security issues. Clashes between Rohingya Muslim militants and security forces in Rakhine state last month triggered “clearance” attacks that have now driven at least 370,000 Rohingya out of the country. Many of them have fled into neighboring Bangladesh, where aid workers continue to struggle to meet their needs. The government of Burma, also called Myanmar, has formed a committee to implement recommendations on improving the living conditions of the Rohingya Muslim minority, the president’s office said in a statement. The recommendations come from an advisory commission led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The statement added the committee also would work to speed up the process of legally recognizing the Rohingya Muslims. In Burma, the Rohingya have no legal status or citizenship rights.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.