BRUSSELS– A number of Members of the European Parliament renews their calls Tuesday on the military and security forces in Myanmar to immediately cease the killing, harassment and human rights violations of the Muslim minority Rohingya.
Opening a debate on the Rohingya in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this evening, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, said “it is now up to Myanmar to improve the situation in Rakhine State, so that everyone can go back to their homes in a safe and dignified way.” “At the same time, the people of Rakhine must be guaranteed the right to education, basic social services and the difficult issue of citizenship must be addressed – all in line with the (Kofi) Annan Plan,” she said.
“In the light of disproportionate use of force by the army, we also decided to suspend invitations to the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar armed forces and other senior military officers, and to review ongoing practical defence cooperation,” noted the EU foreign policy chief.
Mogherini said she visited a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh in November where the camp is hosting 650,000 refugees in just one place.
A resolution on the situation of the Rohingya will be put to the vote by the EP on Thursday.
Soraya Post, a Swedish MEP, called for the EP human rights prize awarded to de facto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be withdrawn.
“Rohingya people need to be recognised as an ethnic minority in the Myanmar and should be compensated for all the violence they have been facing, it is now up to us the International community to give justice to the Rohingya people,” she said.
Urmas Paet, a MEP from Estonia, said even though an agreement has been signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the return of Rohingya refugees, more is needed.
“Before any Rohingya refugees can return there must be credible assurances that they can do so voluntarily, safely and under full UN oversight,” he said.
On his part, Amjad Bashir, a British MEP, said “there can be no repatriations of the 1 million refugees unless they are recognised first as citizens of Myanmar and unless the UN is present, as well as the media and humanitarian NGO’s.”
Source: Kuwait News Agency