The UN Security Council should impose an arms embargo on Myanmar to stop the crisis which has seen almost half a million Rohingya Muslims flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
The Security Council is scheduled to hold its first open session on the crisis, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called “ethnic cleansing,” on Thursday.
Tirana Hassan, Amnesty’s crisis response director, said in a statement that the Security Council should put an immediate end to the transfer of all arms, munitions and related equipment through a comprehensive embargo covering both direct and indirect supply.
“Training and other assistance to Myanmar’s army should also be stopped in response to the military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine state.
“The Myanmar military is forcibly displacing and killing Rohingya, a campaign of crimes against humanity that amounts to ethnic cleansing.
“When they meet on Thursday, UN member states must ask themselves what side of history they want to be on and do everything they can do end this nightmare,’’ Hassan said.
An estimated 480,000 people from Rakhine state have arrived in Bangladesh since security forces started an operation there late August in response to attacks by suspected Rohingya militants.
Guterres, who will be briefing the Security Council on Thursday, has called on Myanmar’s government to halt military action and allow humanitarian groups to access the region to deliver aid.