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Foreign Secretary stresses need to end violence in Burma

Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke about ongoing violence in Burma.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

“The UK remains committed to the people of Burma, and has never wavered in its calls for the granting of full human rights to all of its people, including the Rohingya. We welcomed the government’s invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma, Mr Tomas Quintana and its cooperation with him during his recent visit to Burma. We share Mr Quintana’s concerns, and acknowledge the government’s attempts to seek to resolve the issues faced.

“The UK, as ever, stands ready to assist the government of Burma in its efforts to develop Rakhine State, to share our knowledge and experience of tackling the many complex and long-standing issues to be overcome and, as Burma continues its path towards establishing full democracy, to support an inclusive political settlement that protects the rights of all members of the local population.

“Whilst the reform process has already borne many fruits, we remain seriously concerned about the nature and extent of the recent violence. We have urged the government to resolve the crisis by taking effective and lawful steps to prevent any further violence, in accordance with international human rights law. We have also called upon the communities based there to act with restraint. We have done the same with our international partners, and in international institutions, such as the European Union and the United Nations.

“We join Mr Quintana in stressing the need to end the violence; to grant full and unhindered humanitarian access to the areas affected; to allow the affected communities to safely return to their homes; and to support the restitution of property that was seriously damaged or destroyed. We encourage the government to ensure that it treats the affected communities fairly and equitably and to ensure that the authorities prevent any further bloodshed. There is also a need to seek a long term solution to the problems they face in a manner which recognises their human rights, including their right to nationality, and to take effective steps which prevents any further forced or involuntary displacement and which does not leave them permanently displaced.

“Furthermore, we also join Mr Quintana in calling for the release of all those people who have been arbitrarily detained, irrespective of their ethnic background, and express the need for the government to carry out an independent, fair and prompt investigation in to the violence, in particular the allegations of serious crimes within the communities and human rights violations by the security forces, and for those found guilty of such crimes and human rights violations to be held accountable. In addition we repeat our calls on the government to release and rehabilitate all remaining political prisoners.”

Published 13 August 2012