Myanmar not yet off the hook

July 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, July 16 (UPI) -- Myanmar is called on to address a culture of impunity even though it disbanded a controversial border security force, a U.N. human rights delegate said Tuesday.

Myanmar President Thein Sein, a former military commander, was feted in London by British Prime Minister David Cameron this week. Cameron congratulated the leader for democratic reforms embraced since 2010 general elections, though he expressed concern about violence targeting the minority Muslim community in the coastal state of Rakhine.

U.N. special envoy on human rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said he welcomed a decision by Myanmar's government to disband the Nasaka border security force, which he said was suspected of committing human rights violations in Rakhine.

"I have no doubt that the violations committed over the years with complete impunity has undermined the rule of law in Rakhine state, and had serious consequences for the peaceful coexistence of communities there," he said in a statement.

The U.N. Human Rights Council in March recommended the government suspend Nasaka operations. Quintana said that whatever security force takes its place should pay more respect to international human rights laws.

"If the new force is not held accountable for its conduct, then the government will not have addressed the underlying problem," he said.

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