UN: Burma Army Committing Ethnic Cleansing: UK Must Stop Training Programme

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has today described the military attacks against the Rohingya as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Since 25th August, more than 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the face of a military offensive by the Burmese Army. Rohingya sources estimate 5,000 or more people have been killed, and tens of thousands of homes destroyed. It appears that around half the entire Rohingya population in Burma may have been forced from their homes in just two weeks.

The British government must immediately stop spending British aid money training the Burmese Army.

157 British Parliamentarians have also called on the British government to end the training.

Last year the British government spent more than £300,000 training the Burmese military, 67 percent of the spending comes from the overseas development budget.

The Foreign Office has defended the spending stating it promotes human rights. In January the Ministry of Defence stated that there is no specific human rights component in the training.

“British aid money is being spent supporting a military which is committing ethnic cleansing,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “It is completely untenable for the British government to continue with this training.”

 

Notes:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on ethnic cleansing today.

Letter from 157 Parliamentarians.

Hansard record re training costs and aid.

Hansard record revealing no human rights in the training.

 

View the original press release HERE.

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