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On Myanmar UK Splits With EU Amid Chin and Rakhine Internet Cut Like One Guterres in Cameroon Complicit With

By Matthew Russell Lee

UN GATE, May 14 – The UN's own report on its systemic failure in protecting civilians in Myanmar, as in Cameroon, typically stopped short of naming who was in charge and who is responsible: Antonio Guterres, Secretary General since January 2017. Then Guterres' head of communications pimped out refugees by publishing personal identifying information, while banning the Press from covering the September 2019 UNGA week.

  Now on May 14 from Estonia, the President of the UN Security Council which only takes questions from sycophant state media hand picked by Guterres, this: "#EstoniaUNSC #Myanmar  Concerned about escalations in #Rakhine & #Chin state that have forced thousands to flee homes  Recall SG  @antonioguterres  appeal for a global ceasefire [This has been a lie, in Cameroon and elsewhere] Support efforts made by Myanmar Government to combat #COVID19 & ensure equal access to healthcare." While this tweet - the only way we get information from this President of the UNSC - leaves it unclear, this was only the view of current and past EU members of the Security Council (that is, Belgium and Poland too).

 Later the UK put out its own statement: "UK national statement after Security Council closed VTC on Myanmar  Thursday, 14 May    The UK welcomes the briefing on the situation in Myanmar that Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener provided Security Council members today. The UK requested this meeting because we are concerned by the recent escalation of conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in Rakhine and Chin States, and the heavy toll this is taking on civilians at the time of a global Covid-19 crisis.     The conflict has already led to a spike in internal displacement, additional restrictions on humanitarian access, and an increased number of civilian casualties, including the killing of World Health Organisation employee U Pyae Sone Win Maung on 20 April. All this comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic puts vulnerable populations at risk of a humanitarian emergency, especially refugees, IDPs, and the Rohingya community who face additional restrictions.     The UK recognises that Myanmar is taking steps to address the pandemic. These include measures to slow the spread of the virus; a public awareness campaign led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi; a Covid-19 Economic Relief Plan to alleviate some of the economic hardships; and a joint commission between the Government of Myanmar and ethnic armed organisations to coordinate efforts against Covid-19 across the whole country.      The UK supports these initial positive steps. However, while conflict continues in Rakhine and Chin States, vulnerable people there are at even greater risk than elsewhere from Covid-19. The conflict also makes it more challenging to address the long-term underlying causes of conflict in Rakhine and to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees, which remains an important and urgent priority. In this light, the UK expresses concern about refugees risking perilous boat journeys in the Bay of Bengal where a regional solution is essential.     Therefore:      1. Noting the Tatmadaw’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire on 9 May, the UK urges the Tatmadaw to extend this to include an immediate cessation of hostilities in Rakhine and Chin States.      2. The UK encourages the Myanmar authorities and all other actors to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to allow for safe and independent delivery of humanitarian supplies to all parts of Rakhine and Chin States, including IDP camps.     3. Noting the steps taken across Myanmar to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK urges the lifting of restrictions on internet access and action to ensure freedom of movement and equitable access to healthcare for all communities in Rakhine State, including conflict-affected populations, IDPs, and the Rohingya community.      4. Noting the National Strategy on Resettlement of IDPs and Closure of IDP Camps and recognising the challenges to its implementation created by Covid-19, the UK encourages Myanmar to ensure that any work to find durable and dignified solutions for IDPs is carried out in consistency with international best practice and the standards set out in the national strategy including on consultation.     The UK continues to appreciate the efforts of the UN, ASEAN and many donor countries in the support they are giving to Myanmar at this time, and underscores also its appreciation towards Bangladesh for its efforts providing protection and assistance to refugees until they are able to return to Myanmar."

  Meanwhile on Cameroon, where Paul Biya cut the Internet then gave Guterres a golden statue and UN Budget Committee favors as chair in exchange for Guterres' silence, some of these groups let Guterres and the UN off the hook, focus on the underdogs' fight back and even block on the Internet those who question that (that would be Human Rights Watch).

 On Myanmar Inner City Press reported how Guterres rejected warning from his own senior staff about the impending slaughter, so caught up in outmoded infatuation with Aung San Suu Kyi.  Inner City Press was in mid 2018 roughed up by Guterres' Security and banned from the UN since, 590 days and counting. Its written questions on Myanmar have been ignored by Guterres and his spokespeople, now including Melissa Fleming, even while still spokesperson for UNHCR. It is shameful. Inner City Press applied to all of them to cover the September 2019 UNGA week, which it covered for a decade. Then on Friday August 30, her MALU issued a one-line denial of access: "Greetings Matthew Lee from Inner City Press,  Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M5413398, has been declined for the following reason: Media accreditation was withdrawn on 17 August 2018."   

  Inner City Press asked Guterres, and this directly to Melissa Fleming on August 21: "On the repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh to Myanmar set to start on August 22, what is the UN system's role? Why is it going forward with a system that will give returnees non citizen, "Bengali" ID cards? National Verification Cards (NVCs), which do not confer rights nor citizenship and, through an NVC application process, effectively identify Rohingya as “Bengali” or more generally as “foreigners.” What has been the UN system's, specifically UNHCR's, role in this in the past?  the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar and the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees forcibly repatriated an estimated 250,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to northern Rakhine State, and Myanmar began issuing Temporary Resident Cards (“White Cards”) to Rohingya, which, like NVCs, did not confer rights.  What did Guterres do on this while at UNHCR?"

  Still, no answer at all from Fleming, even as she virtue-signal tweets. We will not relent.

   On April 20, 2019, two months before Guterres had Inner City Press targeted and then banned 590 days since, Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq two questions about Myanmar, the Kachin and press freedom. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask about Myanmar.  There's… not in Rakhine State, but the Kachin minority has put out a call saying that, basically in… in… in light of the increased fighting, there are about 2,000 people that are… have fled their villages and are without any health care or anything, and I'm wondering, what… what… is the UN aware of this?  And what are they doing about it?" The answer was laughable, and Farhan Haq now covers up UN peacekeepers' rapes just as Stephane Dujarric has been doing.

On April 17, 2019, Inner City Press asked Guterres' Assistant SG Ursula Mueller if during her five day trip to Myanmar the issue of the mandated envoy was even broached. She said it was not. (Her full briefing is archived on UNTV, including Inner City Press' question to her on the UN's mis-handling of the crackdown in Cameroon on Anglophones). More here.


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