Annan to visit Rohingya region, Suu Kyi calls off tour

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Former UN chief Kofi Annan is set to visit Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state amid international cries for a probe into recent violence, Turkish agency Anadolu reports.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi called off a trip to Indonesia on Monday after protests there over her country’s renewed crackdown on its Rohingya minority, a flare-up of violence that has killed dozens of people and exposed the limits of her authority over the military.

An Indonesian lawmaker on Monday called on the government to act quickly to help settle humanitarian problems in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where Rohingya Muslims are subjected to persistent persecution by the military, said The Jakarta Post.

House of Representatives defense and foreign affairs commission deputy chairwoman Meutya Hafid, a Golkar Party politician, demanded the government pressure other members of ASEAN and the United Nations to intervene, including by conducting an investigation in Rakhine, a Muslim-majority region in Myanmar.

Nobel laureate Annan, who was selected in August to chair the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, would arrive in Myanmar for the mission in days, commission member and chief convener for the Islamic Centre of Myanmar Aye Lwin told Anadolu.

On Monday, a senior official at Rakhine regional government was quoted to have said Annan is to visit Maungdaw township in northern Rakhine state near the Bangladesh border.

Myanmar foreign affairs spokesman Kyaw Zaya said the protests, including another set for Friday in Jakarta that is also expected to touch on the Rohingya crisis, contributed to Suu Kyi’s decision to postpone her visit, which was planned for that same day, said the Journal report titled “Aung San Suu Kyi Calls Off Trip as Pressure Grows Over Rohingya Muslims”.

The US, which recently dropped its last remaining sanctions against Myanmar, says it has raised concerns with the government, added the report.

Source: Prothom Alo

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