Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the International Labour Organization Conference in Geneva in June 2012 / photo: un.org

With international accusations of rapes, arsons and murders happening at Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, who swept to power in 2015 on promises of reconciliation, faces a challenge on how to handle the pressing situation with domestic and international pressure pushing in from differing sides.

Daily Magazine reported that the United Nations (UN) has urged Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday (8 Dec) to visit the country’s divided northwest, Maungdaw and Buthidaung in Rakhine State to reassure civilians they will be protected.

“The refusal by the Myanmar authorities to take a strong stance against hardliners, and the adoption of a generally defensive rather than proactive approach to providing security to the local population, have caused frustration locally and disappointment internationally,” Vijay Nambiar, special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General, said in a statement.

Mr Nambiar wrote,”Only by responding concretely to these concerns will the government be able to resolve the crisis and preserve its international standing.”

Former UN chief Kofi Annan also urged Myanmar security forces to act within the rule of law on Tuesday.

Last Friday, Ms Suu Kyi has accused ‘the international community’ of fueling resentment between Buddhists and Muslims in Northwest Myanmar.

She has appealed to other nations to understand her nation’s ethnic complexities and said that the world should not forget the military operation was moved in response to attacks on security forces. The government has blamed the attacks on Muslim rebels.

“I would appreciate it so much if the international community would help us to maintain peace and stability, and to make progress in building better relations between the two communities, instead of always drumming up cause for bigger fires of resentment,” Suu Kyi told Channel NewsAsia last week during her visit to Singapore.


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