Rohingyas: London suspends aid program to Burmese army
Rohingya refugees in Balukhali camp, Bangladesh, on 17 September 2017.
London on Tuesday suspended its training program for the Burmese army due to “continuing violence in Rakhine State” and “abuses in the area of human rights” there.
“We have decided to suspend the training sessions for the Burmese military until there is an acceptable resolution of the situation,” a spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense said in a message to AFP .
“We call on the Burmese armed forces to immediately take the necessary steps to end the violence in Rakhine and protect all civilians …,” he added.
This decision comes as Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Tuesday is ready to organize the return of the 421,000 Rohingyas refugees in Bangladesh without providing a concrete solution to what the UN denounces as ethnic cleansing.
A few hours after Mrs. Suu Kyi’s speech before the UN General Assembly began, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked the Burmese authorities to “stop the military operations and allow a unrestricted humanitarian access “to populations affected by the fighting.
According to British Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Mark Field, the British Army offers mainly training in governance, language learning or international law.
“To show them how modern soldiers operate in a democracy is more effective than isolating them,” he told the British MPs on 5 September.
He added that the British did not provide combat training.
Burma became independent of the United Kingdom, former colonial power, in 1948.