Statement: Myanmar Must Prioritize Protection of Civilians in Rakhine State, Address the Roots of the Conflict

Photo credit: UN Photo/David Ohana

With the latest escalation of violence in Rakhine State, Burma/Myanmar, and the attacks against unarmed civilians, GPPAC members from Southeast Asia have expressed their concerns as this is a critical development on peace and security in the region. Seeing the unwillingness and inability respectively of the Myanmar military and government to take actions and it being framed as an ‘international problem' rather than a national or regional one, our regional network has promoted the critical views of regional voices on the issue and advocated for a regional engagement by ASEAN with some of its key member states (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines). In this, our members have issued a statement emphasising that Myanmar must prioritize protection of civilians in Rakhine State and address the roots of the conflict. Read the full statement here.

Linked to this our members organised a workshop focusing on engagements with ASEAN that amplified stories from conflict affected populations in Burma/Myanmar during the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People's Forum 2017. This lead to the development of a regional statement as well as follow-up regional and international engagements by GPPAC calling a.o. for unhindered humanitarian access to Rakhine state as well as the need for engagements with the military. At international level GPPAC facilitated direct engagements with policymakers in Brussels (cabinet of the EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs, EEAS representatives) and the Netherlands leading to invitations by the EU to their human rights dialogue on Myanmar in the first quarter of next year as well as planned follow-up engagements with the Dutch MFA in January.