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The United Nations’ top court announced Wednesday that it will issue a decision next week on a request to order Myanmar to halt what has been cast as a genocidal campaign against the southeast Asian country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi denied Wednesday that Myanmar’s armed forces committed genocide, telling the United Nation’s top court that the mass exodus of Rohingya people from the country she leads was the unfortunate result of a battle with insurgents.
Twenty-eight years to the day after Aung San Suu Kyi’s husband and sons accepted her Nobel Peace Prize while she remained under house arrest in Myanmar, the former pro-democracy icon appeared in a United Nations court ready to defend her country’s army from allegations of committing genocide against the Rohingya minority.
Myanmar’s parliament took a first step Friday in selecting a replacement for President Htin Kyaw, who retired this week with ill health, by filling the empty seat of one of the country’s three vice presidents.
Myanmar’s president, a close friend of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said Wednesday that he was retiring, a move that puts a representative of the country’s already powerful military at least temporarily in a position of executive power.
The United States Holocaust Museum is revoking a major human rights award given to Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has resigned from an advisory panel on the massive Rohingya refugee crisis, calling it a “whitewash and a cheerleading operation” for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
In recent days Suu Kyi’s advisers have denied any atrocities occurred.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will attend two regional summits this month, state-run television announced Monday, amid growing international condemnation of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate over violence against a Muslim minority group allegedly orchestrated by the country’s security forces.
U.S. officials are preparing a recommendation for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to declare that “ethnic cleansing” is occurring against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. That assessment would raise pressure on the Trump administration to consider new sanctions on a country that had been lauded for its democratic transition.
Myanmar’s government and advocates for the country’s Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority traded charges Sunday of killing civilians, burning down buildings and planting land mines, as clashes that began last week when insurgents launched attacks against police posts continued.
As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcomed officials from 10 Southeast Asian nations this week, a representative from Myanmar handed him a personalized letter.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been honored as the 2016 humanitarian of the year by students and faculty at the Harvard Foundation.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday the U.S. is lifting economic sanctions and restoring trade benefits to former pariah state Myanmar as he met with Aung San Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner who is now the nation’s de facto leader.