UN gets access to Rakhine for the first time since Aug. 2017

• The UN began work on Wednesday inside Myanmar’s violence-torn northern Rakhine State.

• It is the first time its agencies have been granted permission to operate there since more than 7,00,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the area last year.

• The UN has been waiting for access to the epicentre of the military’s “clearance operations” against the Rohingya minority since June when its refugee and development agencies signed a deal with the government.

UN’s observation

• The task is complicated further as the UN’s rights arm is expected to heavily censure Myanmar again in the coming days when it publishes in full the findings of its investigation into atrocities against the Rohingya.

• On Friday, specialists from the UNHCR and UNDP agencies were finally given permission to enter northern Rakhine before work began on Wednesday to assess local conditions. “The team is on the ground and commenced with the first assessments today,” said UNHCR spokeswoman Aoife McDonnell. This first step of the UN’s “confidence-building measures” is expected to take two weeks and will cover 23 villages and three additional clusters of hamlets.

No Suu Kyi at UNGA

• Aung San Suu Kyi will not be attending the UN General Assembly session.

• Instead, two senior Ministers in her government, Kyaw Tint Swe and Kyaw Tin — who in the past defended Myanmar’s former military regime on the global stage.

• It would attend and “explain current developments on repatriation and cooperation with international organisations”.

• The official, permanent secretary Myint Thu, was paraphrased as saying.

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Mains Paper 2: International Organisation

Prelims level: Myanmar violence

Mains level: UN observations on Myanmar’s violence.

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