Boris Johnson to raise Rohingya plight with Aung San Suu Kyi on Burma visit
The Foreign Secretary said the ‘man-made tragedy’ was one that could be resolved with political will.
Boris Johnson will raise the plight of Rohingya Muslims with de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on a visit to Burma.
The Foreign Secretary described the “suffering” the people have endured as “one of the most shocking humanitarian disasters of our time”.
Speaking ahead of the trip, where he will visit a refugee camp on the Bangladesh-Burma border near Cox’s Bazar, as well as northern Rakhine, Mr Johnson said the “man-made tragedy” was one that could be resolved with political will.
More than 600,000 men, women and children are estimated to have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following persecution from the Burmese military in their native state of Rakhine, which began in August.
“The plight of the Rohingya and the suffering they have had to endure is one of the most shocking humanitarian disasters of our time,” Mr Johnson said.
“This is a man-made tragedy that could be resolved with the right political will, tolerance and co-operation from all those involved.
“I want to see and hear for myself the terrible things these people have been through, and I will be talking to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other regional leaders about how we can work together to resolve this appalling crisis.”
His visit comes after Reuters news agency said two of its journalists were arrested by Burma police while reporting on a “massacre” of 10 Rohingya men in Rakhine state.
On the four-day trip, Mr Johnson will also travel to Bangladesh – the first official visit by a foreign secretary in a decade – where he will meet Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali.
He will go on to Bangkok, Thailand, for talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and will also meet the chair of the Advisory Board on the Rakhine Advisory Commission, Surakiart Sathirathai, the Foreign Office said.