The government of the United Kingdom has suspended its training program for military in Myanmar due to the violence in Rakhine state, a British government spokesman said on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.
#BREAKING Britain suspends Myanmar military training due to Rakhine violence: official
— AFP news agency (@AFP) September 19, 2017
Human rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya said the army and Rakhine Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign of arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.
The current violence in the Rakhine state has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.
— Andrew Katz (@katz) September 19, 2017
The Ministry of Defence said it had suspended £300,000 of funding until the current situation was resolved.
The UN’s human rights chief has said the violence “seems [like] a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
The £300,000-a-year was used to fund educational courses for the country’s military.
“In light of the ongoing violence in Burma’s Rakhine State, the growing humanitarian crisis it has caused, and our deep concern about the human rights abuses that are taking place, we have decided to suspend the educational courses provided to the Burmese military until there is an acceptable resolution to the current situation,” the spokesman of the ministry said in a statement.
“We call on the Burmese Armed Forces to take immediate steps to stop the violence in Rakhine and ensure the protection of all civilians, to allow full access for humanitarian aid.”
Violence in the region began on 25 August when Rohingya militants allegedly killed 12 people in attacks on police posts.
The attack was blamed on the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa).
Since then hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims – a stateless minority in the Buddhist-majority state Rakhine – have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh near the city of Cox’s Bazar.