Half of U.N. Security Council ask Guterres to publicly brief on Myanmar

by Reuters
Friday, 22 September 2017 22:15 GMT

A woman reacts as Rohingya refugees wait to receive aid in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

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More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 25

(Adds background on Rohingya crisis)

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Seven members of the United Nations Security Council, including the United States and Britain, on Friday asked U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to publicly brief the 15-member body next week on the violence in Myanmar that he has described as ethnic cleansing.

Sweden, the United States, Britain, France, Egypt, Senegal, and Kazakhstan want Ethiopia, president of the council for September, to arrange the briefing for next week, according to the request seen by Reuters.

More than 422,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since Aug. 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants triggered a military crackdown.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants the United Nations Security Council to take "strong and swift action" to end the violence, Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday.

The council has met twice behind closed doors since the Rohingya crisis began and last week issued an informal statement to the press condemning the situation and urging Myanmar authorities to end the violence.

Diplomats say the Security Council could consider adopting a formal statement if the situation does not improve, but China and Russia are unlikely to agree to stronger action that would require the adoption of a resolution they could veto.

A U.N. Security Council resolution would need nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France.

Myanmar said earlier this month it was negotiating with veto powers China and Russia to ensure Myanmar would be protected from any Security Council action. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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