UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is addressing the Security Council today on violence in Myanmar after seven of the 15-member council requested a briefing on what the UN has called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
Rakhine state is in the throes of a military crackdown that has displaced more than 430,000 people into Bangladesh since August. Fleeing from the violence is the ethnic Rohingya, a Muslim minority within Buddhist Myanmar.
Despite the dire situation, the UN’s ability to pressure Ms Suu Kyi into action is hamstrung by division in the Security Council. Mindful of dissident Muslim minorities within their own states and wary of intervention, China and Russia have argued the crisis is a domestic issue and provided a shield for Myanmar from council resolutions. However, with a worsening humanitarian situation and Guterres’ championing of the cause that support has waned.
It is unlikely that China and Russia will support adopting any Security Council resolution without a significant deterioration in the situation. However, expect today’s briefing to result in a toughening of language from the council, condemning the violence and calling on Myanmar to stop the flow of refugees.
Delve deeper: The Rohingya refugee crisis: ethnic cleansing in Myanmar
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