- Title: Former UN chief Annan visits Myanmar's northwest amid Rohingya crisis
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: SITTWE TOWNSHIP, RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR (DECEMBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) FORMER UNITED NATIONS (U.N.) CHIEF KOFI ANNAN, RAKHINE STATE CHIEF MINISTER NYI PU AND OFFICIALS WALKING RAKHINE STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND MILITARY OFFICIALS WALKING POLICE CAR DRIVING NEAR A RALLY AGAINST ANNAN'S ARRIVAL POLICE OFFICERS AND PROTESTERS STANDING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE HOLDING POSTER AND STANDING POSTER SIGN READING (Burmese and English): "Don't Contravene to Arakan State Parliament's Decision" (SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) 50-YEAR OLD LOCAL RESIDENT, MAUNG KHIN, SAYING: "Why don't we use our own national in our country's affair. We don't need any other foreigners for this. This shows how the government mishandles the case." PEOPLE STANDING HOLDING POSTER SIGN READING (Burmese and English): "No to foreigners' biased intervention in our Rakhine state's affairs" (SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) ARAKAN NATIONAL PARTY REPRESENTATIVE, AUNG THAN MYINT, SAYING: "The Rakhine State Parliament has recently decided not to recognize Kofi Annan's Commission and its activities in Rakhine State. The Noble Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan disregards this and come here again for the second time. We cannot accept that and that's why we protest him." PEOPLE HOLDING POSTER WITH A CROSS SIGN READING (English): "KOFI ANNAN-LED COMMISSION" SIGN READING (Burmese and English): "No to Kofi Annan-led commission" VARIOUS OF PEOPLE HOLDING POSTERS AND STANDING PEOPLE CHANTING AND PROTESTING PEOPLE USING LOUD SPEAKER AND CHANTING (Burmese): "To Implement Rakhine State parliament decision, our affair our affair" VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PROTESTING AND ANNAN'S CAR CONVOY LEAVING PEOPLE PROTESTING ON ANNAN'S CAR ARRIVAL
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 08:30
- Keywords: UN Kofi Annan Rakhine Rohingya Muslims Buddhists protest
- Location: SITTWE TOWNSHIP, RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR
- City: SITTWE TOWNSHIP, RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR
- Country: Myanmar
- Reuters ID: LVA0015B6X1L3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A team led by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan arrived in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine State on Friday (December 2) to address the plight of Rohingya Muslims, amid an army crackdown that has killed at least 86 people and sent 10,000 fleeing to Bangladesh.
Annan will spend a day in the state capital, Sittwe, before travelling to the north, which has been under lock-down since the military launched a sweep of the territory after attacks by militants on border posts on Oct. 9.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi had appointed the nine-member commission before the current fighting erupted to advise on the restive state, where ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslims have lived separately since clashes in 2012 in which more than 100 people were killed.
The latest violence poses the biggest challenge so far to Suu Kyi's eight-month-old government and has renewed international criticism that the Nobel Peace Prize winner has done too little to help the Rohingya minority, who are denied citizenship and access to basic services.
The six Myanmar and three foreign commissioners, including Annan, were greeted at the airport by Rakhine chief minister Nyi Pu and fewer than 100 protesters. The commission made their first visit to the state in September.
The protesters carried signs that read "Ban the Kofi Annan commission" and chanted "we don't want Kofi Annan commission". Police, some wearing bulletproof vests and carrying rifles, appeared to outnumber protesters.
"Why don't we use our own national in our country's affair," said Maung Khin, a farmer at the protest. "We don't need any other foreigners for this. This shows how the government mishandles the case."
Local political representatives have echoed the similarly, saying that they have "recently decided not to recognize Kofi Annan's Commission" to intervene in the country's internal affairs.
Myanmar's military and the government have rejected allegations by residents and rights groups that soldiers have raped Rohingya women, burnt houses and killed civilians during the military operation.
United Nations officials said this week more than 10,000 people had fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks.
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