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Burma set to Dodge Full UN Probe on Arakan State

GENEVA – Myanmar looks set to escape an international investigation into alleged atrocities against its Rohingya minority, after the European Union decided not to seek one at the U.N. Human Rights Council, a draft resolution seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

The United Nations said in a report last month that the army and police had committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine state and burned villages in a campaign that may amount to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

Setting up a full international commission of inquiry into the findings – similar to those for Syria and North Korea – has been seen as a test of international resolve at the main annual session of the Council that ends on March 24.

The draft resolution from the EU suggests it may fail that test. The European Union, which has historically taken the lead on issues relating to Myanmar on the Council, takes note of “the very serious nature of the allegations” and “current investigations conducted at the domestic level”.

But it stops short of the probe sought by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.

Zeid, in a renewed appeal on Wednesday, told the Council that the severe violations follow “longstanding persecution” of the stateless Rohingya minority in majority-Buddhist Myanmar and warranted a review by the International Criminal Court.

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