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Rohingya crisis: US diplomat quits advisory panel

Veteran US diplomat Bill Richardson has resigned from an international panel set up by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to advise on the Rohingya crisis.

He claimed the panel was a “whitewash” and accused Ms Suu Kyi, his long-time friend, of lacking “moral leadership”.

Myanmar accused him of pursuing “his own agenda”.

More than 650,000 Rohingya people, from a mostly-Muslim minority in Buddhist Myanmar, fled to Bangladesh last year in the face of a military crackdown.

Many are now living in refugee camps in the neighbouring country. Bangladesh has said they will all be returned to Myanmar within two years.

Mr Richardson added that Ms Suu Kyi had been “furious” when he raised the case of two Reuters reporters on trial in Myanmar.

The journalists have been charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act while working on coverage of the Rohingya crisis.

Ms Suu Kyi “exploded” at Mr Richardson when he mentioned the journalists, he told the New York Times.

“Her face was quivering, and if she had been a little closer to me, she might have hit me, she was so furious,” Mr Richardson said.

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