Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Conflicts

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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32. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the clashes between junta forces and forces of the militant group in Rakhine state in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56496/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland has strongly condemned the coup carried out by the Myanmar military and violence against civilians. The coup is a reversal of the progress made towards democracy and rule of law in Myanmar that has taken years to establish, and does nothing to tackle the public health, security or economic issues faced by the people of Myanmar. I have made three statements and called upon the Myanmar military to demonstrate restraint, respect human rights and the rule of law, immediately release political detainees and restore legitimate civilian government.

I am deeply concerned by the escalation of armed conflict across Myanmar, significant deployment of the armed forces in rural areas, and an increase in clashes, causing civilian casualties and displacement. In recent weeks, tensions have increased, leading to concerns, especially in northern Rakhine, that the armed conflict will escalate in this region again. We are witnessing a daily deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Myanmar and the overwhelming impact of the military action is being felt by the civilian population.

I am deeply concerned for the Rohingya people, especially those within IDP camps in Rakhine State. Ireland has provided direct funding of over €7.1 million since 2017 to support the Rohingya crisis, supporting vulnerable communities living in conflict affected areas of Rakhine state and Rohingya refugee settlements in Bangladesh. Our support has focused on food, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation. We have consistently voiced support for international efforts towards ensuring accountability and justice in Myanmar and we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those most in need.

Ireland is active in multilateral fora to highlight the situation in Myanmar, including in our role as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council. The Council has considered the situation in Myanmar seven times since the coup, most recently on 8 November 2021, after which a Press Statement was issued. The European Union also issued a statement of 8 November calling for an immediate end to violence.

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