International News

United Nations recalls its top official in Myanmar amid Rohingya crisis

Media investigations had accused Renata Lok-Dessallien of suppressing a discussion on the situation.

The United Nations announced that it was recalling its top official in Myanmar to the New York headquarters, BBC reported. The international organisation, however, maintained that Renata Lok-Dessallien’s departure from Myanmar “is part of a succession process announced in the spring of this year”.

Last month, Lok-Dessallien was the focus of a BBC investigation, in which she was accused of suppressing internal discussion on Rohingya Muslims. The investigation quoted sources in the UN and aid community as saying Lok-Dessallien had tried to stop human rights officials from visiting areas where the army allegedly persecuted the Rohingya minority.

Another report in The Guardian said the UN commissioned and then “suppressed” a report that criticised its strategy in Myanmar. The paper was “spiked and not circulated among UN and aid agencies because Renata [Lok-Dessallien] did not like the analysis”, the English daily reported.

The official statement, released on October 11, said Lok-Dessallien will be taking on another assignment at the headquarters.

‘Attacks on Rohingya were systematic’

The United Nations Human Rights office said on Wednesday that the brutal attacks against the Rohingya in the northern Rakhine State were aimed at preventing them from returning to their homes. The attacks were “well-organised, coordinated and systematic”, the report said.

The UN report is based on interviews conducted in Bangladesh with newly arrived Rohingyas in refugee camps from September 14 to 24.

More than 500,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar security forces launched an operation in response to alleged attacks by militants on August 25 against 30 police posts and a regimental headquarters.

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